Friday, November 23, 2007

Hoodoos-Grottos-Narrows....don't worry, its all English!

So with horseshoe shaped amphitheaters that one can get lost myriad colors and unique rock formations that demand your awe...from  breathtaking view points named aptly as Sunrise, Sunset and my very favorite - Inspiration elevations that span a range of 3000 feet... Bryce offers an unparalleled evocative landscape that stretches as far as the eye can see, and goes beyond your every single imagination. Taking all this beauty in...was the biggest challenge...alas we had just a pair of eyes to do it with!
 Now for some science and understand what those not-so-english-sounding words mean!!

Hoodoo (interesting name isn't it?) is a tall skinny spire rising from the park basin, which is shaped by the constant erosion patterns of alternating hard and soft rock layers. The name given to the rock layer that forms hoodoos at Bryce Canyon is the Claron Formation.  Nowhere are hoodoos more predominant than in the northern section of Bryce Canyon National Park. A famous named Hoodoo at Bryce is the Thor's Hammer

Grottos are the result of erosion of softer pockets of the upper White Member of the Claron Formation. Excellent grotto formations can be seen all around from Bryce Point 

Walls or fins are narrow walls of rock, bound by joints or fractures on either side. As weathering and erosion open the cracks wider and wider they form narrows or slot canyons. A good example of this can be seen on the Navajo trail. 

Windows or arches are natural holes that form along cracks and weak spots in thin walls of rock called "fins." The distinction between the two is that bridges are carved by flowing water, whereas arches can be carved by everything else except flowing water. A great example of this is Natural Bridge

What can I write here that could come close to what I saw and experienced at this national park? What could I say, that could make you want to go there...and what could I give to go there again? One thing I could do, is to feel extremely fortunate that in my lifetime, I got to witness this pure magnificence.
Perhaps another time, a week here might be just what the doctor ordered...however, on this mini-grand circle trip, we spent 2 days at the park.

Our vocabulary saw a sharp rise during and after our visit to Bryce. Understanding how and why these interesting and unique shapes were carved out of rock and sandstone, millions of years ago...and knowing that the process continues as we speak...helped us really get personal with Bryce, its science and its characteristic geology.

TIP: There are excelled park ranger guided nature talks offered at the park. Check the visitor center for timings and to see if you can take advantage of these. You learn so much about what’s around you, and how it came to be!

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