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Title: Petrified Forest National Monument, Arizona
Author: Smith, Dama Margaret
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                           _PETRIFIED FOREST
                      National Monument, Arizona_

                          Cover Illustration:
 _This is “Old Faithful”. Just at the top of the hill it lies in stark


                          DAMA MARGARET SMITH_

                             COPYRIGHT 1930

              Petrified Forest National Monument, Arizona

                        _By Dama Margaret Smith_

                          The Petrified Forest

In Arizona, that land of mystic beauties and many wonders, lies a great
tract of land that, once upon a time, was covered with waters of the
sea. How many centuries ago the ocean waves sparkled and rippled over
what is now the desert, no one can definitely say. But from the nature
of the stratum is which great logs are embedded, and the fossilized
reptiles found, it is known that they were entombed during the Triassic
age, many millions of years ago.

Petrified logs are found over a wide area, more than a hundred square
miles being covered with varying amounts of the “stone” trees. This
fossilized “forest” is greater in area, more highly colored, and
contains more petrified wood than any like deposit in the world.

Many visitors who have heard of the “forest” drive through miles of the
Reservation and ask at the Museum where they can find the Petrified
Forest. Inquiry discloses that they expected to find an area of standing
trees, trunks merely turned to stone, branches and all. Perhaps they
have seen one or more such trunks in Yellowstone National Park and think
to find hundreds of them here. Yet, when they learn the story of these
fallen monarchs, and catch a glimpse of the dazzling beauties of agate
and carnelian, jasper and onyx, no signs of disappointment are seen. Let
the visitor but leave his car to view the logs, and step by step he is
led on by here a gleaming fragment of carnelian, and there the soft
sheen of jasper and topaz. It is like the carpet of Fairyland.

These trees did not grow where they lie, or even within many miles of
where they are found. They were carried from a long distance to this
region by flood waters, and after whirling and drifting around in the
inland sea then covering the land, they became waterlogged and finally
sank to the bottom, where some eddy or whirlpool carried them. Here they
lay for countless centuries, slowly being covered by silt and sand,
while yet other logs came to rest above them. Thousands of years elapsed
during this drifting and sinking into oblivion under the ooze of this
Triassic Sea. And then came Old Ocean, later on in the Mesozoic Age
submerging the entire region and adding its weight to the terrific
pressure already brought to bear on the burial place of the giants. This
pressure packed the sands to stone, and compressed the clays to shale.
Already the logs were impregnated with a strong solution of silica, with
iron and manganese also present, and the pressure forced it into every
fiber. Atom by atom the cells of the wood were dissolved and replaced by
the silica, which hardened, taking the exact shape of the cell it
destroyed. While the logs were probably partly petrified before the
influx of the ocean waters, a great many show that enormous pressure was
brought to bear while they were yet flexible.

Some logs recently brought to light by the summer floods, are mashed
almost flat, cross sections measuring eighteen inches one way and more
than five feet the other.

    [Illustration: Courtesy National Park Service

            Cross section of log showing natural fracture.]

Nature did not slight details in this work of substitution. Even to the
most minute particular the structure of the wood was replaced by the
intruder. Under the microscope it is possible to identify the kind of
wood represented. Dr. F. H. Knowlton has classified the major portion of
these trees as belonging to a species of conebearing tree now extinct,
related to the Norfolk Island Pine.

The logs lay buried for numberless centuries, but natural forces were at
work bringing them to the surface again. During the Tertiary Period, a
slow upheaval brought the submerged area to light. On and upward it
rose, until it now lies more than a mile above the level of the ocean.
Freed of its Old Man of the Sea, warmed and comforted by Arizona’s
brilliant sun and searching wind, the region lay at rest.

Slowly the fingers of time, tipped with wind and rain, broke through the
heavier sandstone above, and tore away the softer layers of shale and
marl. Bit by bit, the covering was lifted from the buried logs, and one
by one, the gem-like wonders saw the light of day. And what a glorious
resurrection it was! As the support was plucked from about them, they
left their sleeping places in the sandstone and marl and rolled to the
levels below. Frost tore at their vitals; rain fell into the crevices
and freezing there, expanded, until many of the finer logs are now
merely heaps of gleaming jewels, opaline and rose, lavendar and mauve,
deepest brown and softest yellow, black and purple, blue and red. In
their range of color they leave the beauty lover breathless. And these
colors are permanent, too, having endured through the aeons.

