Out for a walk beside the Ottawa River in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada!
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Heading to Nova Scotia around August 1st.

Monday, November 19, 2018

How does wood turn into rock?? And Sherman reaches a milestone!

Yesterday morning, we did a quick trip into Petrified Forest National Park. We actually didn't think there was going to be that much to see... but we were wrong! So it wasn't that quick of a trip. We ended up spending pretty much the entire morning there.

First stop was the visitors center at the south entrance to the park.

There, they explained how petrified wood becomes that way. And, they explained how the entire area used to be located where Costa Rica is right now! And the huge number of fossils that are found in the park.

Some of the pieces look like they were cut with a chainsaw. But they just break that way.

Petrified wood has many brilliant colors depending on the type of mineral that was absorbed.

Let me see if I can explain. As an example... millions of years ago, a tree falls down in an area where a river then floods. The tree gets covered with silt, so much that there is no more oxygen and the tree cannot naturally decompose. Over the course of hundreds of thousands of years, minerals in the water take the place of the cellular structure of the tree. Right to the microscopic level. Normally, the cell replacement is so detailed that you can see the rings of the tree, as well as any insects that may have been in the tree when it fell.

Essentially, petrified wood is simply one big fossil. 

Looks like wood... but it is solid rock!

Here's a log that has been naturally uncovered by erosion.
Where we are standing used to be a riverbed thousands of years ago.

Besides the petrified wood, there are a lot of interesting landscapes.

Pretty colorful stuff.

Scenery along the way.

A big old log.

At the Blue Mesa area.


The Blue Mesa area is popular because of the mineral sediment and the blueish colors that are layered.

They have a short 1 mile (1.6 km) paved walking trail through the hills.

The Blue Mesa Hills.

Ruth, and another big log.

Blue Mesa Hills.

But, we still needed to put on some miles!

We did a short drive and then stopped for lunch. And then, it was into New Mexico! This is the first time that Sherman has ever been to New Mexico! And, it marks the last of the United States that he needed to visit. The only one left is Hawaii, and we doubt that's going to happen! The only Canadian province left is Newfoundland, and we plan to do that next summer. Then, the only Canadian territory that he won't have visited will be Nunavut.

And, he has also been to all of Mexico's 31 states.

Glad everybody else likes the Interstate!

Entering New Mexico.

We stopped at Pie Town, New Mexico.

They have a free campground here!

Sherman, parked at GPS 34.297572, -108.130063

Nice quiet spot... except that Pie Town is located at 7,700 ft altitude... it was cold last night! Only 14F (-10C) with a clear night sky.

Yesterday's drive, 167 miles (267 kms).

All Pelican Cooler products are at least 30% off today only...

And in Canada...


  1. Congrats on achieving this milestone! Quite an accomplishment. Beautiful pictures, espacially the ones with Ruth in them! ;-)

    1. Thank you Peter, it took Sherman a while to reach this on last state that has eluded him for a few years now. And thank you for your lovely compliment about our pictures. :-)

  2. Not sure your planned route through NM (I'm presuming you're not going further north -if you are, Kasha-katuwe is amazing.) There are some lava fields over by Carizozo that looked interesting, see "valley of fires". I loved White Sands. 82 east of Alamogordo, and 244 north of Cloudcroft are gorgeous drives.

    1. No we are definitely not going further north, although we know that is a lot to see up there. We had already planned on stopping in the Valley of Fires Recreation Area but thank you for the heads up on it. We were in New Mexico back in 2013 but not with the motorhome only our Little Blue Car at the time and we visited a number of places in New Mexico then, one of them being White Sands National Monument and we really enjoyed our time there. Unfortunately we aren't taking that route we will be on the 380 to Roswell (which we will be stopping at for a quick visit) and then drop down to Carlsbad, where we will stop and visit the caverns.

  3. Nice that got to New Mexico we always enjoy it there, love the petrified forest , amazing ! We too have been to 48 of the states, and all the provinces except Newfoundland too. Hopefully some day soon.
    Keep on travelling safe and explore more wonderful site.

    1. We have been to New Mexico before but it was back in 2013 when we drove our Little Blue Car down because Sherman spent a few summers in Mexico so we need to make our way down to him and then back up to our campground job in Saskatchewan. So we have visited here before but this was Sherman's first time.

      Yes, the petrified wood is quite amazing, nature is always surprising us.

      It looks like you went to some of these northwestern states before you started blogging back in 2006, maybe it is time for you to go back to these states for another visit. :-)

  4. Congrats on another milestone in your adventures! We find a little water spray bottle really brings out the colors in the petrified wood. Safe Travels!

    1. Thank you Jeff!

      We thought the colours were amazing even without doing that, they must really be vivid when you spray them then!

  5. It's truly monumental how many states and provinces you two have visited! Too bad Hawaii and Nunavut are so hard to bag!

    1. Thanks Doug! Sherman is sure an amazing guy, but we know that he just isn't up for either of those places. Hopefully one day we ourselves will make it them though. :-)

  6. How do you keep the water in your lines and tanks from freezing when it is that cold?

    1. I used to be worried about that too, and it took us a long time to realize that there is a lot of heat in the motorhome itself when you're in it. And it takes more than just a few hours of that kind of cold to freeze things to the point where it's a problem. So, while it was that cold outside, it was still above freezing inside. And most of the water lines are located inside.

  7. If you're going by Valley of Fires, you'll be close to Bosque Del Apache,it's definitely worth the stop. There's a nice boondocking site close by right off Rt 25 too. Keep your eyes peeled, we rode by a oryx between Bosque Del Apache and Valley of Fires!

    1. Thanks Cheryl, but you're too late! Although, we did Valley of Fires this morning! Now in Carrizozo.


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