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Location/Geography: Closest town: Cedar City, Utah. Area: Unknown, though considerably smaller than neighboring Bryce Canyon. Surrounded by Dixie National Forest. Western edge of the Markagunt Plateau.

Spotlight: Hoodoos galore! A small version of, though no less significant, Bryce Canyon. The colors are even brighter. The Markagunt Plateau's other geologic gallery. Focus: geology and climate.

Snapshot: Cedar Breaks NM was established in 1933. Like the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, the monument is open from late May but closes in mid-October due to harsh winter snows (at least the Grand Canyon’s north rim country used to get inundated with hefty winter snowfall). During the relatively fewer warmer months, and because of the 10,000-foot elevation, summer daytime temperatures are fairly cool, ranging anywhere from 60 to 70ºF (15.5 to 21ºC). Afternoon and evening thunderstorms are common.

The monument is tucked into Utah's 800 square miles Markagunt Plateau (a Southern Paiute word meaning "highland of trees"). Climatic conditions and Cedar Break's geology are ideal for the formation of its whimsical hoodoos. Early settlers called this type of setting badlands or breaks. Their description eventually became the designate for this monument by combining breaks with cedar to represent the area's many juniper trees (often incorrectly called cedars). Incidentally, the lodge at Cedar Breaks is considered the smallest of all lodges operating in a national park or monument.

(Diary continues after the fold)

Guided Tour Essentials: Red Canyon, aptly named, leads to Cedar Breaks and you know you're in for a treat given the rich tincture of the rocks.

Markagunt Plateau's steep slope in this area provides a matching environment where faults and joints from compressional tectonic forces influence and select patterns of erosion. The consistent pattern of year-round weather also abets erosion. During cold months, a cycle of freezing and thawing loosens the slope surface, allowing debris to be carried away by runoff. The transported material then works on the softer rocks to create a vast array of gullies, and ultimately a dazzling profile of canyon impressions––nature’s most mesmerizing appearance or some people claim. The hard rock left behind is further eroded along its vertical cracks, which again are subject to the freezing and thawing cycle ad infinitum. Such weathering continuously carves the tall, thin columns of rock––hoodoos. These unique and whimsical formations should not be mistaken for pinnacles or spires, which have a smoother profile or more uniform thickness than hoodoos, and are often described as a totem-pole shaped profile. By contrast, hoodoos are like spires, however these delicate formations wear caps that are composed of a different rock more resistant to erosion than the softer rock beneath them.

The gaping amphitheater extends to the west side of the Markagunt Plateau. This is also the same plateau that forms sectors of Zion NP. The uplifting process and erosion have formed the canyon over millions of years, which continues to erode at a pace of about 2 inches every five years. On top of the plateau, volcanic rock, known as rhyolitic tuff, covers much of the area. The geologic event that formed this province of the Colorado Plateau happened during cataclysmic eruptions around 28 million years ago. The area is another form of eccentric, though attractive, badlands––canyons, spires, walls and cliffs so steep and confusing that the landscape, while certainly boasting aesthetic value, is of little utilitarian worth.

A Smaller Twin Of Bryce Canyon? The eroded rock here has features similar to those at Bryce Canyon, yet Cedar Breaks still has its own distinct look and flair. At an average elevation of 10,000 feet the contour of the monument’s facade is like a giant coliseum dropping precipitously to its base foundation. Millions of years of uplift and erosion have carved the majestic and delicate features. For anyone who has seen neighboring Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks looks very much like its matching and larger geologic sibling. However, the colors are more brilliant than at Bryce. Southern Paiute Indians called this eccentric landscape the "Circle of Painted Cliffs." The name is well deserved. Cedar Breaks, situated higher in elevation than neighboring Bryce, boasts the most colorful monuments in North America due chiefly to a predominant pinkish pigmentation. The high, linear and circled appearance is canyon-like in all respects, stretching across 3 miles. With a depth of over 2,000 feet to the nearly 2 miles in peak elevation above sea level, this is the highest monument in North America. Perhaps its most inspirational aspect is the myriad stone spires, columns, arches, pinnacles, and intricate smaller canyons etched below the corrugated frontage. The entire gallery of shapes is tinted with varying shades of red (or coral), yellow and purple. Surrounded by Dixie National Forest, Cedar Breaks setting includes lush alpine meadows clustered with ponderosa pines and aspens. During summer months, the wildflower display is spectacular.

