Monday, April 18, 2011

Visit to the Colorado Plateau

We've been on the road, this time to Utah and Arizona.  After a few days of camping in California we drove to St. George, Utah for a "Road Scholar" program about the geology and human history of the



Our instructor was Dan, (the one on the left) 83 years young, a retired geologist, he was determined to share his enthusiasm for the geology of his home state of Utah.

Patty, his wife, was our coordinator.  It was her job to keep Dan and the rest of us in line and everything running smoothly.

They were fun, funny and young at heart.

 After a morning of introduction to what we could expect they took us to Snow Canyon, named for a person, not the white stuff.  At Snow Canyon Dan showed us Navajo Sandstone, a feature we would see often all over the Colorado Plateau.
This sandstone is the remnant of ancient sand dunes, much like the Sahara of today.  You can see how the winds changed over time by the different direction in the patterns of the stone.  We learned that this is called cross bedding.  See the tiny people in the upper left?  These formations are huge. 
 While much of the sandstone is the red we associate with the southwest in other places it is almost white but it is all Navajo sandstone.
It is just one of many layers exposed by erosion in the Colorado Plateau, here it's covered by a lava cap, protecting the sandstone from erosion.
Don't worry, I'm not going to try to give you a course in geology but I did find it added something to the trip to know what those layers of rock are.

It was a ten day course and we visited Zion, Bryce, Capitol Reef, Monument Valley, Arches, Canyonlands, Lake Powell and a few other places.  Then Hubby and I continued our camping trip and went to Canyon de Chelly and Petrified forest.  If you get tired of red rocks over the next few weeks, feel free to leave.  I hope you'll return later, to see what our next adventure will be.

More views of our amazing world can be found at That's My World, Tuesday, hosted for us by Klaus, Sandy, Wren and Sylvia.

21 comments:

Sylvia K said...

Wonderful post and fantastic captures as always, Martha. It is such a beautiful part of our world! I lived in Salt Lake City for a brief time and my family and I traveled and visited most of the places you've mentioned. They were unforgettable trips! Look forward to more photos! Hope you have a wonderful day!

Sylvia

Yogi♪♪♪ said...

Wow, what a trip. Hopefully you will be showing us more of it.

Gary said...

Great trip, Boom & I are following your progress. Boom & Gary of the Vermilon River, Canada.

Barb said...

Who could get tired of red rocks, Martha? You visited some of my favorite places. Did you happen to go through Boulder, UT or up Boulder Mt? I love the aspen groves in that area.

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful landscapes. They are all great places to visit. Wonderfufl photos.

eileeninmd said...

Beautiful landscapes. They are all great places to visit. Wonderfufl photos.

Photo Cache said...

My nephew from childhood has spoken how he would love to be a geologist when he grows up. He was sidetracked by the Navy for a bit, but finally he is going to school to become a geologist.

ros@dimaggio63 said...

Grandi immagini :))

Christine said...

You covered a lot of beautiful territory on your trip, Martha, and took some lovely photos! More please. :)

Janie said...

You had quite a tour, and so nice to have a geologist along to give depth to your experience.

Carver said...

Sounds like so much fun and informative. Wonderful shots of beautiful interesting places.

Arija said...

What a wonderful trip and an education as well. Beautiful landscapes. I could spend a lot of time in that kind of country.

Jenn Jilks said...

Amazing shots. And what a sweet couple!
I love your header, too!

Kay L. Davies said...

Oh, a fabulous adventure, Martha. I enjoyed geology in college and enjoyed it again in your blog. This is my "learn something new every day" for today.
-- K

Kay, Alberta, Canada
An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

Carolyn Ford said...

You are doing the trip we LOVE. We have seen most of what is on your list with the exception of a few...that part of our USA is incredible and I am dying to get back out there!!! Keep the pics coming...looking forward to MORE!

Ebie said...

This is a great educational trip. I hope I can visit these places someday....

ladyfi said...

What a great adventure!

Sallie (FullTime-Life) said...

Here are two people who will never get tired of red rock pictures. WE haven't been to every one of the places you mention but definitely hope to someday (Canyon Du Chelly we somehow missed). I look forward to that and also seeing again the ones we've been to.

I am going to Google as soon as I send this to look up the 'Road Scholar' program.

Thanks for sharing -- keep 'em coming.

EG Wow said...

The red rock is beautiful. I can't imagine getting tired of it!

katney said...

We've been wanting to add a side trip to Canyon de Chelly on one of our trips to Arizona, but haven't fitted it in so far. Most of the other sites you visited are familiar to us.

Linda Reeder said...

We didn't do Lake Powell or the Petrified Forest, but we did the rest of your list, and more. that was a fabulous trip, and yes, knowing something about the geology does make for a richer experience.