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!

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