Geology: The exotic rock formations in the monument took time to for nature to fashion, though much less time than places like Canyonlands or the Grand Canyon. Roughly 60 million years ago, the site where Cedar Breaks now stands was not the highest point in the region. Actually, it marked the very bottom of a 70-mile-long lake. In time, however, changes occurred in this region until sand, gravel and sedimentary deposits filled the ancient lake by some 70 by 250 miles. Geologists call this lengthy body of water Lake Claron. Later, the lake dried. The cycle of dryness was also repetitive for some 26 million years, where each cycle resulted in laying down more new sedimentary material. Gradually, the materials compressed and congealed into various rock formations. The materials also rusted when iron, oxygen and water combined to add the bright coral color in the sediments. These sediments also became the siltstone, sandstone and limestone of the Claron Formation, matching the sedimentary face of Bryce Canyon. Over the eons a gradual uplifting sequence began to form the great scenic and single amphitheater. Erosion meticulously hewed an amazing display of hoodoos, spires and pinnacles in all sizes. Thus the materials are ancient (about 61 million years), yet the sculpting process is far more recent. These beguiling rock statues represent the ongoing fashioning of the Claron Formation, consisting of sandstone, limestone, dolomite (a form of limestone that contains magnesium) and siltstone material deposits. The layers also contain lignite, coal, and an abundance of fossils, including evidence of the lush Mesozoic Era when this region was tropical, and vastly different plants and animals flourished.

Repetitive Cycles Doing Repetitive Wonders: As appealing to the eye as this monument now appears, its assortment of geologic formations will ultimately turn to grains of sand. Presently, the formations reveal a unique crisscross design formed through the lengthy and continuing freezing and thawing of hard winters. The process is ongoing. Rock formations continue to be designed and redesigned by nature's whim. When water seeps into fractures of the rocks, it dissolves the calcium carbonate holding the smaller rock particles together. This chemical process of erosion is exactly the benefit limestone affords to sandstone in particular. In cold weather, the water turns to ice as temperatures plummet, then the ice expands, pushing the fractures open again. Overnight freezing and daytime thawing are also common, occurring about two to three hundred times a year. Since different rocks are of varied hardness, erosion takes place at different rates––what geologists call the process of differential erosion––and will continue until the plateau is flattened. Nothing ever lives forever, not even rocks of any hardness including schist and granite.

Why The Striking Colors? The net result of the geologic foundation and uplifting is a vivid and picturesque backdrop. Yet Cedar Breaks is not just a pretty pink frontage of rock formations and fabrication pleasing to the eye. Orange also dominates here, caused by trace amounts of iron oxide which also cause the pink or salmon color. The tinctured limestone from the Claron Formation is saturated with iron and manganese oxides, which generates shades of red and pink and orange. Comparing the Cedar Breaks Claron Formation to Bryce Canyon, the Claron basement rock of Cedar Breaks is both thicker and more vivid in color.

