Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Kodachrome--The Park

Located just a short nine-mile drive from our campground in Cannonville, UT, is Kodachrome Basin State Park.

As the story goes, in the summer of 1949, the National Geographic Society sent an exploration party to document and photograph this uncharted area.

Using Kodak's Kodachrome film to capture the area's vivid colors, they named it Kodachrome Flat. The story of the exploration can be found in the September 1949 issue of National Geographic Magazine. The area was designated as a state park in 1962.

Fearing repercussions from the Kodak film company for using the name Kodachrome, the name was changed to Chimney Rock State Park. However, within a few years, Kodak gave permission to rename the park Kodachrome Basin State Park.

Positioned at 5,800 feet in elevation, Kodachrome covers over 2,200 acres of ground and is perhaps Utah’s finest state park.

The Park contains many multi-colored rock formations of red, yellow, pink, white and brown, as well as massive sandstone chimney spires.

The Park contains 67 of these sedimentary pipes (also called geysers), which are the main feature of the Park. They range in height from 6 to 160 feet. This tall formation on the left is called Chimney Rock.

Geologists believe Kodachrome was once similar to Yellowstone National Park with hot springs and geysers. At Kodachrome, these eventually filled up with sediment and solidified.

Through time, the Entrada sandstone surrounding the solidified geysers eroded, leaving large sand pipes.

As we drove and walked through the park, we thought some of the sand pipes resembled figures. For example, we saw a monk wearing a hooded robe in this spire on the right.

This might be a stretch, but we saw a whale in this spire. By the way, as we talk about what the spires appear to be, does the rock formation in Photo #4 above remind you of a camel, specifically the camel used to advertise Dromedary Dates or Joe Camel?

The holes in this wall are called "potholes" and result from the erosion of the softer areas of the wall.

The sun provided the "force" that changed the colors of many of the formations during the short time we were in this unique little park.

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