Sleeping Rainbows


20160408_162446_resizedYesterday was a really special day of exploring the Petrified Forest Trail, but my favorite was the Trail of Sleeping Rainbows, which is an extension loop to the first trail. You must do this extra loop if you visit, as this is where you’ll find the most concentration of these rainbow beauties greeting and guiding you along the way.

It was like walking on the rainbow wood road…instead of the yellow brick road.

20160408_161611_resized

There were incredible specimens of stunning petrified wood everywhere – 5 1/2 million tons of fossilized wood to be near exact.

They are over 135 million years old – that’s pretty ancient. 😉

20160408_154459_resized20160408_154639_resized20160408_155811_resizedThe trail is lovely taking you first through an area of balanced rocks, desert varnish rocks, Roundleaf Buffalo Berry shrubs, beautiful multi-colored lichen on rocks (blues, yellows, greens..), a pygmy forest, views of the town of Escalante and Wide Hollow Reservoir, black volcanic boulders and of course tons of beautiful and ancient petrified wood.

20160408_155411_resized20160408_164735_resized

One of the nature trail markers speaks of the “Land of Imagination” when you come to the largest single deposit of petrified wood along the trail.

20160408_155750_resized20160408_160305_resized

The guide pamphlet says:

“Imagine yourself in a large low floodplain similar to the Mississippi Delta area but with less foliage. To the northwest you could see towering volcanoes such as Mount St. Helens. To the east would be a large mountain range similar to the Sierra Nevada. It is the ancestral Rockies. You would be surrounded by large conifer trees, some more than 200 feet high. Nearby would be cycads, the ancestors of palm trees and some ferns. One hundred fifty million years ago this region was near the equator, but our continent has since drifted north.”

And of course dinosaurs would have been roaming the land.

Simply amazing to be in these ancient areas and to see the petrified wood of the towering trees that once stood here. You can tell they were huge by the size of the stumps, trunks, and branches remaining…like nothing that exists in this area now.

20160408_163200_resized

I’d never seen petrified wood like this before with so much brilliancy in color. It was truly stunning and mystical.

At the end of the trail you come to “one of the most remarkable petrified wood specimens in the park.” It shows “the subtle color changes from the outside rings to the center, which only a few petrified wood specimens in this formation are sufficiently preserved to be recognized.”

20160408_165205_resized20160408_165221_resized

So just how does the petrified wood form?

20160408_160050_resized

Here is a brief explanation of the evolution of petrified wood that Scott, the Escalante Rock Shop guy provided me with my beautiful little specimen:

“Over 135 million years ago, the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument was closer to the equator and tropical. Dinosaurs roamed the area and the plant life mostly consisted of cycads, ferns, and conifers. The earth was geologically unstable. Floods and erosion would uproot trees and plants depositing them in flood plains and along sand bars. Later, volcanic ash covered the area.

In order for the trees to petrify, they had to be buried quickly with mud and silt to eliminate oxygen, which would cause them to deteriorate. Ground water rich in silicon dioxide and other chemicals would saturate the buried trees. The reds, browns, and yellows result primarily from compounds of iron, while manganese and other minerals account for the purples and dark blues.

Through a mineralization process on the cellular level, and by silicon dioxide acting as a cementing agent, the wood became petrified. This process takes millions of years!

This area lies within the Colorado Plateau, which has been uplifting for about 40 million years. These upheavals of the earth’s crust break the logs into irregular sections and exposes them to the forces of erosion. After being exposed the logs are further cracked and broken by the effects of freezing and thawing water that seeps into the cracks.”

20160408_163222_resized20160408_160338_resized

I fell in love with all of these ancient spirits and was just in awe of the amazing colors and energy, as I stroked my hand over their surfaces.

20160408_160938_resized20160408_160946_resized20160408_161008_resized20160408_161014_resizedWe had gotten our first rain just about an hour before we headed out on this hike, which made the trail perfect, as there was just enough water that didn’t make it challenging to do the hike, but drenched the petrified wood bringing out the colors with wonderful vibrancy.