    [Illustration: Courtesy Mrs. Adam Hanna

The most noted tree in the whole reservation. The Natural Bridge. About
 four feet in thickness this 111 foot log measures 44 feet between the
                         sides of the arroyo.]

                            How? When? Why?

“How did it happen?”

That is usually the first question asked of the rangers in the Petrified

In contact with eighty thousands or more tourists each year, there are
certain questions asked so many times that one learns what the average
person is most curious about in connection with these petrified trees.
Here are the most popular of these questions, together with the answers,
shorn of technical terms:

Why are none of the trees standing?

This is simply an exposed deposit of petrified logs that came here from
a distance, as driftwood.

How were they brought here?

Probably by rivers in flood periods. This region might have been the
mouth of a large river as is indicated by the crossbedded sandstone.

Why are they piled up in particular spots?

This was at one time an inland sea. The trees floated here, and were
swept by whirlpools or strong currents into eddys where they became
waterlogged and sank.

How long ago was that?

Men who have made a lifetime study of it, say it was from ten to forty
million years ago.

What became of the sea that was here?

Gradual upheaval of the country, aided by earthquakes and volcanic
action, raised this area and drained it. The Sierras were probably
brought to their present height during these disturbances.

What kind of trees are they?

Mostly an extinct species of cone bearing tree. (_Araucarioxylon

How big were these trees?

Some of them are now a hundred feet long, and six to eight feet in
diameter. The Natural Bridge is one hundred and eleven feet long. The
height of some of these trees while standing was doubtless two hundred
feet or more.

Why did they turn to rock?

They did not really turn to stone. Silica and minerals in solution were
forced into the wood, dissolved it, and replaced the wood cells with
their own substance.

How is it polished?

By a process of grinding with carborundum and diamond dust, then rubbed
with leather buffer. It approaches the diamond in hardness and an
ordinary emery wheel will scarcely mark it.

What is the weight of the petrified wood?

About 200 pounds to the cubic foot. It varies.

Why can’t visitors take specimens away with them?

First: Because it is against the United States Law. After that comes
consideration of future visitors to the Petrified Forest National
Monument. When one reflects that there are about eighty thousand
visitors here annually and that if each visitor took what pleased him,
it is an unrefutable fact the best specimens would speedily disappear. A
visitor would not be satisfied with one small piece. There would be the
home folks to consider; the neighbor that fed the left-at-home cat, and
the friend who loaned his kodak for the trip. These would all need
souvenirs. It would be difficult to choose among several beautiful
pieces and so a compromise would be made by taking all of them.

    [Illustration: Courtesy National Park Service

  They leave their sleeping places in the sides of the marl hills and
                         roll to levels below.]

What is a National Monument?

An area set aside by the President of the United States to preserve
regions of scientific, historic or prehistoric interest.

What is the area of the Petrified Forest National Monument?

25,908 acres.

Who has charge of it?

The National Park Service, one of the largest and the most important
bureaus of the Department of the Interior. A custodian and several Park
Rangers are the immediate representatives of the Government on the

    [Illustration: Courtesy National Park Service

As the soil slowly settles beneath these giants their weight dismembers
  them. In this way they were broken in the lengths we find them now.]

                     The Rainbow and Third Forests

The Rainbow Forest lies eighteen miles east of Holbrook on U. S. Highway
70, the Holbrook-Springerville Road, open and in splendid condition the
year around. This Rainbow Forest area contains a greater amount of
highly colored petrified wood, than any of the other “forests” included
in the Reservation.

