Thursday, June 10, 2010

Utah Adventure part 4: Who knew the Devil even had a slide?

Just driving around the back country is plenty of fun with my hubby and my camera by my side.

The road winds through the hills and scenes like this one delight me.

Vermillion red train rolling along beneath a vivid blue sky...

Curious formations that remind me of an elephant nuzzling her calf with a strange squid like creature behind her.

(Some people look for shapes in clouds, others of us look for shapes in the rocks!)

Then there are other forms that don't really don't suggest anything to me.
Maybe the thing on the far right has an old franklin stove shape?
I know almost nothing about geology.
I have not a clue why these shapes are perched atop the smooth mountainside.

At one point along the road side we saw a sign telling us that the Devil's Slide Look-out point was just ahead.
Not sure what that would mean, we pulled over and saw the above rock formation.

Strange, isn't it?

The center was quite slide-like smooth.

It is really big...

and my mind kept saying this had to be man made.

Man had nothing to do with it.

Totally a Creator thing.

Seeing the Devil's side made me curious enough to want a learn a bit about geology:

The sides of the slide are hard, weather-resistant limestone layers about 40 feet high, 25 feet apart, and several hundred feet in length. In between these two hard layers is a shaly limestone that is slightly different in composition from the outer limestone layers.

This middle layer is softer, which makes it more susceptible to weathering and erosion, thus forming the chute of the slide.

This site is a tilted remnant of sediments deposited in a sea that occupied Utah’s distant geologic past. Approximately 170 to 180 million years ago, a shallow sea originating from the north spread south and east over areas of what are now Montana, Wyoming, and Utah. This sea extended as far east as the present-day Colorado River and south into northern Arizona.

Over millions of years, massive amounts of sediment accumulated and eventually formed layers of limestone and sandstone. In northern Utah, these rocks are known as the Twin Creek Formation and are approximately 2700 feet thick.

About 75 million years ago, folding and faulting during a mountain- building episode tilted the Twin Creek rock layers to a near-vertical position. Subsequent erosion has exposed the near-vertical rock layers and created Devils Slide.

I'm not convinced that the site got the number of years right, but it does explain why there are so many rock structures that are at 45 degree angles from the ground.

And why there are seashells embedded in the rock!

Our next stop was made because I was intriged by this rock wall.
I am shooting the picture standing straight.
The lines are almost 90 degrees up from the ground.
I can't imagine how it must have been for the mountain to lift from the ground that much...
The sound of that earth movement must have been deafening.
Very tough trees grow in the solid rock.
How do they do that: cling and grow at that angle?
My bonsai loving man commented that that particular tree specimen actually thrives in the tough growing conditions.
He told me that if the tree was transplanted to rich loamy soil it would die.
Now there's something to remember to think about when things get tough.
I'll let you ponder about that until tomorrow...when the Utah adventure continues!


Lovella ♥ said...

I smiled at the lesson learned. Julie would like this one.
Amazing rock formations and the slide info was good. It really is a creator thing. . .some day we'll know for sure how old the earth really is.

Vanessa said...

The landscapes look stunning! :) Thanks for sharing the pics.

Just a little something from Judy said...

This is far better than any of my high school geography classes. Who would have thought that this afternoon I could learn so much just by paying a visit to your beautiful blog. This is a very interesting post. Thank goodness you had your camera with you. Thank you for sharing this adventure. i truly enjoyed it.