For our faithful readers we want to fill in some info that may help you to understand the gaps between the recent posts.
We arrived here at Petrified Forest National Park located in NE Arizona on Feb 27th for our first National Park Volunteer experience. This was the same day we left the Cummins Service Center in Phoenix where they fixed our Check Engine light issue. The next day Ranger Rita gave us a tour of the park. We were shown the two visitor centers, Painted Desert Visitor Center at the north end of the park closest to I40, Exit 311 and the Rainbow Forest Museum, located at the south end of the park, near 180.
We were also shown the PDI, Painted Desert Inn, which is a neat old building built originally in the 20's from petrified wood, then restructured by the CCC in the late 30's. This beautiful building has so much history the park service does a daily tour here. Bob was so thrilled to be asked to do one of their scheduled tours here. When he finished his talk/walk entitled "If these wall could talk", he was given applause. He did a super job.
Rita showed us areas that had petroglyphs, fossils, reconstructed ruins and told us many more places to explore as the painted desert area has 43,000 acres of wilderness where there are no trails.
Our schedule here has us both working four days in a row, then three days off (Wednesday-Friday). We were very well trained at each location with the opening and closing procedures using it's own checklist, given keys and alarm codes, trained using their cash register system. We also listened for two days to the answers to most of the questions the park visitors ask. Each location generates it own set of questions with the most commonly asked question being, "Where is the bathroom?"
On our first days off we went out and hiked all the trails in the park so we could advise the visitors from first hand experience which trails would best suit their needs.
We are often asked where is Onyx Bridge in the Painted Desert, so one of our days off, we went out to find it. Well, on our first endeavor we did not find the Bridge, but we did find several pottery sherds and a chunk of fossilized bone, we were so excited! The following week, we had better directions and did find the Onyx Bridge and some Petroglyphs-so cool. We are having a blast exploring all the areas that are here.
One area that neither of us knew existed in the park is the human history. The ruins at Puerco Pueblo on a mesa above the Puerco River, Agate House, all the Petroglyphs - ones that the park visitors don't know exist.
We have felt so welcomed and a part of this park. So now you know why our posts have been few and far between, just too much here to do, see, and explore.