The varied and decided coloring of the logs, many of which are broken
into minute chips, is so gorgeous that it has been given this name. The
outstanding features of the Rainbow Forest are the logs themselves,
which may be seen in all stages of preservation, some not entirely
uncovered, some lying on the sides of the marl hills waiting their time
to be let down by erosion, to the levels below, some almost at the top
of the sandstone cap, and others in fragments at the bottoms of ravines;
the Government Museum, which is free to the public, located half a mile
from the highway. In this building the Government has collected
outstanding specimens of wood from all sections of the Reservation.
These representative specimens, both polished and unpolished form an
interesting exhibit. Here too, are Indian relics found in the
prehistoric ruins scattered throughout the area. Many of the sections of
wood here surpass the very finest Italian marble both in coloring and
composition. One huge section of a log, weighing a ton, holds all the
colors of the rainbow and the intermediate tints. One may trace woodland
scenes, Japanese landscapes, city skylines, outlines of animals and
trees in the polished surface of this tree. This specimen was shipped to
Denver and polished there, and required many days of grinding with
carborundum and diamond dust. No visitor fails to admire it. Another
exhibit which evokes admiration is a globe about eight inches in
diameter, which was turned and polished in Germany. It was originally a
big knot or burl and shows swirls of color like a child’s agate marble.

    [Illustration: Courtesy National Park Service

 Showing work of erosion. This log is becoming slowly undermined by the
                      action of the small stream.]

In this Museum are fragments of wood bearing at their clusters of topaz
crystals, black crystals and beautiful purple amethysts. Various
explanations have been advanced as to why these gemlike formations are
found in the wood. One authority says cavities in the logs caused by
decay, are filled by mineral crystals, there being no wood fiber to
absorb. Other geologists offer the theory that the resin and sap forced
to the center formed into tangible shape by being crystalized. Be that
as it may, the semi-precious stones were very much sought after, and a
great jewelry concern in the East had a crew of men working in these
“forests” blasting the precious work of nature to pieces in search of
the jewels.

Of course this vandalism ceased abruptly when in 1906 President
Roosevelt issued the proclamation which made this Reservation a National

In the Museum is a register, in which all visitors are expected to sign
their names. In this book are found names from practically every
civilized nation in the world.

In this Rainbow Forest is found one of the best preserved trees with the
stump, that has been discovered. It is to the Petrified Forest what the
Old Faithful Geyser is to Yellowstone Park. It is the tourists’ friend.
This log is the favorite picture place in the entire Reservation. Here
parties stop their car and visit the fallen monarch. Almost any hour of
the day in pleasant weather, one can see little children playing on this
big log. Here they lunch and rest, and here they pose for their
photographs. The old fellow must have many happy memories collected
through the ages. It lies in the sunlight at the brow of the hill, as
one drops down to the Museum. Most probably before this log was broken
into sections, it measured well over two hundred feet. It is now about
fifty feet long, and at its thickest portion, measures six feet through.
The great stump still remains as it was when some terrific storm,
millions of years ago, uprooted it in its native forest. We call it “Old

A mile or two east of the Museum is the Third Forest. Here is a tangible
sign that our far-removed forefathers admired the utility of the
petrified wood, if they did not appreciate its beauty.

The ruins of quite a castle stand on the crest of a hill overlooking the
plains, and one can almost visualize the first dwellers in this mystic
land. See them laboriously carrying the heavy blocks of petrified wood
to the top of the hill where they are laid out in orderly rows to form
rooms. In the meantime, a close watch is kept that neither animal nor
human enemy may creep up unheeded. The walls have fallen during the
passage of time, but each foundation can be traced. Shards of broken
pottery in great amounts lie at the base of the hill. We wonder if some
angry housewife fired it out at her better half as he stumbled home from
a prehistoric lodge room too late to please her?

Here, too, are found the workshops of arrowmakers. Chips, flaked thin as
wafers, lie like bits of rainbows about the place, and show that they
were broken from larger pieces by human agencies. This, we think, was
done by heating the rock wood to a high temperature and then touching,
lightly, the spot to be chipped with a feather dipped in water.

                           The Second Forest

Leaving the Headquarters area, where the Museum is located, the visitor
drives over a winding road, beautiful in its arid desert beauty, six or
seven miles to reach the Second Forest. Were it my privilege to name
this lovely section I should call it “The Coral Garden”. In this
“forest” are many logs encrusted with coral formation. Some of them have
broken apart and even the interiors are mossed with the coral, soft rose
in color. The ground is covered with tiny round stones, coral colored.
Here many logs are filled with crystals and the range of coloring found
in the chips strewn over the landscape is marvelous. Many pebbles bear
the impression of seashells, and deep in the heart of a section of
petrified log was found a fossilized mussel.

