Tuesday, June 6, 2017

More Geology

You would think I was a regular rock hound, but to tell you the truth, dirt is dirt or rather according to Walt it's not dirt it's SOIL!!!  But the truth is that this dirt, errr, that's soil, is actually fascinating.  You can't help but imagine how the early settlers reacted and transversed this part of the country.  There are all sorts of interesting tales.  That and taking into consideration how mysterious and other-worldly this landscape, it makes it very fascinating.

This morning we trekked out on I-70 west out of Green River.  This interstate cuts right through the San Rafael Swell, which includes the San Rafael Desert, San Rafael Reef and the Saan Rafael Swell.  So if there's a route you're taking east, take I-70 at least through Utah...if you're planning a trip west, take the route that's the best....Route 66!!!!

OK - to the photos
 This is Walt's high-performance wide-angle.  He'll give you all the details if you ask, but it's made for these sorts of shots.  This is THE shot on I-70 going east toward Green River.  What makes this so special is that if you miss it, it's an hour turnaround to get the shot again (30 minutes to find a turnaround and then 30 minutes back to this place).  And who would want to. It's super spectacular.
Part of what makes this shot so fabulous is that it's up close and personal view of the uplift or anticline (as the geologists like to say), of the many layers of the earth's crust to cause these beautiful colors.

This is the reef part of the uplift (to see how this is formed click on this photo from the blog the other day.)  The reason it's called a reef is because the early settlers were so stonewalled as to how to cross this, that it reminded them of how treacherous ocean reefs were.  Pretty good description.  Course today we settlers just cut right through it and build an interstate!

This is the other side in the afternoon light.  It really does look reefy and really, REALLY difficult to navigate with a prarie schooner!

I think in another life Walt was Christopher Columbus, or Major Seth Adams (you know Ward Bond in Wagon Train) or Jim Bridger or something cause we always love taking the road less traveled, or so we think.

We veered off I-70 pretty fast after we traveled through the reef part of the swell, and trekked up north - just cause!!!

The first thing we noticed was the San Rafeal River.  Like most rivers through very arid climates, this has a beautiful riparian environment.  The San Rafael isn't all that big, but it is vital. This is the only swining bridge in Utah an historic bridge which does wobble when you walk across it, therefore I had no desire whatsoever to participate in that. 

Here's Walt great lens on the river's edge.

Traveling further up we find some family photos - from long ago!!!  I actually like this one and thought it would make an interesting print on a fabric. 

So then I thought "Wedge Overlook" sounded like fun, so we decided to trek over there, after a few jaunts down some paths that were very loosely labeled "roads"! 

There was sure an overlook here, and for something who's not excited about being on cliff type environs, I was hugging the car door to make sure the car didn't tip over the side.  Walt, was out with his trust lens in no time flat!  Of course a beautiful picture came of it.  This is the Grand Canyon of the San Rafael Swell.  Looks pretty grand-canyon-ish!

I preoccupied myself with flowers!  The desert blooms are really spectacular no matter how big....
or small.

Further down, more beautiful landscape which at some point we have to wonder if it all begins to look the same to everyone but us.  These views are so majestic, that it's hard to say they are special.  but they are.

 This is a great view of the San Rafael River valley, probably a view into the beginnings of the canyon from closer to the flor.  This is my contribution to the canyon photography, not from the top cliff!
Our internet hook up is very slooooow tonite, so I will post a few videos when it gets a good night's sleep and is faster tomorrow!

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