We started January in Canyon de Chelley in NE Arizona. It is indeed a beautiful place we especially liked the views at Spider Rock lookout. From there we drove South to Petrified Forest NP and I fell in love. Petrified wood is a fossil and a lot of pieces show remarkably preserved details of the bark, wood, and cellular structures. These amazing fossils are formed when “plant material is buried by sediment and protected from decay due to oxygen and organisms. Then, groundwater rich in dissolved solids flows through the sediment, replacing the original plant material with silica, calcite, pyrite or another inorganic material such as opal.” It is these minerals that give petrified wood its stunning colors, the contrast of the oranges in the wood with the purples and greys of the landscape in the national park was very photogenic. The Large Logs/Agate House and Crystal Forest trails were our favourites, very scenic with lots of incredible logs.
We first visited Grand Canyon almost fifteen years ago and I have since been back but this was Joe’s first trip back since 2002. A lot has changed in the last fifteen years, the visitor center is completely different and several of the lookouts are more built up with railings and paved areas. It was nice to see that none of the changes have affected the stunning vistas and views. We have seen several canyons over the years and I can honestly say even on my third visit here that Grand Canyon still takes my breath away and that nothing else comes close to its’ magnificence. We stayed for several days exploring the whole rim from Hermits Rest out to Desert view/Watchtower. It is worth it to stop at each and every lookout, every view is slightly different.
Click here to view our January Flickr album.