Friday, May 6, 2011


Day after that Kodachrome Basin. Originally named Kodachrome Flat, the name was changed to Chimney Rock State Park, due to fears of the Wrath of Kodak. Kodak turned out to be Amused by someone naming a State Park after their film (gee, I can't imagine why), so eventually it became known as Kodachrome Basin State Park.

On a side note: if you stay at Ruby's Inn and want to buy groceries, I'd seriously recommend driving nine miles down UT-12 to the small town of Tropic and go to the grocery store there. A larger variety of food, and certainly more reasonable prices. We had a burger at the restaurant part of the restaurant/grocery store/gas station. Pretty darn good food. Beer selection's limited, but hey - it's Utah.

After lunch, we hit the Shakespeare Arch, a half a mile through very very dusty environs, lots of ups and downs and ups and downs. The arch itself is far overhead, and is quite an impressive structure.

A nice boulder
Then we hit the upper half of the park. Longer hike, flatter, up close and personal with some pretty massive sandstone formations. My understanding of sandstone is that it was once plain old sand or dirt of one kind or another (mostly sand), that got layers and layers of crap laid onto it over the years, eventually concreting into a single mass, and then a lot of the crap ended up weathering away, to give all of us the appearance of giant rounded lumps of stone with interesting erosion marks all over, strange formations that appear to be teetering on the edge of collapse (which they are, but very, very slowly).

The other odd things are the holes in all the walls, in some cases in neat little rows, way up the side of a massive formation, that speak to tiny imperfections becoming larger and larger erosion pits. More fun occurs later (after a few hundred years) when rain slowly pulls the sand off the sandstone and forms little mud castles inside these same erosion holes. It's been pointed out by smarter people than I that any natural formation at its edges looks like a smaller version of the bigger formation, and this fractalization extends all the way down to the molecular level. The tiny sandstone formations in these holes is awesome proof of that.

Another thing, which my pictures don't do justice to, (but some of the digitals might) is the ridiculous variety of color within the sandstones. There's iron for red, manganese for purple, and yellow for straight feldspar (which is common in sandstones). Then there's the white limestone intrusions everywhere.

After the hike, swimming and something akin to a buffet at Ruby's. Overcooked carrots, undercooked pork, properly cooked beef (in "cowboy" gravy - didn't taste like cowboy to me), roasted chicken parts, mashed potato paste, Rice-A-Roni (really), decent mac'n'cheese, and corms. The dessert pile consisted of a lot of stuff that might have been Sara Lee, and a frogurt bar. Back to the room and into a food coma.

No comments: