Thursday, April 30, 2009

Balanced (for how long?) Rock

Leaving the Visitor Center at Arches NP, we climbed about 1600 feet on a winding road to an altitude of 5600 feet.

Soon after reaching the plateau, we were greeted by the named rock formations of Arches. A short walk took us to the formation named Park Avenue.

Then came stops at the Three Gossips,

the Tower of Babel,

the Organ,

and the Sheep Rock. It is believed that an arch once joined the "nose" of the sheep to the base in the left corner of the photo.

Taking our eyes off the rock formations for a short time revealed other scenes of interest. This shows the common types of vegetation on the plateau.

Even the dead trees add interest to the combination of desert plants and rock formations.

Less than halfway into the Park, we came upon Balanced Rock. This silhouette gave the best view of how precariously the rock is balanced on its pedestal.

Viewing the formation from a different angle, I was still wondering how the rock remained positioned on its stand.

Finally, looking up at the formation, I took this photo quickly, fearing that the rock could fall any second. Looking at the space between the rock and the pedestal, I shook my head in wonder.

Everyone knows that someday the balanced rock will fall, . . . but when?

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