    [Illustration: Courtesy National Park Service

 At one place in the First Forest a slender column of rock rises to the
        height of thirty or forty feet. This is the Eagle Rock.]

There is little of the sandstone cap in this area, and the logs lie in
the blue-gray marl formation. Here we find larger trees in greater
masses than elsewhere. Many of the trees lie piled on top of others in
the coulees and small arroyos, carved out by wind and rain, during the
centuries since these logs first settled there. One big tree, near the
road, is mashed flat its entire length of perhaps ninety feet. Evidences
of bark are plain on this particular log, and where the limbs were torn
off, the grain of the wood is quite discernible. One could spend hours
in this area, spellbound with the beautiful sight.

                           The Natural Bridge

About eight miles from Headquarters, and three miles from the Second
Forest, is the most noted tree in the Monument, the Natural Bridge. This
sleeping giant lies where it was abandoned as a plaything by the waters
that carried it here. Each end is firmly embedded in the sandstone rock,
which was formerly the sand at the bottom of the sea. In the process of
erosion, which finally carried away all of the material above this log,
it ultimately came to lie on the surface of the ground. As the land
rises somewhat to the south of it, water gathered there with the big log
forming a natural dam. This water tended to soften the sandstone, and
after a period of time it forced its way through under the log. Soon
this became a free passage for the water, and resulted in the formation
of the gorge which the prostrate trunk spans today.

The Natural Bridge log is about four feet in thickness at the largest
point in sight. Part of the log is still encrusted with the sandstone
which wrapped it about, before wind and rain unshrouded it. The canyon
is twenty-five feet deep, and this one hundred and eleven foot log
measures forty-four feet between the points at which it rests on the
sides of the arroyo.

From the canyon beneath it, cedar, juniper and cottonwood trees have
sprung to life and grown up to furnish shade for this comrade of another
Age. They must seem mere upstarts to this old veteran!

A hundred yards or so to the east, down over the rim of the mesa, is
another freak of erosion, called the Pedestal Log. It is a large
section, resting upon a support of sandstone, ten or fifteen feet above
the level of the surrounding plain. It forms a protective cap which has
kept the softer material immediately under it from washing away.

                            The First Forest

Here, again, were I choosing a suitable name for this portion of the
Reservation I should not hesitate to call it “The Vandal’s Paradise”. It
has been badly denuded of its finest specimens, and the big trees
demolished by vandals. Here the despoiler has had full sway. Great trees
are blown to atoms by searchers for the semi-precious jewels. Choice
specimens have been hauled away by the carload. There was no law, other
than one’s own individual decency to protect these jeweled timbers lying
near Adamana, which for years was the nearest railroad station and the
only entrance to the Reservation. This “forest” is located five miles
south of Adamana, and is about half a mile from the Natural Bridge. It
is composed of trees, which are geologically speaking, “all out of
place”. That means they have all, by the work of erosion, been let down
from higher levels. They are badly shattered, but, nevertheless
beautiful, on account of the vivid coloring found in the fragments.
Another feature of this area is the carving of the rocks into beautiful
and fantastic shapes by the elements. At one place a slender column of
sandstone rises to the height of twenty-five or thirty feet, and
broadens at the top into a platform perhaps ten feet across. Here, for
years, an eagle has nested, and the rock bears the official name of
“Eagle Rock.” Quite close to this rock is the “Snow Lady”, a statuesque
pillar against the background of an imposing cliff.

After an extended visit in 1889, Prof. Lester F. Ward, an eminent
paleobotanist, on the staff of the United States Geological Survey,
recommended that this area be made a National Park, or Reservation, in
order to preserve it from destruction and oblivion. Local leaders
brought pressure to bear upon their representatives in Washington, and
at least one of Holbrook’s leading men, Mr. W. H. Clark, made a trip to
Washington in the interest of preserving the Petrified Forest. He saw
President Roosevelt in person and for half an hour talked with him
concerning the reasons no action had been taken by Congress to protect
the Forest. He left with the President’s assurance that something would
be done. This something was a proclamation by President Roosevelt on
December 8, 1906, declaring the area to be a National Monument.

