Monday, September 19, 2005

Moab to Santa Fe

Comin' atcha tonight from the Comfort Inn in Santa Fe.

Yesterday we went to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks. There's a bazillion Googlies on these, so I'll be brief.

The Arches is the densest grouping of geological formations due to erosion on the planet, I think. Red rocks formed into arches, spires, domes, you name the shape, all done one drop of water at a time. The three or four seas that have come and gone over time were made up of individual drops, after all. Sediment turned into rock one layer at a time, and then eroded away after the last sea receded. Shit, guys get a doctorate in this stuff and their work's just beginning. Anyway, it's really beautiful and fascinating to see.

Canyonlands is just a few miles and one mountain range away, but way different. We stood at the end of the part of the park called "Island in the Sky" and just looked. Words can't really describe it. You're at 6000' elevation. You can see fifty miles, give or take, to the horizon, through an arc of up to 180 degrees. You look straight down 1000' to an old sea bed, and another 1000' feet down to the Green and Colorado Rivers' gorges. They have their confluence here before they go down through the Grand Canyon to water golf courses in Las Vegas. Erosion: water, gritty sediment, time. Awesome. It should make you feel very, very, small.

The upshot is, if any dumbass tells me this was all done 6000 years ago while men rode around on dinosaurs, he can kiss my ancient, eroded ass.

One more thing before I fall asleep at the helm of this thing. We stopped in Cortez, Colorado, at about the nicest Visitor Information Center I've ever seen. Lotsa free stuff, gift shop, municipal park, the works. It was here that I had the ultimate introduction to life in the Four Corners. I got panhandled in the park by a drunk Navajo. At noon on Sunday. I coughed up a little, but not enough for a bottle. I saw in this gentleman a fine tribute to the Great White Father. If there's a point to be made, you make it for me. I'm going to bed.

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