Thursday, September 24, 2009

UTAH # 3

Continuing with our favorites spots in Canyonlands National Park: Holeman Spring Canyon Overlook, with its "Birthday Cake" formation;

A wonderful "pothole" filled with hundreds of small crustaceans. We think they were tadpole shrimp, fairy shrimp, "water bears" and some kind of miniscule white worm. John and I spent quite a while just watching. One of the rangers said that when the potholes dry up, the eggs laid by the small critters become dormant, and can remain viable for years waiting for enough rain to allow them to hatch. Since precipitation in this area is usually only about 10 inches per year (including snow), their life cycles are very short.....sometimes only days from hatching to maturity to laying eggs;

Mesa Arch, which at sunrise will always be my personal favorite. Through Mesa Arch, you can see down into the lower areas of Canyonlands N.P. (If you look closely, you can see "Washer Woman Arch" in the canyon below);

Grand View Point at the very end of the Island in the Sky Section of Canyonlands. In the far distance is The Confluence, where the Colorado and Green Rivers meet on their way to Lake Powell.

We spent our last day in Moab on a treasure hunt...for petroglyphs. We had previously seen a great example of these at the Wolfe Ranch site in Arches National Park. This time, we drove up Potash Road just outside Moab, where the canyon walls are lined with hundreds, if not thousands, of images. Estimates of when they were created range from 2000 BC up to the 1800s. Often one culture superimposed its art over earlier images, so many sites (like the one with the large image of a bear) contain examples of art from different time periods. Here are a several panels that we especially liked.

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