Formation Near Moab
I enjoy taking the two hour drive down to Moab, Utah to study the landscapes along the way. There are many miles of jeep trails there, along with Arches and Canyon Lands National Parks. Basically, from the time I leave I-70, I’m surrounded by gorgeous landscapes of exposed rock layers too old to wrap one’s head around. I usually take the scenic route, hwy 128, which winds alongside the Colorado River, eventually into a narrow valley with high, red rock cliffs framing the road ahead.
On this adventure, I always become keenly aware that we humans really haven’t been here very long at all when one considers the age of the rock layers, the Earth and the Universe. It brings home the song by the rock band, America. ”Dust in the Wind”. The line, “…all we are is dust in the wind…”, suddenly becomes very real and profound when I stand below the high canyon faces and try to count the layers. Each one representing millions of years in passed time and events. And here we are, for an average life span of less than eighty of them; a minuscule amount of time really. Life truly is short!
While putting pencil to paper in an attempt to capture such a scene, one realizes there is no reason to be encumbered with making it a tight, perfect and absolutely true to form rendering. These landscapes are constantly changing incrementally, and at times, catastrophically. They are loose so to speak. Rock towers and massive arches are destined to topple or collapse after all. They are gradually driven by the weather, grain by grain, to new locations, leaving behind a different profile. These landscapes call for a loose sketch then I think. And this is one done in honor of their age and propensity toward looseness.
2 thoughts on “Formation Near Moab”
Hi Don, I think a lot like you are expressing here. We live in the Rocky Mountains and this is the second chain of mountains in this location. The first is reduced to small rock and sand from the passage of time wind and water’s affect on the previous mountain range. They are finding that people have been in what is now the US of A for over 30,000.00 years. That number keeps expanding as they find more evidence of people’s presence. Tools, footprints, mammoth bone fossils with cut marks indicating butchering all led to that time frame so far. And much of man’s presence will not have survived the passage of time and the elements. I think we probably have been here for much longer.
The beautiful rock formations have been here for much longer than man’s occupation of course and the formations are very moving to me as well. I love the Colorado Plateau and all its crazy formations. I have spent a lot of time in and around Moab, Blanding and particularly the Grand Gulch and I am always fascinated by the magic of the area.
I like the simplicity and looseness of your drawing. Thanks for sharing.
Best, Tim Brady
Thanks so much for your comments.👍
Since moving out here I’ve made it a point to learn about the geology all around us. Particularly since so much of it is exposed for viewing.
I lived in Georgia most of my life only a couple of hours from the mountains there. Very different! A very old chain of mountains. Well worn and forested. Not as interesting to me geologically as it is out West. Not to demean those beautiful old mountains of course. They just have a radically different personality.😉
It was a pleasure reading your thoughts. Don’t be a stranger!
All the best to you.