Friday, May 26, 2006

Southwest 33: Monumental Inscriptions

It started off with El Capitan but soon I hit the harder stuff, to paraphrase a great poet. North to see Monument Valley and his lover, Mystery. I knew the both of them were considered wise beyond their years, and I thought this time, unlike the awkward beginnings with Sedona and Grand Canyon, I’d try to impress them in the area of their interest, using my intellectual capacity for facts and other raw information. “I understand there’s forty named buttes and dozens of unnamed ones around here. According to Encyclopedia Topic, the floor is largely Cutler Red siltstone. Its sand was deposited by the meandering rivers that carved the valley. The valley's vivid red color comes from iron oxide exposed in the weathered siltstone. The buttes, some rising to 1000 feet high, are clearly stratified. The lowest layer is Organ Rock shale, the middle de Chelly sandstone and the top layer is Moenkopi shale capped by Shinarump siltstone. John Ford directed John Wayne here in such classic films as Stagecoach and The Searchers.” I basked in my intelligence like some desert sage in the four corners territory. Monument looked at me with something bordering the states of light disdain, sympathetic pity, and dry humor. “So tell me something I don’t know,” he said.

~Chandler Chiller 2006

see series to date at chapblog Southwest Wheels

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