Flora And Fauna: Even this high in elevation, wildlife is plentiful. From the larger mule deer to the smaller porcupines, there's a lively diversity of wild life: pikas, marmots, red squirrels, pocket gophers, even mountain lions and bobcats. Common birds include the hearty Clark's nutcracker. The really fast birds zipping by are violet-green swallows. Of course, abiding ravens and jays are common. Springtime arrives rather late here, starting in June. Nature's sign is wild flowers covering the canyon rim, which bloom all during the short growing season: larkspur, silvery lupine, Indian paintbrush, blue columbine, penstemons, asters, wild rose, lavender fleabane, and cinquefoil, to mention only some, each genus creating a showy outdoor garden. Among larger plant life, the bristlecone pine can be found along the Spectra Point Trail. These life forms, which represent a species of pine tree that lives longer than any known plant or tree, are found throughout the higher country. Some local specimens are dated to as early as 1,600 years ago! Subalpine meadows dot the canyon around the popular Alpine Pond and are within an easy hike from the road along a clear trail. Aspen, Engelmann spruce, subalpine fir trees and tall limber pine also grow here in abundance.

Heh-heh-heh, wait 'til you silly campers come back from your sightseeing and see what I did to your food stash!

Trails: There's one main trail along the rim and another through woodland to a sheltered pond. Spectra Point/Ramparts Overlook is an easy 2-mile jaunt, starting from the visitor center, then heading along the cliff edge for a short distance. From there, the trail vectors to a high promontory that juts out into the southern part of the amphitheater. In contrast, the Alpine Ponds Trail has no major viewpoints of the rock formations. Instead, its pathway is suitably arboreal in that it weaves through trees, meadows, flowers and wildlife habitat en route to a tranquil pool fed by meting snow. Just beyond the north edge of the monument, a longer trail (Rattlesnake Creek) descends through forests of fir, spruce and aspen into the Ashdown Gorge Wilderness. This sector is more remote and centers on a steep, narrow limestone ravine. Wildflowers are abundant along the path, especially the upper part. The nature trail also offers occasional distant views of the Cedar Breaks cliffs, eventually descending into the red rock formations.

Directions: Traveling south on I-15, exit at Parowan, Utah, then take Hwy. 143 east. Traveling north on I-15, exit at Cedar City, Utah, then Hwy. 14 east for 18 miles, then Hwy. 148 north for 4 miles. Traveling north or south on Hwy. 89, either Hwy. 143 from Panguitch, Utah, or Hwy. 14 west to Hwy. 148 north; also, Cedar Breaks is 3 miles south of Brian Head Ski Resort.

Contact Information: Cedar Breaks National Monument, 2390 W. Hwy. 56, Suite 11, Cedar City UT 84720. Phone (Cedar City Administrative Office): 435-586.9451. Monument Visitor Center (open early June to mid-October. Phone: 435-586-0787. Fax 586-3813. Email: non-listed.

Parting Shots:

And so, DKos community, we come to the end of another trail, another armchair tour. There will be other scenic places to tour and more supplemental topics to read and think about, so stay tuned for a continuation in this series.

As always, your thoughtful commentaries are welcomed. I will have limited Internet service for the next few days and I will reply to all commentaries eventually. Meanwhile, feel free to fire away with same. Gracias.

Rich
http://www.nmstarg.com/....
http://www.grandcanyon.org/....

FYI: For a list of all diaries posted to date, please see the growing inventory by clicking on my profile or by dialing in this URL: http://www.dailykos.com/...

Note: If commenting on an older diary, please send an email to my profile account and I am sure to respond in a timely manner. Although all the diary material is extrapolated from a larger copyrighted main source (my own works-in-progress) feel free to “liberate” given anything that I have posted thus far. That being said, kindly site the original source. Gracias.

Photos used in diaries: Unless otherwise indicated, all photos posted in my diary series are “Fair Use” and strictly educational in purpose and intent. See “Attributed” slot for photo identity source (usually Creative Commons non-commercial use only and Public Domain sources).

Originally posted to richholtzin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 09:40 AM PDT.

Also republished by National Parks and Wildlife Refuges and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Cool, thanks for the diary. (5+ / 0-)

    Too many in this country feel the Constitution should include the 2nd Amendment. And nothing else.

    by blueoregon on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:23:56 AM PDT

  •  Wow, just beautiful! If this isn't a reason for (5+ / 0-)

    humanity to get its sh*t together and protect our magnificent planet from ecological ruin, I don't know what is. Thanks for another wonderful diary Rich. I'm going to have to get me some of this in person, sooner rather than later.

