What’s in a Name?

Arch, bridge, window, hoodoo, spire, tower, fin……these are all names given to sandstone rock features.  I sure have been spending my fair share of time among some of these amazing, wind created rock formations.

Sand Dune Arch

Sand Dune Arch

Balanced Rock

Balanced Rock

From the Colorado National Monument to Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, I’m awed by the shear beauty created by Mother Nature….. I might even say “awed by Mother Natures wrath” after the repeated sandblasting I received.  While enduring short hikes in whipping wind conditions in Arches and Canyonlands, I’m sure I’ve ingested my daily allowance for minerals….at least that’s what the grit in my mouth is telling me.  And don’t even get me started on all the other places I’ve detected sand 😉

So what’s in a name?  To qualify as a stone “arch”, a hole must have an opening at least three feet (1m) long in any one direction and is created by wind.  It doesn’t matter if it’s width or length.  Some arches are small and some are HUGE!

Landscape Arch

Landscape Arch….visitors are no longer allowed to stand beneath this spanning Arch. It could collapse at any time or not for the next 50 years…no one knows!

A natural bridge is formed by running water and spans either a present or former waterway.  Arches National Park has very few natural bridges as the majority of arches are formed by wind and not water.  Natural Bridges National Monument in southern Utah is loaded with natural bridges…..evidenced by the name 😉

Double O Arch

Double O Arch

Then of course there are the names given to some of these unique rocks.

Three Gossips

Three Gossips

Double Arch

Double Arch – look close…there are 2 arches.  Can you see the people in the bottom of the photo?  Gives scale as to how huge some of these arches are.

Fiery Furnace

Fins and spires of Fiery Furnace

However, sometimes the most entertaining aspect of exploring this area can be the shapes themselves…. do I see a face or thing?  Hey, doesn’t that look like…….

FYI:  We are currently staying at the Pueblo El Mirage RV Park & Resort in Phoenix AZ until the end of December.  I am experiencing some of the worst internet connectivity on our journey to date.  Sometimes I can’t even respond to emails….grrrh.  Please know that I am still reading your posts but may not be able to comment or even hit ‘like’.  Trips to McDonalds or Starbucks may be in my future 😉  Oh, and if you’re in the area, do stop by and say hi!


77 thoughts on “What’s in a Name?

    • Thanks…..can’t watch video at the moment due to internet GB usage but I’ll be sure and check out your blog. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

  1. We were just there in Arches and Canyonlands a couple weeks back…breath taking, isn’t it? Did you get to the Needles Overlook off of 161 down towards the bottom entrance to the park…it’s actually not in the park itself but off of 161 about 5 miles before you turn west to head into the park. Truly amazing views there. We liked both of the parks but overall thought Canyonlands was superior views…some of the arches are more famous but for sure size and grandeur Canyonlands almost can’t be beat in that part of the country.

    • We didn’t make it to Needles Overlook but saw the turn off for it. We may just have to stop on our return in the spring. I’ll revisit your blog about it. We were in the Moab area same time you were and I totally agree with your take on Canyonlands….simple stunning.

  2. Gorgeous photos! I really like the one of you, balancing! Too cute!

    Sorry, to read of your loses within a short period of time! Both sets of parents have been gone awhile, we miss them everyday!

    It is always so hard to lose a four- legged best friend.

    Have fun visiting with your son!!

    • We’ve had our challenges, but as they say, “life goes on”. They are all missed very much but the loss of doggie has been the biggest adjustment. He traveled with us the last two winters so the RV is a little empty without him.
      It’s fun having a daughter in Denver and a son in Phoenix to visit…..two great places to travel between.

  3. Lovely photos!
    Since the arches are made from wind, they must still be changing. Lord knows we get enough wind here in AZ. I’m about 5 hours west of you along the Colorado River.
    Thanks for visiting my blog today featuring Angelia!

    • Yes, ever changing….very unique landscape. We’ve stayed in Bullhead City and Lake Havasu City in the past and really enjoyed the areas. Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting 🙂

  4. Amazing photos Ingrid and a very informative post. We love all the rock formations and were tickled by some of the names given to those in Sedona. I feel your pain with internet connectivity. I have to head out of the RV and down the road to get a decent signal most of the time. Terry just ordered a booster to try to improve our signal. Enjoy some warm weather in Phoenix. 🙂

    • My fave…..coffee pot. We stopped in Jerome this year instead of Sedona. I’d love for you to shoot me an email with the booster info….kind, router, etc. We plan on purchasing one. Weather is great so far in Phx and taking advantage of all the RV Park’s facilities…..still wish we were in Cave Creek though 🙂

  5. Those are fantastic! Whatever they are called. And the double arches? WOW! Those people looked teeny tiny. I am in awe of many of Earth’s features. Truly amazes me. Hope you find a good tower soon! I hate having spotty internet. 🙂

    • The spotty internet has been truly frustrating, but then I look back at some of these photos and the frustration fades. What incredible country and very awe-inspiring 🙂

  6. Great Captures – thanks so much for sharing! I love coming up with my own take on what I think a formation looks like and I have to say one of these looks like E.T. – ha! Have a Great Day:)

  7. You can turn a post into something so very special. From the photography to sharing your knowledge…enjoy AZ! Still back home trying to make some decisions. Been a tough one but we have got to get moving very soon!

    • Thank you….what a sweet comment! I don’t blog about our personal life much….we lost 3 out of our 4 parents in a 2 year span and then our doggie. Life knocked us between the eyes pretty darn good. So take a deep breath and take it one day at a time. Sending well wishes your way 🙂

      • Oh Ingrid….you would know then. That had to be so tough…know now why you reach for life with all your got then! Sure is an eye opener spending our recent days at nursing home. Just a bump…all will be well!

