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Travel: Guilt-ridden letters at Escalante Petrified Forest

By Robert Ellis

On our travels we often bring back small stones/rocks as mementos of our trip. I was hoping to purchase some small pieces of petrified wood at the visitor center in Escalante Petrified Forest State Park in Utah. Unfortunately they didn't sell them. The park warns visitors to take only photographs, because 'Some say the petrified wood is haunted and removing a piece brings the taker nothing but bad luck.'

They also display letters from people that illegally remove pieces to take home.

Click headline to see a photo of some of the letters from visitors to the park, plus some of the petrified forest.


The letter on the left reads:
Dear Sir/Maam:

I am ashamed to admit I took home some loose pieces of petrified wood laying on the ground when I visited your park this past spring. I usually don't believe in this kind of stuff, but I have experienced a much higher than normal rate of bad luck since taking the wood pieces.

Besides the bad luck, I started feeling guilty about taking the loose pieces. Anyway, enclosed are the loose pieces I picked up from the park and a small donation to the park for the inconvenience I may have caused.

The letter on the right, dated 09-04-04, reads:
To whom it may concern:

I picked up this small piece of wood when I visited last year. I thought the warnings were phony.

Since that time I have had 3 accidents. The list is: 1 Broken Collarbone, Broken Ribs 3 times, Broken foot, shoulder injured twice, wrecked motorcycle, my motor home caught fire, the engine on my car went south shortly after the warranty expired, and my wife has injured herself several times.

I am a true believer!! Please take this back.

Sincerely, A true believer!


This story was posted on 2024-06-10 10:09:15
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Travel: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Utah



2024-06-09 - Escalante, UT - Photo by Robert Ellis, Robert Ellis Woodworking.
Robert writes, "This gem of a State Park is close to the town of Escalante, Utah. While you can see actual petrified logs close to the parking area, the best examples require hiking a 1.1 mile loop that has some elevation gain, and is rated a moderate hike.

The logs start appearing after the uphill climb and you're on top of the Mesa. They are sprinkled sporadically along the loop. The colors of the petrified wood are beautiful, and you're welcome to do closer inspections, by touching and feeling the logs. But fight off that desire to take a piece home with you, as there is a hefty fine if you get caught attempting to do so (more on this in another photo...)

If you're visiting Bryce Canyon National Park, this State Park is only about fifty miles east of Bryce and is worth adding to the trip."

Paired Photo: Travel: Macro photography of petrified wood

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Travel: Macro photography of petrified wood



2024-06-09 - Escalante, UT - Photo by Robert Ellis, Robert Ellis Woodworking.
A closeup of a piece of petrified wood in Escalante Petrified Forest State Park in Utah. Robert writes, "Hard to imagine this was once a live tree standing in a forest. Now, a piece of natural rock art."

Paired photo: Escalante Petrified Forest State Park, Utah

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Guilt-ridden letters at Escalante Petrified Forest



2024-06-10 - Escalante, UT - Photo by Robert Ellis, Robert Ellis Woodworking.
Escalante Petrified Forest State Park in Utah displays letters from people that illegally remove pieces of petrified wood from the park. Robert writes, "The letter on the right, I don't know how true it is, all I can say is wow!"

Click 'Read more' to see a transcription of the letters.

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