DUE

Cedar BreaksAt Cedar Breaks, a Ranger gave us a good mnemonic for the geological history of the Colorado Plateau: “Cedar Breaks is due for a change” with “due” initialing for deposition, uplift, and erosion. Ancient lake and sea beds heaved up and then slowly, differentially, whittled away….Cedar Breaks

Bryce CanyonBryce Canyon in the fog. Not actually a canyon, Bryce is, like Cedar Breaks, the dramatically eroding edge of a plateau; we were standing at about 8000 feet here looking down. BryceThe famous hoodoos are created by frost weathering, fracturing via the expansion of freezing water. The “giant staircase” of the Colorado Plateau descends from this highpoint, geologically the most recent, down into the Grand Canyon, which has rock a billion years old at its base.Grand CanyonA minor tributary of the Grand Canyon from Bright Angel Point.

Antelope CanyonUpper Antelope Canyon, a slot in the Navajo Sandstone cut out by water erosion. In Navajo, Antelope is named Tsé bighánílíní, the place where the water runs through the rocks. While we were there it started to rain, and you could see the water pouring down the smooth walls, uncannily showing the potential of flash floods to rip through the slot. All the red rock in these photos is from iron oxide; rust, essentially, and I’ve intensified it here to bring out the contrasts in these positively sensual surfaces.Antelope

Monument ValleyMonument Valley’s buttes are composed of three separate layers of rock, each eroding at a different rate. It started to rain while we were here, too; water poured off the top of these, especially the aptly named Rain God Mesa, as waterfalls, doing their slow work.Monument Valley

Canyon de ChellyThe inspiration for Jabba the Hutt? At Canyon de Chelly.

8 Responses to “DUE”


  1. 1 maryjocee October 6, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Specacular photography!

  2. 2 Out Walking the Dog October 6, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Some of my favorite places, Matthew, and such beautiful photos. I was at Canyon de Chelly almost 40 years ago. Early in the morning. Horses were moving freely among the trees below the Anasazi cliffs, in and out of a weird mist. There was no one there but us, and then a boy came down a winding path, riding bareback. I don’t remember Jabba – guess I’d better head back.

  3. 3 Paul Lamb October 7, 2013 at 6:22 am

    Beautiful! It must have been hard to leave such a place.

  4. 4 Elizabeth October 7, 2013 at 10:39 am

    One of my favorite places, too, Matthew. The changes as the sunlight moves over the rocks at Bryce Canyon means every hour brings new interest.

    Did you get down into the Canyon de Chelly to the ruins?

    • 5 mthew October 7, 2013 at 10:42 am

      We were just along the rim. There’s one trail down where you don’t need a guide, and it’s called the WHite House Trail, but I don’t know how close it gets to said ruins; otherwise all access to the valley floor has to be accompanied.

  5. 6 Lyn October 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Hi Matthew!
    The photographs are wondiferous!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

  6. 7 Elizabeth October 7, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    We took the White House Trail when I was there many (20+?) years ago – the ruins were interesting, but equally interesting was passing the home of people who actually lived down in the canyon. I think access to the valley floor is limited because there is a lot of quicksand down there.


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