    "Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought." - John F. Kennedy -7.8., -6.6

    by helpImdrowning on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 12:43:44 PM PDT

    •  I could not have said it better. . . (4+ / 0-)

      helpImdrowning. . . because the one sole reason I posted this diary today, and not tomorrow, as originally planned, is to provide some sanity in an aggressive world that forgets what sustains us all. . .the environment in all its aspects, and not, therefore, religious or political persuasions. Thanks for reminding us just how valuable this world is given how we also take it too much for granted.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:47:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What? Did somebody say my name? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kovie, wasatch, RiveroftheWest

    Just joking. :P

    If we abandon our allies and their issues, who will defend us and ours?

    by Bryce in Seattle on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 05:27:40 PM PDT

  •  What the hell is everyone doing (7+ / 0-)

    looking at these gorgeous images? Get off your asses and GO to these places already! A few more million years and many of them will be gone forever.

    Thanks, Rich, as always, for reminding us.

    "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

    by kovie on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 06:32:01 PM PDT

    •  now that's an environmental summons. . . (4+ / 0-)

      and thanks for the enthusiasm, kovie. Could not have said it better. And just think. . .here today. . .gone tomorrow. . .many tomorrows, indeed, but nonetheless a reminder we all should take advantage of the carpe diem slogan, because we really do live our lives in an ephemeral sense. Thanks for posting such a rousing commentary (a call to arms and legs to get OUT THERE!)

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:54:55 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I think of my sister (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mofembot

        Having seen many of these places myself and knowing what treasures they are, I kept urging her to visit some of them with her family instead of taking their typical Las Vegas or cabin in the woods vacation (which can be fun too of course). But she kept giving one excuse after another about how hard it is with a family and how her husband wasn't into it, but she'd try to do it someday. Unfortunately, she died before she could, and one of my regrets is that I didn't take her myself to one of these places. At least we made it to some of the big sights near Seattle, where I lived at the time, like Mts Rainier and St. Helens, the Olympics, etc. But she never saw the Grand Canyon, drove up the PCH or saw the Rockies. So whenever I can, I urge people to see these places because you just never know. Tomorrow may never come. There's only today. Don't mean to be a downer but people need to remember how precious and short life is and how important it is to do and see all you can with it. NOW.

        "Liberty without virtue would be no blessing to us" - Benjamin Rush, 1777

        by kovie on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 08:40:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  words of wisdom. . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest, kovie

          kovie, and worth hearing again and again and again. Life really is more ephemeral than most people think their lives will turn out, and the tale about your sister not getting to those places you highly recommended. . .well, that's about typical for most people. Still, you obviously have fond memories of her and I think every time you go back to those favored haunts you will at least have her in mind, in spirit, and seeing the sights through your eyes. It's our memories that we must never put aside, especially of other loved ones. Makes life more real in one sense, even though a poignancy often comes with the recall. Thanks for posting the followup comment. BE...HERE...NOW...ALWAYS! It's a mantra I tell and teach myself every day I'm on this side of the grass, and breathing.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:54:28 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Highway 14 out of Cedar City.... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    got broken due to a avalanche in the canyon a while back. (A year ago?)  Has it been repaired?  

    Your hate-mail will be graded.

    by PavePusher on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 06:33:38 PM PDT

    •  the Utah Highway Department. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      is no slouch when it comes to clearing up messes, such as this avalanche you mentioned. So, yes, the road is clear, as far as the info I have received. One more thing: Bryan's Head, the ski resort in that neck of the woods, remains open year-round, thanks to the efforts of that department. And we're not talking small snow squalls, folks. These folks know what to do with harsh weather and I am not sure if all ski resorts can make the same claim when it comes to keeping the road open to/from their respective resorts. Thanks for posting your comment, PavePusher.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 07:57:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I've skiied B.H. a few times.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        and camped at C.B. campground several times.  I love driving through there on my way from Tucson to SLC or back.  

