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Out in the desert
  this is the part of the area that reminds me the most of the Badlands. The mounds bear an uncanny resemblance. This area is like a corridor between the painted and petrified forest sections of the two connected parks. 

Bikers, and other tourists are pulled over to get a glimpse of painted desert and petrified trees.

Our friends the Austrian bikers, are stopped to drink it all in. Austria will probably seem pretty crowded after some weeks of these open lands. (for that matter, Milwaukee seems pretty crowded now).

Scenes of desolation, but somehow they draw rather than repel.

As in the Badlands of South Dakota, the multicolored layers of former ocean bottom have been worn away to form a banded landscape.

A notch in a hillside allows egress to curious tourists. The roads here tend to twist and turn around eroded mounds, preserving as much of the pristine environment as possible.

This is a petrified tree, which had, in the remote past, fallen across a gully, or had the land washed out from underneath. In an attempt to save it, the park service built a concrete support underneath.

A look out across a vast desert plain. We are not presently in the Painted Desert formations, and are presently in the softer rocked area which allows for the natural  uncovering of the petrified remnants of ancient forests.

A look in the other direction shows the vastness of the lower plain here.

Another look at the miniature petrified bridge.

My first view of stereotypical petrified wood.

A bit of petrified log, as yet still uncovered, pokes out from a rocky hillside.

A view over a field of petrified wood. The smallest pieces here are probably too heavy to lift, which might explain how they have survived the efforts of greedy tourists.

A view from further back, bits of petrified wood litter the whole area, all the way off in the distance.

Looking out across a dry, and haze covered plain. The smoke could actually be smelled here, though the fires raged many miles away.

Fortunately, these trees won't burn. The fires never reached the park, but for a while there was some concern that they might. Some nearby towns were evacuated.

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