A Year in the Life of a Czech Plush Monkey.
Week 24:  June 27 - 3 July 2004
Beautiful Valley, petrified forest, & Nazlini

Sunday, 27th
Beautiful Valley Vista Buena
(looking toward the petrified forest outside Nazlini)








The white specks in the middle are "painted desert" formations. The mountains in the distance are nearly 100 miles away. Monkey is a fan of vast vistas. That's why he asked to have his picture taken sitting over the horizon. Some day he also hopes to fly over the rainbow. My oh my you know he'll try.

Moonscape "badlands"

Monday, 28th

Moonscape / Badlands / Painted Desert

This land contains 225,000,000 year old wood fossils. Yup, petrified wood is a Triassic Period fossil. This is the same Chinle Formation seen at Painted Desert / Petrified Forest National Park about 100 miles south.

Chinle, AZ is north 30 miles... by dirt road this good or badder. Well, it is a badlands after all.

Astride petrified tree log

Rock-ridin' Logger

Talk about hardwood! This is a real-4-real tree log turned to stone and Monkey found it! It might weigh a thousand times as much as Opice. For sure he left it right where he found it cuz he's a good Monkey who leaves nothing but footprints and takes nothing but pictures when what he wants is too heavy to carry off.

Even the bark's preserved!

Tuesday, 29th

So why all the pretty colors? Wood's pretty much not pretty colors, more like birch white to sequoia red at best--mostly oak brown to ebony ebony.

See those big black bits around Monkey? Those are volcanic rock that aren't colorful at all. That's the clue. Volcanic silicates are behind the transformation. Sometimes they replaced original cellulose so precisely you can count the tree rings!

Monkey amidst the volcanic remnants.
Click the picture above for a close-up view of the fantastic colors
and variations petrified wood encompasses.
Petrified wood showing tree rings.

Sandstone, caprocks, cactus, yucca.

Wednesday, 30th

Now what?
Now where?!

Monkey's taken us out of the badlands and into Nazlini Wash to explore a new place. You never know what he'll do next, where he'll go, what he'll find, or what he might learn because of where he mistakenly sits.

Ouch. That's gotta hurt.
Yucca flowers are pretty,
but not that pretty.

Thank goodness for a plush butt.

Thursday, 1st July

The wash's walls contain niches, caves, windows, and arches. Monkey found two very unique arches he wants to share. The one right forms a huge slab-shaped tunnel--10 or 20 meters high & 5 m. long. He thinks the Anasazi probably enjoyed sitting in it's shade on hot days. Why? Because after going thru it, Opice found an "occupation site."

That's an archaeology term for a place where there's sufficient ancient junk to indicate people "occupied" the place. Maybe they lived there or worked there or stopped there briefly leaving stuff behind. Archaeologists try to be vague so they can be right, especially when they're guessing. Monkey aspires to that kind of accuracy in all things.

Rock slab archway
Monkey explores a micro-arch.

The micro-arch on the left is Monkey sized.

"It's just a baby!" Monkey gushes. "Someday it'll grow into a giant with it's own national park."

Then he has another thought. "Look at me, King Kong! I'm bigger than a giant arch! I should have brought my Fay Wray doll."

He thumps his chest and stalks off to stomp Tokyo.

Speaking of occupation sites...

Friday, 2nd

Oops, Opice stomped a hogan!

"Not reallllly," he hedges smirking. "But I think I found another occupation site."

Seems like a safe guess, even for a pseudo-archaeologist, don't you think?

Saturday, 3rd

Wowie-zowie petroglyphs galore! Monkey loves rock art. He scampers up and finds a genuine Kokopelli or two!

Rock art!
Guararnteed 100% Kokopelli Animal & people, perhaps Kokopelli
  Unfortunately, many of the ancient petrographs above have been destroyed by contemporary graffiti, which ain't art--it's vandalism. Monkey hates to see that.

Speaking of contemporary, or at least "historic" as those cagey archaeologists say.

Not far from the "newspaper" rock above, is this set of images: Coyote, Rabbit, and cat thingie.

Monkey makes me hold him up to show how he thinks the ancient people would peck-out the images with a rock.

He didn't peck anything, honest! But it's pretty obvious somebody has been pecking with lead. Those are definately rifle bullet holes in the animals.

"Gosh dang-it," he grinds what would be teeth. "What's the matter with some people?!"

Monkey shows how it's done, or did.

Hey, if you think this rock art's fabulous (as the Anasazi used to say), wait till next week when Monkey takes you to his favorite prehistoric art gallery and to 3-Turkey Ruin, as well.

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