                          Prehistoric Dwellers

Throughout Arizona can be found traces of a vanished people. In and
around the Petrified Forest, prehistoric dwellings and “picture
writings” are plentiful, and of great antiquity and high development.
Probably nowhere have such pictographs been so well preserved. The soft
smooth sandstone was an ideal surface for the artist to work upon, and
nowhere in the world, in that age, could such suitable tools be found to
work with. Here at hand were sharp pointed chisels already prepared by
the fracturing of wood. These chisels were hard enough to cut glass.
Rounded pieces of the same material made excellent mallets. Hundreds of
these have been found in the Reservation. With these rude instruments,
this unknown people left for us a record of their existence graven deep
in the sandstone in sheltered places. These pictures today are a lasting
monument to the race that roamed this region in the gone-by centuries.

These sketches depict different kinds of animals, such as antelope and
mountain sheep, snakes and turtles. They are grotesque and out of
proportion, but doubtless they represent, for the most part, animals
that formerly roamed the western plains. Some pictures, however,
represent animals that could never have been seen on land and sea, and
existed only in the fevered imagination of the artist. Perhaps there
were futurist artists even among those primitive men.

In one scene a herd of deer cross a plain. Near that a stork stands on
attenuated legs and dangles what appears to be a baby in its bill. This
is doubtless the earliest picturization of a stork’s visit. In another
place a long line of human figures clasp their hands and drag one
another up a steep incline. In the heart of the Reservation lies a mesa
almost entirely surrounded by a steep cliff that has broken and fallen
in ruins. On the huge boulders that have rolled to the desert below,
there are pages and pages of history could one but read what is so
plainly written. One figure stands alone disconsolately weeping. Quite
monstrous tears are falling from his eyes, and just beneath his weeping
figure a six inch bowl was found. Although broken in half by the passage
of time with its destructive elements the piece of pottery, at least two
thousand years old, was carefully restored and has an honored place in
the Government Museum.

    [Illustration: Courtesy C. J. Smith

 Graven deep into the stone in sheltered places thousands of years ago,
  these pictures are a lasting monument to the people who roamed this
                   region in the gone-by centuries.]

On almost every mesa are the remains of ancient dwellings. There are
arrowmaker’s chips and fragments of pottery, and crude colored beads
that may have delighted some wee maiden with their brilliance. The
pottery shows two distinct varieties, the finger-nail decorations
covering the blackened bowls which seem to have served as cooking
utensils, and the finer pottery, on which the black and white tracings
are as startlingly vivid today, as they were so many, many centuries ago
when they were drawn by the day-dreaming housewife as she sat in the sun
and painted the fanciful designs.


By virtue of the Gadsden Purchase, at the close of the Mexican War, what
is now Arizona came into possession of the United States. At this date,
1848, there was no record of the Petrified Forest ever having been seen
by white men. In 1853 Lieut. Whipple, engaged in surveying a railroad
route to the Pacific, discovered the deposits lying to the north of the
present Reservation. He did not, however, discover the deposits of
petrified wood south of Adamana, and there is no definite record of just
when, and by whom, these “forests” were first seen. John Muir claims to
have discovered the Blue Forest.

An Indian legend tells that one of their Goddesses wandered into the
place which is now the Petrified Forest. She was hungry, cold and
exhausted. When she saw the hundreds of logs lying around she was
delighted and managed to kill a rabbit with a club, expecting to have a
delicious supper. When she attempted to kindle a fire to cook her kill,
the logs were wet and would not burn. In anger and her disappointment,
she cursed the spot and turned the logs into stone that they might never

As travel became more plentiful over the Santa Fe Railroad and across
country, great amounts of the fossilized wood were carried away or
destroyed, and the people of the Territory became alarmed about their
unprotected treasure. In 1895 the assembly sent this Memorial to

                           House Memorial No. 4


We, your memorialists, the eighteenth legislative assembly of Arizona,
beg leave to represent to your honorable bodies:

FIRST: That there is in the northern part of this Territory, lying
within the borders of Apache County, near the Town of Holbrook, a
wonderful deposit of petrified wood commonly called the “Petrified
Forest” or “Chalcedony Park”. This deposit, or forest, is unequalled for
its extent, the size of the trees and the beauty and great variety of
coloring found in the logs.

