Monday, April 2, 2012

Canyonlands National Park etc.

While staying in Moab, we also visited Canyonlands National Park. There is a lot to see here, but it isn't as spectacular as the arches.

One of the days we were there, The Mr. went on a mountain bike tour that turned out to be quite the workout! This area is famous for mountain biking because of all the sandstone slickrock. It's made up of petrified sand dunes and sea beds complete with fossils and even dinosaur tracks.

One of several dinosaur tracks found in the park. This photo kind of looks like someone was using their imagination when they declared it was a dinosaur track, but in person it really is clear that it is one. The shadows just aren't right in this photo. I've seen quite a few different photos of dinosaur tracks from this area and it's quite interesting to see.

A crazy road. There is lots off off-roading available in this park. You can visit the Needles, cowboy camp (with real artifacts and antique trash in tact), and there are signs of life left behind from many many years ago, like this granary or this one as well as cave wall drawings and pictographs. We didn't have time to do most of these things. There are so many things to see in both Arches National park as well as this one, you could literally spend weeks in this area if you enjoyed history and nature and didn't mind a lot of hiking.

The Mr.

Mesa Arch looks like it's hanging on by a thread. Click that link, it's spectacular at sunset!

See the crack? The arch literally clings to the side of a cliff and has cracks like this on both sides. I wonder how much longer it will be there.

One thing you learn when you visit the interpretive center at Cayonlands, is never to step in a puddle. Why? Because there is a whole little world in each of these puddles and some of these animals have been dried out and hibernating for a long time in order to come back to life when their little basin finally fills with water. You can learn all about it here, they even have some little creatures that look like they belong in the ocean! And shrimp! Some of these little creatures can fly away, but the ones that can't, tolerate almost boiling temperatures in the heat of a desert summer as well as freezing temperatures in the winter and still survive.

See the snails?

It is so weird to see life like this living in a tiny pool of water in the middle of a slab of rock in such a desert-like setting.



An example of what some of the walking trails near the roads look like.

A huge crater called Upheaval Dome has scientists guessing as to how it was formed. Read this excerpt taken from here.
"Upheaval Dome is quite a different story. In an area approximately three miles (5km) across, rock layers are dramatically deformed. In the center, the rocks are pushed up into a circular structure called a dome, or an anticline. Surrounding this dome is a downwarp in the rock layers called a syncline. What caused these folds at Upheaval Dome? Geologists do not know for sure, but there are two main theories which are hotly debated."

Upheaval Dome

A lone needle.

Back in Moab there is a tourist area called Hole N' the Rock. There are all sorts of oddities there, like an exotic zoo with totally out of place animals like camels and zebras, all sorts of strange artifacts, collections, buildings, metal sculptures and of course gift shops and ice cream.

However, the main attraction at Hole N' the Rock is that there really is a hole in the rock... and it's a house! The Mr. toured it, and although you aren't allowed to take photographs inside the house I was able to find this one and this one on the net. It's a 5000 square foot home complete with a 65 foot chimney, 14 rooms surrounded by pillars of the original stone and I read there is even a bathtub dug right into the stone!

One of the sculptures I am guessing.

Those seats don't look too comfy!

So strange to see a house dug right into the rock.

Jail complete with potty in the corner.

I'd rather be the boss!

On the way home we saw snow, and it was strange to see it even though it was October. We had just come from warm California and Nevada!

A neat stop on Highway 6 is the Tie Fork Rest Area. The main building here was voted one of the most beautiful buildings in Utah. The rest stop is almost more like a visitors center and pays tribute to the days that this area was booming with coal mines. There is an original piece of the track from 1903 as well as a replica steam engine.

This is the last of the October trip photos! We ended up getting home just in time to hand candy and gospel tracts out to the kids on Halloween.

To view the entire Moab album, click here.

1 comment:

  1. All these places are so cool! I've been talking to Jesse to see if he wants to go on a road trip. You're inspiring me!


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