Once in Arizona we were ready to see some sights! We left Albuquerque early so we would have a couple of hours to devote to the Petrified Forest and Painted Desert while still arriving at our campground before dark. I had stopped there briefly once before and was looking forward to seeing it again. Although we started out early it was midday before we had our first glimpse of the Painted Desert. The colors are not at their best under the blazing noon sun, but I thought it was still beautiful.
In addition the the colorful formations, there were some ruins and interesting petroglyphs to see. While we drove around to various viewpoints we enjoyed our leftovers from the previous day's lunch at the Big Texan. Shana shared her sandwich with one of the local Ravens.
The Petrified Forest was a treat. Not only were the logs beautiful and interesting, but we were lucky enough to see a few pronghorn antelope. I knew they lived there, but they are generally pretty shy and often you don't get a glimpse. They are also the fastest land animal in the New World, so if they don't like the look of you they can get out of view in a hurry. We lingered in that area for a while - there's a nice trail that winds around and lets you get a good look around. We left in the nick of time - we barely got the tent up before dark - in fact I finished staking out the fly in the dark. It was a long day, and we were glad to be settling down.