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Monday, August 11, 2008

Large arch at Arches National Park collapses

Arches National Park - arch prior to collapsing
The Wall Arch at Arches National Park collapsed early last week, the sandstone a victim of time and erosion. Shown above is a photo I took on our visit to the park back some nine years ago as we hiked along Devils Garden Trail. According to Paul Henderson, the park's chief of interpretation, "They all let go after a while."

I plan to write a book someday from our travels, but in the meantime here's a snippet I wrote when we stayed in Moab -

Upon entering Arches National Park, we went up a winding road to view the many sandstone and sculpted slickrock formations formed from 100 million years of erosion and underground salt beds. The snow peaked La Sal Mountains could be seen in the distance. The mountains got their name from Spanish explorers who thought they looked like piles of salt when covered by snow. There are over 2,000 arches to view in this tranquil place in Utah. Native Americans traveled these lands for thousands of years, leaving evidence of petroglyph and pictograph drawings. Ranchers came in the late 1800s to raise cattle in the side canyons. Be sure to stay on the trails if you go. The soil is fragile, made up of algae, fungi, and lichens. This crust absorbs moisture and helps prevent erosion in the harsh climate. The best time for photos are in the early morning or late in the afternoon, where the colors of the rocks appear the richest (photos to appear here soon). As we left the park late in the day, we saw a skinny mule deer along the road, one of many we have seen on our journey.

Posted by Carl Burnham at 12:56 PM
Edited on: Thursday, October 09, 2008 4:29 PM
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