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Petrified Forest

Friends, on our recent trip to the badlands, we were fortunate to find one whole day when rain and thunderstorms were not in the forecast.  The walk into the Petrified Forest is only 1.5 miles but the terrain is very rugged and for me it was challenging.  We spent about five hours in the sun and wind, hiking in and exploring the ancient ruins (trees). These trees were a tropical redwood and are 65 million years old.  Younger than the dinosaurs but older than the mammals.  The top stump is about six feet tall and sits high on a mud pedestal that will eventually erode away and dump the stump  🙂 into the valley below.  The bottom image shows a stump that is about six feet in diameter.  til Tomorrow MJ

Stone Tree Stump

Friends, While this tree stump looks like wood, it has turned to stone.  Petrified tree stumps are found all over the badlands, and you would swear that they are made of wood.  The preservation of tree structure is so realistic, you can see worm holes and cell structures. These trees were redwoods and a forest of stumps is present in the western side of Theodore Roosevelt National Park.  The park roads do not pass close to this forest, but it is only a two mile hike across the flats to access a land of stumps still being eroded from the clay slopes.  Like bleached bones, their white is a stark contrast to the dark green of  living cedar trees. In the early days, stumps ten feet in diameter and 80 foot logs were found, a remnant of a tropical past. til Tomorrow MJ

 

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