I’m still fairly buried under the last round of edits for my Route 66 book(but you’ll be able to read 160 pages of travel adventures sooooon…well, much later this year, or early 2018). But here’s a painting of the Blue Mesa formation at the Petrified Forest National Park, as well as Bug’s first visit to my favourite national park.
I really did meet some remarkable people during my stay at the Petrified Forest. I met most of the other people when I was doing my demonstration at the Rainbow Forest Museum, and I was very nice and polite to everyone. But, y’know, be nice to everyone…you never know when you might be talking to a cartoonist.
Desert Solitaire is a pretty great book, definitely one of the classics for “I’m out in the desert alone” reading, especially if you are into grumpy park ranger opinions(I am).
Even before I arrived at the Petrified Forest, I was pretty excited about the idea of getting to barrel out into the desert at night, and wander until I got lost enough to want to find my way back(or had gotten through ½ of my water). My friend Nathan came out to visit me for a couple days, and was a perfect “wandering out into the desert” companion, especially when he had to physically shove me up a cliff.
The Triassic critters pictured are a phytosaur, a metoposaurus and a chindesaurus. Out of the three, only the chindesaurus is a dinosaur, a fact that I was reminded of many times during my stay.
I’m pretty happy with the assortment of “getting lost” gear I’ve acquired over time. Here’s what some of them are:
- My trusty Nalgene bottle is more or less an extension of me, or at least my pants, since it’s clipped to me at all times.
- My adorable Black Diamond Moji Lantern has been my companion for many, many miles, and has come in useful on many occasions, whether helping me get lost, lighting my hammock, or making sure I don’t trip over people after a hostel’s light’s out. Aside from being granularly adjustable, which is really helpful, it’s also really, really cute.
- The Leatherman Skeletool is my everyday knife, and basically goes everywhere with me(assuming I didn’t have to fly to get where I am). I haven’t really figured out if I’m adding the dogtag knife(it’s the Spyderco Dog Tag Folding Knife) to my usual gear, but it was a crew gift from a project I enjoyed working on, and it’s a really cool little knife.
- Simple Squares‘ granola bars are basically the only sort of granola bar I find palatable. Hell, they’re even delicious, in that squishy “holy shit, this doesn’t taste like cardboard” way.
I’ve spent the past few days catching up on my other work, and goofing around in this beautiful park, but I’ve finally gotten a chance to sit down and…paint more rocks. 🙂
The geologic formations of the Painted Desert are primarily made up of the Chinle Formation, which you can read up about on the NPS website.
I had a very science filled day at the Petrified Forest. It was pretty excellent, getting to poke at toads and listen to a lot of stories about fossils which are Not Dinosaurs.
I thought I’d be painting more rocks and beautiful landscapes here, which I’m sure I will(it’s been rainy; I haven’t gotten out much), but the thing I’ve been loving most about this place is meeting all these remarkable people that make the park run, who are so unabashedly enthusiastic about their jobs.