The country ten miles square is covered by the trunks of trees, some of
which measure over two hundred feet in length and from seven to ten feet
in diameter.

Ruthless curiosity seekers are destroying these huge trees and logs by
blasting them in pieces in search of crystals, which are found in the
center of many of them, while carloads of the limbs and smaller pieces
are being shipped away to be ground up for various purposes.

SECOND: Believing that this wonderful deposit should be kept inviolate,
that future generations may enjoy its beauties and study one of the most
curious and interesting effects of nature’s forces,

We, your memorialists, most respectfully request that the Commissioner
of the General Land Office be directed to withdraw from entry all public
lands covered by this forest until a Commission, or officer appointed by
your honorable body, may investigate and report to you upon the
advisability of taking this forest under the charge of the General
Government and making a National Park or Reservation of it. * * *

                                                J. H. Carpenter, SPEAKER
                                                  A. J. Doran, PRESIDENT

Filed in the office of the Secretary of the Territory of Arizona this
11th day of February A. D. 1895, at 11 a. m.

This appeal was effective and Congress appointed Prof. Lester F. Ward to
visit the Petrified Forest and make a report. The report was favorable
to preservation, and acting with his usual promptness, President
Theodore Roosevelt issued the proclamation which created the Petrified
Forest National Monument.

    [Illustration: Photo by C. J. Smith

  The surrounding country has washed away in the passing of years and
leaves this mammoth cross section thirty feet or more above the plain.]

This proclamation, in part, follows:


  WHEREAS, it is provided by section two of the Act of Congress,
  approved June 8, 1906, entitled, “AN ACT FOR THE PRESERVATION OF

  And, whereas the mineralized remains of Mesozoic forests, commonly
  known as the “Petrified Forest”, in the Territory of Arizona, situated
  upon the public lands owned and controlled by the United States, are
  of the greatest scientific interest and value, and it appears that the
  public good would be promoted by reserving these deposits of
  fossilized wood as a national monument with as much land as may seem
  necessary for the proper protection thereof;

  Now, therefore, I, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the United States
  of America, by virtue of the power in me vested by section two of the
  aforesaid Act of Congress, do hereby set aside as the Petrified Forest
  National Monument * * *

  Warning is hereby expressly given to all unauthorized persons not to
  appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any of the mineralized
  forest remains hereby declared to be a National Monument or to locate
  or settle upon any of the lands reserved and made a part of said
  Monument by this proclamation.

  In witness whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of
  the United States to be affixed.

  Done at the city of Washington, this 8th day of December, in the year
  of our Lord one thousand nine hundred and six and the Independence of
  the United States the one hundred and thirty-first.

                                                     THEODORE ROOSEVELT.

In 1911, President Taft made a new proclamation reducing the extent of
the Petrified Forest National Monument to its present size of 25,908

                            The Blue Forest

While the Blue Forest was included in the National Monument originally
it is now several miles outside the present boundary. It is from this
section that much of the wood used commercially is obtained. Many find
this weird formation the most interesting spot in the entire country.
Miles and more miles of blue-gray mounds, varying in size, formed of the
crumbling marl have been beaten and blown into a semblance of numberless
haystacks. It is arduous climbing to reach the top of this Blue Forest,
but the view obtained is well worth the skinned knees and twisted ankles
produced by rolling shale. From the highest elevation there is a view
that beggars description. One cannot put into words his feeling of
desolation, of helplessness, that comes in looking over the formation.
Vanishing in the distance the mounds lie in rows that grow gradually
smaller and smaller until they melt into the level landscape below. On
the tops of these cold, blue mounds great trees lie prone, many of them
shattered and cascading their jeweled hearts down the slope....

Here great piles of splintered, colorless wood are found, looking as if
the chopper had just left the scene of his labors, the chips of his
day’s work lying scattered about. Again, a big tree broken open by the
frost, or other agencies, discloses a lining of gleaming crystals,
glittering and sparkling in the Arizona sun. Here the great dinosaur
lived and died, and from his tomb fossil bones have been carried to
universities far and wide. Here the phytosaurus and the stegosaurus
breathed their last, and from here was taken the wicked looking upper
jaw of a phytosaurus which had weathered the ravages of time and
elements. This lies in a glass case in the store at Headquarters, where
all may see it and be thankful such creatures roam this region no

Here, the rattlesnake lies coiled in the shade of the sombre hued cones,
and scarcely troubles to sound his warning when visitors intrude.
Overhead a tireless buzzard hangs suspended. No other signs of life are
seen in this dead gray waste, the burial plot of the Dark Ages.