        Last time I drove the Route 14 canyon, there was still 4-5 feet of snow walling the road at the top.... in April.

        I'd say Alta/Snowbird has some experience with road-clearing as well, and I think they have more snow-avalanch danger.  Cedar Canyon road was cut by an actual landslide.  Not terribly surprising, as in places it's literally hanging on a cut in the cliff.  Spectacular scenery.  

        And I should have checked this earlier: http://www.mikehenle.com/...

        My last two trips I've been: A. under time-pressure and wasn't taking the most scenic routes B. took the alternate route up 191 from the I-10 in AZ.  So I didn't check the Rt. 14 availability.  Glad to know it's open again.  

        Your hate-mail will be graded.

        by PavePusher on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 12:03:45 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  thanks for both commentaries. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          PavePusher. . .and for the embedded sight. I see you take the slow and alternate routes getting from place to place and that route you described is just about as good as it gets, scenery wise. I love driving the slower roads, too. By the way, I remember many years ago, say, in the 1970s, during my first visit to the 'Breaks how the high, planed wall of snow in late May was about ten or twelve feet high! I don't think the height mentioned is a hyperbole, but a fact of life given weather conditions in those years. Not sure if it's as high these days, but 5 to 6 feet of a planed snow wall on either side of the road, in places, that sounds about right. Again, kudos to the Utah Highway Department for doing such a fantastic job keeping the roads clear.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:01:25 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Sorry to keep resurrecting this... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            (O.K., no, I'm not sorry at all, talking about traveling is fun!)

            ...I've got a few pictures of that very thing from my last road trip somewhere on my hard drive, I'll try to dig them out tonight, now that I have a new, working computer.

            Your hate-mail will be graded.

            by PavePusher on Wed Apr 24, 2013 at 07:11:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  And by the way.... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        thanks for the amazing pictures!  

        It's time to go back there this year!

        Your hate-mail will be graded.

        by PavePusher on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 12:05:12 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Beautiful (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    Thanks

    The sun's not yellow, it's chicken. B. Dylan

    by bgblcklab1 on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 06:36:41 PM PDT

  •  Cedar Breaks (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch, RiveroftheWest

    Sorry. I have been out of town, so have not been able to partake in these diaries. The Cedar Breaks looks like a place you could go to in the summer and not die of heat! It is so gorgeous. Is camping allowed here or is too small an area for that? My brother-in-law lives in St. George and has never said anything about Cedar Breaks. Thanks again for sharing an American treasure with us.

    •  you just said it all. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wasatch, RiveroftheWest

      wynative. . .why folks gather at this high point on the Markagunt Plateau: a scenic place to beat the heat and crowds. There are campsites in this area and some that are just outside the monument. I am not sure just how many there are, but the contact info included in this, and all other DKos Tour Series diaries, is the place to start the investigation. And it does not surprise me to hear the news of your brother-in-law in St. George not mentioning too much about Cedar Breaks. For one thing, some folks like to keep that area "quiet" (you know, off the main tourism grid, such as the throngs that generally go to Bryce, instead. I think both are great destinations, but personally Cedar Breaks is just. . .well. . .more intimate (i.e, less crowded). As always, thanks for posting your comments on these diaries.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 08:02:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Cedar Breaks is lovely! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    haven't camped there, but spent a day on a drive-through a few years ago, stopping at vantage points, after a weekend at the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City (also a worthy summer destination!)

    •  excellent hiking.. . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      in and through Cedar Breaks, wasatch, so it's worth going back and visiting. By the way, Cedar City has a very excellent repertoire theory, and I think the Shakespeare productions are quite excellent. So, kudos to that community in "Dixie" for presenting such an excellent stage of life given their diverse productions. As always, thanks so much for your comments and support.  