        • Don’t underestimate how emotionally draining this experience can be. You’re probably running on adrenaline. Once on the road, take it slow….. those National Parks aren’t going anywhere 🙂

  8. How the Heck did you get such a great rate for that park???? Holy schlamoly that’s sure a great price…I want some photos! Enjoy the warmth during December. We are hoping to depart sometime after Thanksgiving..if all works out. ..long story…Suffice to say the elders don’t like so much right now…sigh.

    • We heard about Pueblo El Mirage RV Resort a couple of years ago from some folks we met along our travels. RV Park runs this special for new folks who have never stayed here before….. Sept, Oct, Nov, Dec total price $750. You pay your own electric (normal) Sept. is still a tad too warm plus we had other things we wanted to do thus showed up Oct 2. End of Dec we’ll head to Hidden Oaks in Rockport TX for $245 for the month.
      Hope end of November works for you to hit the road. Sounds like you could use the break 🙂

  9. Beautiful photos of the various rock formations. I hope you’re enjoying your time in Phoenix. I’m a little surprised that you’re staying put until the end of December. At any rate, enjoy your time there! 🙂

    • Thank you…. great scenery to photograph. Our son lives in Phoenix and we have some business things to take care of, plus a great rate of $250 a month is why we’re sitting until the end of Dec. Already looking forward to moving on!

  10. We must have visited at the right time as we didn’t experience the sand blasting that you did. While the park is mainly about the arches, I was more fascinated by the many other rock features and the things I could see in them. I just had to end my post with the fickle finger one.

    • I found the unique and varying landscape to be fascinating. I’m sure we caught the weather as fall was approaching and in the west changing weather always means wind. My mind was in the gutter looking at a lot of those rock formations 😆

  11. Very interesting post Ingrid. You always do your research. I just look at stuff and think – Wow! Cool! Shame about your poor connectivity. Try your local library. I use mine so I don’t exceed my 5G/month limit.

    • I just read some of the brochures and NP hand outs in some effort to learn about the area. Good reminder on the Library idea. I think I’ll head over there this afternoon 🙂

      • It’s always interesting and informative to read your posts. Your photographic skills are a bonus! Hope the library works for you. I’m in ours now. I get in trouble with him indoors for using up our monthly data allowance so I scrounge some from the library!

  12. What landscapes can wind and Mother Nature create! These are beautiful photos and thanks for sharing them with us.
    I suffer through the same internet problems when I’m in Michigan. I don’t even try anymore. It’s far too frustrating. 🙂

    • Yes, frustrating is putting it mildly. I can see why you don’t bother trying while in Michigan. Plus sometimes it is nice to get a bit of a break from technology. Thanks 🙂

  13. If you have a smart phone download OPEN SIGNAL an app that will help you identify wherethe signal is comming from and what is available. You may be able to get by with just a 75 ohm directional antenna if you are still using the Melinnecom wifi.

  14. Yes, it looks like a …!! There are several of them sticking up in Arches!! Or at least that’s what I thought they looked like:) What’s on MY mind!!

    All my favorites! Thanks for the walk down memory lane.

    • Arches National Park……aka Phallus National Park is definitely entertaining on many levels. I knew exactly where you were going with your comment…. LOL. Yes, a favorite for many 😆

    • Thank you. The little specks of people really give scale to the size of that Arch. Even I had to look for the people and I took the shot….lol.

    • I love the west and no longer consider myself a Midwesterner. Our return trips to the Midwest will be far and few between. Perhaps one more trip to Michigan’s U.P. and Mackinac Island…… 🙂

    • Our home base is Colorado but we spend winters in AZ…..son lives in Phoenix. Last winter we spent a week at Dead Horse Ranch SP and explored Sedona. This year we stayed at the fairgrounds and explored Jerome before heading to Phx.

  15. Somewhere I have a shot of Landscape Arch pretty much like yours with hubby standing under it, taken back around 1985. Much like your shot of Double Arch, you really have to hunt to find him he’s so tiny compared to the arch, but it sure gives a grand sense of scale. Lovely shots of one of my favorite regions. Hubby used to drive the bus for a Technical College geology class down to Canyonlands and other parks in the area. To this day I kick myself for not going along on those when I had the chance… oh, how we regret the missed opportunities!

    • You said the magic words…..”missed opportunities”…..hubby and I have been discussing some of our past decisions. Woulda, shoulda, coulda……oh well, life goes on.
      It was in the late 90’s when they had to fence off Landscape Arch because of a big chuck of rock falling. There’s a whole plaque dedicated to that event. I agree with you – this area falls into a favorite!

  16. I was in Utah in May for a 1/2 marathon. the next day I had over 12 hours to kill before my flight so I drove 4+ hours past the airport to Arches. I only had 3 ours to drive around and enjoy this breathtaking National Park. I loved it so much I immediately booked a trip with my oldest kids to Yellowstone, Glacier, Grand Teton and Waterton Lake. Love your post, brings me back to May!

    • Oh, how fun. We have yet to make it to Yellowstone and our trip through Glacier was way too short. No shortage of stunning places to visit and three days in Arches wasn’t long enough let alone 3 hours. I find repeat visits are more fun because we have a better idea of what we want to see and do 🙂

  17. Wonderful scenery, too bad that you had to eat so much of the landscape as you viewed it.

    Your story reminds me of a couple of lines from Red River, the John Wayne, Montgomery Clift, Walter Brennan movie. [Groot complains about the dust]
    Groot Nadine: Bet I ate ten pounds in the last sixteen days. Before this shenanigan is over, I’ll probably eat enough land to incorporate me in the Union. The state of Groot.

    • Having lived out west now for over twenty years, those winds are nothing new to me….that doesn’t mean I like it though. Thanks for the comment…… 🙂

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