                           The Painted Desert

Many of the Petrified Forest visitors are intensely interested in the
Painted Desert, lying only a few miles from Adamana. On U. S. Highway
66, six miles from the Rio Puerco, one comes to a sign: “Painted Desert
Inn”. A mile from the highway this inn is stationed. But before reaching
the building, an abrupt climb brings one to the top of the mesa, and
spread out before the eyes is the world’s most magnificent palette, with
the colors ready mixed,—The Painted Desert. It is a breath-taking vision
that bursts on one’s sight, this “El Pintado Desierto” that Coronado
stumbled upon and named in 1540. As far as one can see colors mingle and
glow. From the most delicate lavendar to the deepest purple, from palest
pink to flaming red, greens, browns, chocolate and blues, all the colors
are here. This desert does not lie in level sandy stretches, but is
formed of mounds and hills, and varying sizes of “haystacks”.

With each hour, as the light changes in the sky, so change the colors of
this wonderland. It is truly the foot of the rainbow. Walk down the
trail and there is the bewildered feeling that one has strayed into an
immense paint factory which has just been badly wrecked! The sand
underfoot is light, almost like burnt earth, but the colors are there,
mixed by the Super Artist.

This Painted Desert is a fitting frame for the Petrified Forest.

                   How To Reach The Petrified Forest

The Petrified Forest is one of the most popular and accessible units of
the National Park Service, open every day in the year. Westbound
tourists traveling by automobile may choose between two great
continental highways that will lead directly to the “Forest”.

U. S. Highway No. 66 passes on the north and tourists may enter the
Forest either from Adamana or Holbrook. This highway brings the traveler
by the famous Painted Desert.

U. S. Highway No. 70 on the Carlsbad-Petrified Forest-Grand Canyon
Route, winds through the foothills of the White Mountains by way of
Springerville, and passes through one of the most interesting sections
of the Petrified Forest.

Eastbound tourists enter the Forest from Holbrook where Highways No. 66
and 70 meet.

The Santa Fe railroad, carrying The Chief, The Navajo, The California
Limited and the Grand Canyon Limited runs through Holbrook and Winslow.
Either east or west bound travelers on any of these trains may obtain a
twenty-four hour stopover. “La Posada” at Winslow combines all the
romance and fascination of the old Spanish regime with the most modern
conveniences for the comfort of those wishing to make it their home
while visiting surrounding attractions. From this hotel, the well known
Harveycar Motor Coaches, each with its charming girl courier, conveys
guests to the Petrified Forest.

For those wishing to visit the Forest and resume their journey the same
day, arrangements have been made to meet eastbound Navajo No. 2, at
Winslow, take the guest to “La Posada” for breakfast, drive from there
to the Petrified Forest, where the most interesting points, including
the Museum, are visited, and then rejoin the train at Holbrook. The
program is reversed with west bound tourists on Navajo No. 9. The
coaches meeting the train at Holbrook make the “Petrified Forest Detour”
and drive to Winslow for luncheon at the hotel, resuming train travel
there. This trip affords a convenient and inexpensive means of seeing
the “Forest” and is a pleasant interruption of a long train journey. Any
tourist agency or Santa Fe ticket office can furnish additional

Rainbow Lodge, near the Museum at Headquarters of Petrified Forest, is
prepared to accommodate overnight visitors. New rock cabins and food
supplies are available.

A public camp ground is provided by the Government.

    [Illustration: View of the Painted Desert, near Holbrook.]

                             PRICE 25 CENTS
                  _Postpaid Anywhere in United States_

                          DAMA MARGARET SMITH
                           Holbrook, Arizona

                                PRESS OF
                           WINSLOW DAILY MAIL
                            WINSLOW, ARIZONA

                          Transcriber’s Notes

—Retained publication information from the printed edition: this eBook
  is public-domain in the country of publication.

—Silently corrected a few palpable typos.

—In the text versions only, text in italics is delimited by

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