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Petrified Forest National Park, AZ

Petrified-Forest Petrified Forest National Park, AZ

We left Bluewater Lake State Park a couple days ago, but it wasn't without issues. Due to the rain, snow and freezing weather, we had some issues getting out:

  • I forgot to preheat the diesel engine, so it didn't want to start. It was in the mid 20's overnight.
  • Due to the cold and playing the radio all week, the motorhome starting battery was very low and went dead almost immediately. The trickle charger on the battery didn't do a good job.
  • The slideout toppers had 1/2" of ice on them and wouldn't properly retract fully.

I should have known better on all 3 issues. This isn't the first time we've camped in icy cold weather. Luckily, it wasn't anything we couldn't handle. I plugged back into electric and turned on the engine pre-heat. After waiting awhile, we jump started the motorhome. I then climbed up to the roof and broke up the ice and swept it off the toppers. After an hours delay, we were on the road again. However, a new small issue appeared.

The diesel engine is now giving warnings that the exhaust filter needs regeneration. Research shows this probably happened because we idled the motorhome for a long time. Normally, regeneration (cleaning of the exhaust filter) happens when driving. To fix this error, driving at normal speeds for 20+ minutes is supposed to clear it up. Well, a couple hours of driving and I still periodically get the exhaust filter error. If it doesn't clear up by itself, I'll have to take the rig into a Freightliner shop. But the motorhome drives normally, just with this annoying error every once and awhile.

Around 11:00am, we got on the road heading out of New Mexico. We stayed in New Mexico state parks for 47 days spending $413. Our average cost per night was $8.79, which included electricity. Our New Mexico Annual Camping Pass is still valid until the end of February 2020. If we were able to return to New Mexico this year, we'd save even more. But our plans don't have us coming back to New Mexico soon.

Petrified Log

​We didn't travel very far, going to the Petrified Forest National Park near Holbrook, Arizona. There's a couple gift shops on the southern end of the park that provides free overnight RV parking for up to 4 days. One of them has a few electric sites available for $10.65 a night. We were still worried about cold weather, so we sprung for an electric site.

We spent all day yesterday exploring and going on a few short hikes in the park. The Petrified Forest is actually a combination of 3 main attractions:

  1. Petrified Wood - Colorful specimens from small shards to massive trunks, are strewn across the landscape. Millions of years ago, trees and limbs were knocked down and carried downstream and buried by layers of sediment. The logs soaked up ground water and silica from volcanic ash and over time crystallized into quartz. Different minerals created the rainbow of colors.
  2. Fossils - This is one of the best places to see a fossil record from the Late Triassic Period. The remains of prehistoric forests is now full of petrified wood and thousands of plant and animal fossils.
  3. Ancient People - Remains of pueblos, petroglyphs, and other artifacts abound in the area. Around 1380, they started to move away. Over 1,000 archeological sites have been identified in this National Park.

Here's a slideshow of our visit to Petrified Forest National Park

Location (Map)

Petrified Forest National Park, AZ
1
Grand Falls, AZ
Playing Tourists in New Mexico, Part 5

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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

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