Saturday, April 19, 2008

It’s Geology, Man

Quick. What are the first words that come to mind when you look at this?

Diane’s answer: Ride ‘em Cowboy
My answer: KungfuSuperfly

Turns out we were both wrong. And unless your answer was “Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob” or “Court of the Patriarchs” you were wrong, too. (Bonus points if you identified the outcropping below Jacob as Moroni, the man/angel who traveled to America with Jesus to do battle against the Lamanites.) Welcome also to southwestern Utah. Welcome to Zion.

The men who “discovered” Zion, no doubt good Mormons all, were clearly awed and humbled by what they saw. Thus inspired, like latter-day Adams they set about labeling these stately slabs of rock with the most reverent names they could conjure. Behold:

Your answer: _____________________
The official answer: "The Great White Throne"

Your answer: _____________________
The official answer: "The Altar and the Pulpit"

Your answer: _____________________
The official answer: Weeping Rock
(where snow melt seeps through the sand stone and slides off the slate, so they say)

It's a bit much. But you can't blame the rocks. Appropriately awed and humbled, we saw as many rocks and outcroppings as we could and otherwise spent a most pleasant day and evening in the valley of Zion.

The next morning we drove a short 80 miles and 3,000 feet higher on the road to see yet more outrageous rocks in a place called Bryce Canyon. It’s not really a canyon, it’s not really monumental, but it’s kungfusuperfly. In other words, it’s our kind of place.

In Bryce, like the ranchers of the 1880s, you’re encouraged to wander among the melting sandstone hoodoos. If you’re lucky, you just might get a chance to touch:

Thor’s Hammer

Queen Victoria

Wall Street

And, of course, Kungfu-Superfly. You may have to search a bit to find it. But it’s there.

Thusly named, you're now free to ask the more important questions. Questions like: How did these formations come into being? How long will they last? What came before them and what will come next?

The official answer: Who really knows? It's geology, man.

1 comment:

  1. Golly Gee. I thought this was a Rorschach Test. And to the questions of, "how old are they?"
    Why 6,399 yrs. 11 mos. and 3 weeks, as I'm a 7th day inventist.