Gingko Petrified Forest

Today we had to choose among a couple hiking options.  We usually wind up hiking because having Dart with us limits our options for adventure.  Most places don’t allow dogs.  We decided to go to the Gingko Petrified Forest.  It also happens to be on the Columbia River and I was interested in seeing the river again.  Additionally, the drive was only about 30 miles.

The Interpretive Center is right on the Columbia River, so we got some outstanding views of the river.  There were several interpretive signs explaining the landscape and I loaded them on flickr for those of you who are interested in the geology.  It explains that there was once a plush forest there and that is why there are all the petrified trees buried in this spot.  The first picture shows several pieces of petrified logs with the Columbia River in the background.  While we were at the center, three bighorn sheep showed up.  I think it was a mother and two young.  They were very brave and I was able to get a bunch of good shots.  Other pictures are loaded on flickr.  The interpretive center contained some original petroglyphs that were very interesting.  I posted an example below and the interpretive signs.  I hope you can read the signs if you expand the pictures.

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The local tourist trap had some cute dinosaurs out front.  This was my favorite.

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A couple miles from the interpretive center had a trail you could hike that contained quite a variety of petrified logs.  There was a warning sign at the beginning of the hike about rattlesnakes.  So, I was right about those rascals!!!  Except for the petrified trees, there are no other trees around.  The sun beats down on you and there was a dry wind.  We were worried about Dart, so we decided not to do any more hiking after we finished this trail.  After a brief stop in town to pick up dog shampoo, we headed back to the camp ground for a late lunch.

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The wind picked up a lot and really spooked Dart, so I gave him medication to calm him down.  It made him very wobbly, so I will either cut the dose in the future or just cuddle with him when he gets that nervous.  It continues to be very windy.  I wonder if Dart will get any sleep tonight.