I'm not sure what the deal was - if we were just jaded after seeing so many national parks, or maybe our feelings were actually appropriate in response to this particular site - but when J and I got to the Petrified Forest National Park we only spent a few minutes extolling its virtues before we both admitted we didn't really have it in us to get all excited about petrified wood.
The thing is, it's not that we weren't impressed. In fact, before we went driving through the park we sat through a lecture given by one of the volunteers working at the park, mostly because she seemed really excited we were willing to listen, but also because we wanted to learn.
Maybe we were tired. Or, maybe petrified wood just isn't our thing. I mean, come on, it's petrified wood. Petrified. Wood. Wood turned to rock. I know this probably sounds really disappointing to people who are interested in fossils and other relics of ages past. I guess I'm just interested in stuff that's, you know, more alive.
Despite our less than enthusiastic response to the park (and because we wanted to make it to Santa Fe that afternoon) we didn't spend as much time running around exploring the petrified forest like we did in some of our other favorite places - Joshua Tree and the Redwood forest, for instance. We did stop at the designated pull-offs, however, and take some pictures, especially when we got to the part where we could see the Painted Desert.
I know how annoying this sounds. That we got to see yet another amazing natural wonder and we basically shrugged it off and got back on the road, but I figured I'd be honest with you guys and let you know that if you happen to have the opportunity to visit the Petrified Forest National Park OR get to Santa Fe a couple hours early and do some shopping, well, maybe you might want to choose the shopping. I'm just saying.