While driving, I tried to think about the journey of a petrified log. Let’s pretend there is a spirit that stays with this log forever. At one point, you were a tree. You lived a life spanning hundreds of years and watched the world evolve around you. Eventually, you lay down and die. Over the years, rains and weather erode your surroundings, rivers are formed, and you are carried away. One day you stop. Maybe you get washed up on shore. Maybe you get stuck in some mud. No matter how, you eventually get covered by dirt for such a long time that you turn to stone. And there you wait until some other miracle unearths you hundreds of years later. Who knows where you ended up. Surely hundreds of miles away from where you started. If you’re lucky though you’ll find some friends that came along with you for the ride. Today, I found myself hanging out with a group of those “friends throughout time” that ended up in Mississippi.
Hidden a short drive north of Jackson, Mississippi Petrified Forest has been open for the public since August 1962 when R.J. “Bob” and Shirl Schabilion acquired the land. Wanting to lead their community by example, they made it their goal to teach the value of conserving natural resources, and opened this park allowing others to enjoy this prehistoric forest of maple, fir, palm, and other types trees (including some now-extinct species) that turned to stone many millions of years ago.
Spending an hour walking through the forest brings thoughts of history laced with tranquility. To think that these trees watched the dinosaurs roam really blows my mind. To think about how much the world has changed in that time is mind boggling. It stresses me out just thinking about it. It’s almost incomprehensible.
After the trail, a small museum fills a room with fossils and rocks from across the state. It amazes me to see how these rocks have literally held history inside of them for millennia, just waiting to be discovered. Many of them are quite beautiful as well.
Spend some time hiking the grounds, get lost in the past and enjoy an afternoon.
Closest Supercharger: Pearl MS
200 Bass Pro Dr, Pearl, MS 39208
Mississippi Petrified Forest
124 Forest Park Rd, Flora, MS 39071