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Route 66 sign

The two RV Gypsies explored
three more sections
at Petrified Forest
National Park

September 4, 2012

Several Overlooks at the Petrified Forest National Park

At the Agate Bridge overlook, there is a petrified tree that originally lay flat on the ground until the arroyo which now runs beneath it was formed by erosion. The log bridge was shored up with the concrete support in 1911, perhaps preserving the bridge but adding nothing to the genuine nature of the feature.

sign about Agate Bridge

The photo below of Agate Bridge was taken by Karen Duquette in 1987.

1987 photo at Agate Bridge

Agate Bridge is a large fossil log that spans a small canyon in cross-bedded sandstone of Triassic age. The mesa capping sandstone layer that the petrified log is eroding from is called the Flattops.

Agate Bridge is a large fossil log
Agate Bridge is a large fossil log
Agate Bridge is a large fossil log
Agate Bridge is a large fossil log

NEWSPAPER ROCK

The great variety of petroglyphs on Newspaper Rock include anthropomorphs (human-like figures), zoomorphs (animal-like figures) katsinas (spiritual figures), hands and tracks, and geometrics. Below is a drawing of some of these petroglyphs. They are not easy to spot at Newspaper Rock however, so spotting scopes are provided to help them be seen.

drawing of some of these petroglyphs that may be seen at Newspaper Rock

Newspaper Rock: More than 650 images adorn the boulders in the Newspaper Rock overlook at the Petrified Forest. This is one of the largest concentrations of petroglyphs in the Petrified Forest National Park. People who farmed the Puerco River Valley 650 to 2,000 years ago pecked these petroglyphs onto the rocks, leaving a legacy etched in stone.

Petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock
Petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock
Petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock
Petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock
Petroglyphs at Newspaper Rock
plaque: National Register of Historic Places

The area shown below is near the Old Route 66. The line of the roadbed and the telephone poles mark the path of the famous Main Street of America as it passed through the Petrified Forest National Park. From Chicago to Los Angeles, this heavily traveled highway was not only a road, it stood as a symbol of opportunity, adventure, and exploration to travelers. The two RV Gypsies actually drove on part of the Old Route 66 during this RV trip.

map showing states that Route 66 goes through

Exhibit commemorating U.S. Route 66, a historic transcontinental highway that passed through the park

antique car
antique car
antique car
grill of antique car
sign: Prehistoric Homesteaders

Puerco Pueblo Trail - 0.35 miles

At its largest size around A.D. 1300, Puerco Pueblo may have been home to about 200 people within 100-125 rooms. The one-story high village of sandstone blocks was built around a rectangular plaza. Without doors or windows in the exterior walls of the pueblo, entry into the village was by ladders over the exterior wall and across the log, brush, and mud roofs of the room blocks.

drawing of prehistoric homesteaders
housing of prehistoric homesteaders

Rooms around the plaza were used for storage and as living quarters. Within the plaza, three underground, rectangular kivas have been identified. The unusual shape of the kivas indicates strong Mogollon influence from the south.

Puerco Pueblo
Puerco Pueblo

Petroglyphs (images carved into a rock surface) and pictographs (images painted onto a rock surface) left by the original inhabitants of Puerco Pueblo.

Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
Petroglyphs
look below