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 08:39:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did my field camp out of Cedar City. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    Spent a few drunken college geology weekends in Cedar Breaks and on up to Panguich for some fishing.  One of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen was a sunset over Zion from the highway between cedar city and cedar breaks....

    Sent via African Swallow carrying a coconut

    by ipaman on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 09:19:03 PM PDT

    •  sunsets and such. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      when you're high in the atmosphere, that other kind of 'high,' I remember some that were, well, orgasmic. Obviously, you experienced the same. The sunset I remember the most was coming into Zion, that hanging valley scene driving in from the eastern sector, and it got to be so distracting I had to pull off the side of the road to watch the show, otherwise, well, who knows where a driver might end up when communing with the mind of God or by whatever name one calls it given the outrageous light and shadow show of Nature. Thanks for posting your comment, ipaman.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:56:31 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Love this place (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    Found it quite by accident back in 1996 or so, on the way to the SW Utah region to see the much more well-known Bryce Canyon and Zion National Parks.  This was such a  treat that I think to this day I liked it better than the other two.  I was there in mid May, two weeks before the "official" start of vacation season (Memorial Day) and my girlfriend and I were the only two in the place.   The contrast between the hoodoos and the snow on the ground was mind-blowing, and we spent some time camping close to nearby Navajo Lake (I think that was the name).  Anyhow, I ended up taking a trip Out West every year for about 7 years straight, so I am often asked for advice when friends of mine here in KY plan their own roadtrips to or through the area, and I always recommend a stop at Cedar Breaks.   Thanks for the pics - they are of much higher quality than mine, which were all taken with an old APS camera, the exciting "new" technology at the time.  lol

    KD

    •  it's a toss-up. . . (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest

      between the two locales given the stunning beauty of the setting and the color, but I think Cedar Breaks takes the cake for the more enriching tincture. It's also the choice locale given the lower impact of visitors. Then again, it's like comparing two of your children and figuring out which is more beautiful, eh? Thanks for posting your comment oruacat2. I also think the monument opens a bit earlier these years due to the pervasive drought that generates less moisture these years compared to the past, even way up there in that lofty plateau country.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:51:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  When they ask "what's the difference" (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        I tell them - Bryce and Zion are both incredible, typical red-rock desert that you find throughout southern Utah - Cedar Breaks is a little slice of that red rock desert dropped into an alpine meadow.   lol

        Here's a UT/KY connection you might not know about:  in SE Kentucky we have an area called the Red River Gorge National Geological Area, it has more natural bridges, rock shelters, recess caves, etc than any other place in America, except for your Arches National Park.   Picture Arches in your head and imagine if it "greened up" overnight into a lush woodland environment with ample rainfall and groundwater, and you've got The Gorge.  

        KD

        •  when I lived in Cincy. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          for a time, and the best girlfriend a fellah could ever want, she and I drove down that way and I was very blown away by the scenery. You folks have lots of limestone and natural bridges in same. So, yes, I am very familiar with that neck of the woods. If I wasn't using such a slow-ass wi-fi hookup these days (I recently moved and am awaiting a faster connection) I would send you some pics I just found on the web given that area. Then again, you already know the beauty of the place. Verdure country, indeed; and it's anything but a desert terrain. Like your take on the Breaks being dropped into an alpine meadow. Very good, that. Thanks for posting your comment and sharing something from your neck of the woods, oruacat2.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 03:13:28 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Like the Na Pali Coast of Kauai (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    No Exit, RiveroftheWest

    There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

    by bernardpliers on Fri Apr 19, 2013 at 10:39:37 PM PDT

    •  I thank you. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bernardpliers, RiveroftheWest

      and the community thanks you bernardpliers, for this fascinating video. I am not familiar with that part of the world, though I have been there a time or two or three. Ergo, I did not notice the 'other menu offerings' of this lovely state. . .and this video is a keeper. Thanks for the 'free cheddar' posting, too.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:53:22 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Couple Scenes From The Jurassic Park Movies (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        The beach scene at the start of the sequel, the big waterfall in the first one.  Only accessible by boat, air, or foot. We took a cruise past it