20160408_160356_resized20160408_160406_resized20160408_161232_resized20160408_161633_resized20160408_161917_resized20160408_162812_resized

It sprinkled on and off while we hiked the rainbow wonderland and we were even greeted by a group of deer that surprised us, just as we had turned onto the Trail of Sleeping Rainbows….coincidence?

These deer frolicked right across our path and around us….I was so taken by their graceful leaps and could see why flying reindeer are part of Santa’s story as we know it. They literally looked like they were flying, as they barely touched the ground with each leap and then floated along their way.

20160408_160436_resized

It all happened too fast to capture any photos or video, so I just took it all in and took a few photos of a couple of them peeking back from in the distance after they flew through.

20160408_160515_resized20160408_160502_resized

I so loved it.

And here and there you’d see piles of the petrified wood placed like cairns along the way from other hikers over time.

20160408_160731_resized20160408_160744_resized20160408_160800_resized20160408_161717_resized

And upon completing the magickal trail, we headed to the Escalante Rock Shop, just below the park where I ended up finding the perfect small piece I was hoping to find.

20160408_161001_resized20160408_161040_resized20160408_161243_resized

I kept telling Dave that I wanted a rainbow piece of petrified wood to bring home and that is exactly what I discovered at the shop….and it was the only rainbow piece there, as the others were mono-colored mostly or had a couple of colors at most, or more in the browns.

Mine is delicately shaped like a long fern leaf, which I love too.

We only had five minutes to explore, as we needed to get back for Dave’s work, but it only took me about two minutes to survey everything and this piece was literally one of the first I saw.

We went to go pay for it and the guy gifted it to me for $1 because we didn’t have the right change.

We pulled out a twenty and a one, and because he had no change on hand, he said, “it’s your lucky day…just give me the one dollar bill and we’re good.”

That was very sweet of him and I was feeling the faeries and ancient ones shining upon me.

However, Dave found change in the car after we got back to it and before we drove away, he decided to bring it to him just because and to make sure of clearing any potential karma.

20160408_161404_resized20160408_161945_resized

There are stories about the petrified wood here.

You are not allowed to collect or take any specimens from the trail. You can only purchase what is offered from the rock guy that he purchases through the park. Anasazi and Fremont Indians gathered petrified wood here to use for tools.

20160408_162002_resized

Some believe in an ancient curse on the area and whether this is true, or the power of guilt and belief have made it so, about a dozen times a year the park receives letters apologizing for taking the petrified wood and in the envelope is the returned piece, asking that their wrongs be made right, as they’ve had nothing but bad luck since taking it.

20160408_164438_resized

I took tons of photos of this amazing ancient garden of imagination…a place the dinosaurs once roamed, feeling the perfect piece would be at the rock shop and that knowing was actualized.

20160408_164451_resized

About Tania Marie's Blog

Tania Marie is an international Reiki Master Teacher, Intuitive Energy Guide, Sound Channeler, Visionary Artist, and Author. With over 25 years’ experience in healing arts and metaphysical studies, Tania inspires people globally to embody their essence, access creative empowerment, expand into more conscious awareness, and to harness their magick and imagination to create alchemy for living in harmony.

Posted on April 9, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

    Wow! Magnificent!! I have been to Petrified National Park, but only from the I 40 side. Did you go into another entrance? I have never seen the kind of brilliance you photographed! Maybe I didn’t walk the right trail! These colors are exquisite! Great shots!

    • you may have gone to the one in arizona? we were in escalante and it is off the 12. don’t know of any other way in but the one way to that one.

      • Walking My Path: Mindful Wanderings in Nature

        Oh, I guess it is a completely different Park. I didn’t know about that one. Yeah, the one I went to was in AZ. Love love love your pictures and adventures!

      • i had a feeling after i was talking to dave about it, as he’s been to the one in arizona and said it was near the 40. i’ve never been to that one…just this one in escalante. happy to share the beauty with you ❤ !

  2. gorgeous 😉

  3. Oh how gorgeous. Was “spotting” so many dragons and fairies in the photos that it was overwhelming! What a treat!

  4. Every photo was met with a “wow!” or a “That is something else!” but do you see the greenish wolf or big cat lounging or sleeping, spread out over the top of the big rock that looks about to tip over? Third photo in the entire series.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: