Ever have that feeling that you are teetering on the edge? What if you weighed 3,600 tons and stood 128 feet up in the air while you teetered? That’s the case of Balanced Rock, one of the most iconic rock sculptures of Arches National Park in Utah. Actually, the rock owes more to the super-glue mudstone that attaches the sculpture to its base than any super-power balancing capabilities. Someday, it will come crashing down, but until then, it is there to admire and astound.
As the buried layers of salt that I mentioned in my last post work upward, it leads to parallel cracks in the sandstone above that eventually erode away leaving long fins, from which arches, balanced rocks and other rock formations of Arches National Park are created. The most impressive fin to me, Park Avenue, greets visitors on their way into the park. If you’ve ever walked down Park Avenue in New York City, you know it is lined by sky scrapers. That’s what folks had in mind when they named this impressive formation.
And to conclude, here’s some more eye-candy from Arches National Park.
Note: All photos are taken by Curtis and Peggy Mekemson.
NEXT POST: The arches of arches.
30 thoughts on “But Are You Balanced… Arches NP: Part 2”
I’m not THAT well-balanced!!
Fun G. I doubt that many of us are. 🙂 –Curt
We lock up the sane ones for safe keeping. They wouldn’t be able to handle it out here! 🙂
One of the jobs that Peggy and I have is to keep each other sane! 🙂
Isn’t it just amazing and a wonder what nature can create left to itself. It is sheer beauty and also of course the tricky balance. Makes it all the more a bit like us.
Thanks for this wonderful and all beautiful photos.
I’ve felt like those rocks a few time in my life, Miriam. (Laughing, at least in looking back.) Arches has exceptional beauty. I always feel that nature has beauty to offer everywhere, from the local city park to vast wilderness areas like in Alaska. It may not be as dramatic… but it is there. Thanks so much. –Curt
Great photos Curt, as always. I haven’t been to arches in many years, and your photos are a good reminder of how beautiful it is. The wonderful thing about Arches, (and many other parks in the west), is the lack of vegetation, which keeps these erosional remnants clearly visible. Outstanding natural art for sure. ~James
I was just commenting to Evelyne, James, about what a treasure our parks are. And when it comes to admiring geology and gorgeous rocks, the Southwest is the place! Thanks. –Curt
One of my big fav.! Love, love this parc and your photos pay homage to the outstanding beauty of this part of our land.
The National Park system is one of the things that America got right, Evelyne. And Arches is one of the crown jewels. There is so much beauty and so much diversity. Still, I worry at times. Will we continue to put the money into the parks necessary for upkeep? Will we open the parks to mineral exploitation? We we turn operations over to private entrepreneurs. Hopefully not. But those thought are always bouncing around out on the far right. –Curt
So-o agree with you, Curt. When you see the government relentless desire to turn everything to profit it’s legitimate to worry.
Fortunately, I think there would be a loud enough outcry. But who knows. 😦
Thanks, Bojana. Appreciated. –Curt
Like ballet dancers balancing on their toes!
And all you can do is wonder how they do it! –Curt
And for what like eons!
At least! 🙂
I see Darth Vader standing, facing west in the third from last photo. May the force be with you, Curt! 🙂
Good job, Kelly! I am usually the first to see faces in rocks, and I totally missed Vader. 🙂 Apparently I can use a little of the Force. –Curt
Wondrous, Curt! You wouldn’t want to be under Balanced Rock when the mud superglue loses its strength! 😀 Ahh…What a fantastic walk down Park Avenue! A fascinating place and I’m so glad to have learned so much about the Arches – thank you for sharing…this is a beautiful start to my day! 😀🌻
Glad you are enjoying the rocky Southwest, Annika. Peggy and I had a lot of fun reviewing our photos. They are what made Peggy immediately decide that we need to go back there this spring. Any excuse to wander and we are out the door. 🙂 –Curt
Great post Curt. I especially like the inclusion of the climbers – it puts all of the others into greater perspective!
Thanks, Andrew. And that’s a good point… to include more people on occasion. Usually, I am trying to get them out of my photos. 🙂
These rock formations are fascinating. There’s a different kind of energy about them.
I think there was a law in physics that applied to that, Juliann. 🙂 –Curt
We enjoyed walking all around Balance Rock — and the view changed with each perspective. Your photos make me want to return here. I loved the naming of Park Avenue and Three Gossips — pretty appropriate, if you ask me. And again, the time of day makes a difference. In fact, it would be fun to see Arches NP twice — early morning and afternoon. I could do that!
I want to go back as well, Rusha! And I want to spend a few days in the area and do much more hiking. I think I would also like to add night to the equation, especially if there is a full moon. –Curt
We’ve heard that night is glorious in most of the parks that are open. Canyon lands is one mentioned frequently. Would love to stay late and see the stars!
With close to zero light pollution it’s amazing what you can see, Rusha. Our house is close! We’ve rediscovered the Milky Way. Sometimes we got out on our deck at night and just stare up. –Curt