        There’s always free cheddar in a mousetrap, baby

        by bernardpliers on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:44:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think I remember those scenes. . . (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RiveroftheWest

          and now I'll have to watch the sequel and recapture the moment and scenery. Thanks for letting me know. I've also never cruised the islands in a boat, so the perspective has to be even greater, I'm thinking.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:50:10 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A beautiful place. (0+ / 0-)

    One of my big photographic regrets is not stopping and going back to photograph a huge meadow full of flowers in full bloom right by Cedar Breaks, which was itself (as your photos so clearly show) gorgeous on a glorious spring day.

    Thanks for posting this.

    •  the flower show. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mofembot, RiveroftheWest

      is always spectacular up there, mofembot, because the snow and rain is ample. At 9,000 above sea level the monument is also closed until late spring and closes in early autumn. I guess the flowers have to make the most of it while they can. Thanks for posting your comment and it's never too late to head back to the 'Breaks. . .say, sometime starting around mid-May.

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 05:47:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm kind of on the wrong side (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RiveroftheWest

        of the Atlantic to be able to get back to Cedar Breaks easily, at least this year!

        •  And I'm thinking. . . (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mofembot, RiveroftheWest

          what could possibly be on that side of the Big Pond that might suffice. AS I said, I'm thinking. . .and if I come up with something I'll get back in touch. Meanwhile, I am sure when you get to this side of the Atlantic you may have time to come see the Breaks again. Likely, it still looks the same since last you saw its stunning facade. Thanks for posting your comment mofembot.

          Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

          by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 08:42:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  My parents live in St. George, (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            RiveroftheWest

            and I am trying to see them at least once a year. (They're making noises about coming over next year, but they'll be 82 and 85 respectively this year and they've been saying "this is the last transatlantic trip for the past several trips they've made in the past, so…. However, money's a bit tight at the moment. Hope to make it over in the fall if possible.)

            •  I have an idea. . . (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RiveroftheWest

              mofembot. . .to get you (or them) reunited: let's get a crowd sourcing thing going with the community. Who knows about these strange things and how they might turn out? But we know there's one hellava community we're part of and maybe a charity drive to reunite elderly parents with their progeny might do the trick. Lovely place to live, by the way. Can you believe the Mormons even grew cotton in that neck of the Utah woods?

              Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

              by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 03:09:13 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  Great diary on The Breaks! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    RiveroftheWest

    I haven't been there since 1989, back during the summer when my wife and I worked for the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City. I'd take our dog and go hiking on the weekends all over the nearby wilderness areas, including Cedar Breaks.

    Your pics are just as I remember the place, the dramatic contrast of that great vivid red-orange amphitheater of rock set against the dark green of the surrounding slopes and hills. I still remember hiking in the meadows along the Alpine Pond trail through fields of lupines. My dog met her first porcupine in the woods out along the Ramparts trail, but fortunately she was smart enough to be cautious of such a large, odd-sounding creature.

    Thanks for this and all your Tour Series diaries.

    Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory, tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat. Sun Tzu The Art of War

    by Stwriley on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 06:00:57 AM PDT

    •  the Bard's festival and such. . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RiveroftheWest, Stwriley

      one of the best I've ever seen and here I am addressing someone who had something important to do with Dixie's show of show. Thanks, too, for posting your comments, Stwrlley. The Alpine Pond trail, and all the others, I have hiked and inhaled the scent of flowers to the point it was almost intoxicating. Ran into a puma, too, which I love the big cats, so she and I got along (from a distance). Such a lovely, but chilly setting, the Breaks, eh?

      Treat the world (yourself, and others) as part of a living organism. Everyone and everything will benefit.

      by richholtzin on Sat Apr 20, 2013 at 07:48:46 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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