Here I am sitting on a petrified tree above the Lamar Valley. Unlike roadside accessible attractions in Yellowstone, there are no fences or signs warning you to stay off features. The backcountry operates on the honor system, i.e. don’t be an asshole, don’t poach, don’t chip away the fifty-million-year-old petrified wood, and for god’s sake just leave things the way you found them.
Resting on a petrified stump on the trail. Old farts require more rest stops on the way up. I am so glad that trail running was not a thing when I was young. I didn’t see any trail runners in Yellowstone today. The presence of bears, wolves, and mountain lions, all of which can run trails a lot faster than millennial showoffs, puts the brakes on such behavior.
We spotted a number of petrified wood stumps on the trail. They were all upright and looked like they had been logged close to the roots. The “loggers” were volcanic mud and ash flows that sheared off the tops of the trees and buried what was left to be petrified. I have always loved the colors in petrified stone. It didn’t occur to me to wet this stump to bring out the colors.