Sunday, August 01, 2010

Geology Festival at Bryce Canyon - Day 2

July 31 saw Helen and I walking down into Bryce Canyon from Sunset Point along the Queen's Garden Trail to Queen Victoria rock and up through Wall Street to Sunrise Point. It was a steamy July day but no rain fell on Bryce today. We took in Dave Gillette's talk once again at the Visitor Center and then prepared for my evening lecture, the last official event of the festival.

I gave this talk at the Bryce Canyon Lodge Auditorium and over 110 people attended it. It was a smashing success and the local NHA sold many books. We are big supporters of Natural History Associations in the parks and became members of this one before we left. Thanks to everyone at Bryce Canyon who made us feel welcome and appreciated.

View of the Bryce Canyon entrance station. No one could possibly miss the fact that a celebration of geology was happening in the park this weekend.

From along the Queen's Garden Trail in Bryce Canyon. The hoodoos are fantastic.

Limestone is interbedded with red mudstone and this is what gives the landscape its distinctive shape. Although a freshwater lake is most often cited as the origin of these deposits, a likely scenario is that they originated on the fringes of a fluctuating lake, perhaps mostly onshore. Limestone often forms in algal mats adjacent to shorelines of lakes and seas.

Helen admires the hoodoos and ponderosa's along the trial.

The erosion rate at Bryce is considered one of the fastest on all the Colorado Plateau. Here the roots of a pine tree are exposed by the rapid erosion. although the pace of erosion is greatly accentuated by the many feet that pass by this spot, the Claron Formation is relatively soft and rates of about one foot every 60 to 65 years have been documented.

Mule riders travel through a sparse forest of bristlecone pines.

The famous Douglas fir trees in the stretch of the trail known as Wall Street.

The trail was full of French speaking visitors.

A farewell shot from Bryce Canyon. Thanks to everyone involved with the success of the first ever geology festival!

1 comment:

jg said...

If I'd known you were going to lecture tonight I would have come up.