Team Ten

Jennifer and Lawrence's Site

Contact Us

Road Trip

Day 5

Lawrence Kesteloot (Sunday, January 14, 2001)

We woke up in our wigwam. While we were packing up the car, a random Indian guy walked into our room (!) and tried to sell us a $200 bracelet. It was a little alarming, but he left as soon as we declined the bracelet.

We left and headed straight for the Petrified Forest National Park and Painted Desert loop. (Our National Parks Pass came in handy again!) Our first stop in the park was the Rainbow Forest, which has the most colorful set of logs. 250 million years ago logs floated to the area, were covered with mud, and silica in water enfused the wood, replacing it with rock. Iron and other minerals give them color. The result is something which used to be a tree, and looks incredibly lifelike, but is made of colored quartz. It was beautiful.

There are heavy fines for collecting any of the petrified wood in the park. The visitors' center had a display case devoted to letters from people who had mailed back pieces of wood in guilty conscience. However, private land owners in the area can do whatever they want with the petrified wood on their land. As we were leaving the park, we stopped at a gas station and bought a nice piece from a private dealer.

The loop took us past the painted desert. I'm not sure what we were expecting, but the primary "paint" color is red. It's a much redder version of the surrounding Arizona landscape.

We drove on to Albuquerque, about 200 miles away. On the way we passed the Continental Divide, the north-south line across North America that divides Pacific-bound and Atlantic-bound rainfall. We also passed funny road signs and great mountain scenery. We took a left at Albuquerque and headed North to Santa Fe.

We had a great first impression of Santa fe and would definitely like to spend more time there. Most of the buildings are old adobe-style, and the downtown area is quite touristy but still charming. St. Francis Cathedral is just off the main plaza. It's named after the patron saint of birds, animals, and Santa Fe. After two days in the desert, we were not expecting so many nice trees to be in the city. We had a wonderful dinner at Gardunio's, a local Mexican restaurant.

After dinner we left for Taos where our friend Matt Newsum lives and where the Laughing Horse Inn awaited us. More on that tomorrow.

Painted desert.jpg Santa Fe (2).jpg Gusty winds.jpg Santa Fe and Venus.jpg Continental divide sign.jpg
Petrified stump.jpg Sunset tree.jpg Mountain with clouds.jpg Petrified log closeup.jpg Jennifer and St Francis Cathedral.jpg


Team Ten © 2001-2004