Raging Winds, Fog, and Treacherous Rocks… 3 Reasons for the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse

“Point Reyes is the windiest place on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place on the North American continent. Weeks of fog, especially during the summer months, frequently reduce visibility to hundreds of feet. The Point Reyes Headlands, which jut 10 miles out to sea, pose a threat to each ship entering or leaving San Francisco Bay. The historic Point Reyes Lighthouse warned mariners of danger for more than a hundred years.” From the Pt. Reyes National Seashore website.

It was hard to imagine frequent winds of 60 MPH that have been clocked as high as 133 MPH and weeks on end of pea-soup fog the day we visited the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse in March.

For as much as I enjoy Pt. Reyes National Seashore, I studiously avoid it in the summer. One reason is the fog. That’s true for much of the Pacific Coast. The other is tourists, gazillions of them. Traffic slows to a turtle’s pace along Highway 1, campgrounds are full, and popular sites such as the lighthouse are packed. I have a limited sense of humor about any of the above, especially given that I can visit during the late fall, winter, and early spring when few tourists are out and about and days are often crystal clear. Or, if I am particularly lucky, a raging storm will send huge waves crashing ashore producing spectacular views. I love both.

It was mainly sunshine when Peggy and I visited the National Seashore in early March to celebrate my birthday. The lighthouse was closed due to Covid, but I have visited it before. This time, we admired it from above.

The Lighthouse was built in 1870 to help counter the frequent shipwrecks that took place in the area. A steam driven fog horn was used when the fog was too thick to see the light.

The lighthouse served its purpose for over 100 years, finally shutting down in 1975 when the US Coast Guard replaced it with an automated light found just below the historic lighthouse. Up until then it was tended by a lighthouse keeper whose responsibility was to keep the light burning. In addition to warning mariners off of the treacherous rocks, the lighthouse served as a navigational aid. Each lighthouse along the coast has a different frequency of light that ship pilots recognize. At Pt. Reyes, the light flashed once every five seconds.

Looking out to sea.
A historic view of the Pt. Reyes Lighthouse from the National Archives.

Peggy and I parked Quivera and followed the trail that led out to the lighthouse. Along the way, we found trees that showed the effects of the high winds that frequent the headlands.

Wind sculptured trees
I pictured children having a blast climbing over the gnarled limbs on the trees.
The Pt. Reyes headlands are a great place for whale watching when they are migrating south toward Mexico and then north toward the Arctic. We didn’t see any, but we were greeted by this large mural as we neared the lighthouse.
We found this interesting rock perched above the lighthouse.
And looking down below the lighthouse, we watched these waves crashing ashore among the rocks— which is where I will conclude my post for today.

NEXT FRIDAY’S TRAVEL BLOG: I’ll wrap up my Pt. Reyes series with a pleasant walk out to Abbot’s Lagoon and a visit to the colorful town of Pt. Reyes Station.

An Elk Loses Its Coat, a Coyote Digs Sushi, and a Ranch Is History… The Pt. Reyes Series

This bull elk that came down to see us as we hiked out the Tomales Pt. Trail looked quite elegant until we looked at his back. He was still shedding his winter coat and had yet to grow his summer fur. The deer herd that hangs out on our property goes through the same stage, looking frowzy for a couple of months. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

Any trip to Pt. Reyes National Seashore should include a drive out to the historic Pierce Pt. Ranch and Tule Elk Reserve. The ranch will introduce you to an important piece of Pt. Reyes history. A hike out the Tomales Pt. Trail from the ranch will take you through some impressive scenery and likely give you a view of tule elk and other wildlife. Ever since the elk were reintroduced to the area in 1978, the herd has thrived. Our photos today start with our hike and end back at the ranch.

The Tomales Pt. Trail starts at the Pierce Pt. Ranch passing under tall Cypress trees planted originally by the ranchers as a wind break. Peggy provides perspective.
A few hundred yards brought us to a number of Calla lilies. Peggy and I wondered if a rancher’s wife had planted them to remind her of a home the family had left behind. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Of course, I had to take photos of the lilies as well.
We stopped to admire the scenery looking out toward Tomales Pt. and the Pacific Ocean.
Another view. The Bodega Headlands can be seen in the distance. If you’ve been to Bodega Bay, it’s possible you’ve driven out there. I like to go out on the headlands and look for whales passing by.
Far below us we saw a pair of coyotes working their way along the beach.
Peggy used her telephoto for a closer shot and, much to our surprise, the coyotes were digging in the sand. Whether they were after clams or crabs or some other seafood delicacy, I don’t know. But what was clear was that the coyotes had developed a tase for sushi!
Shortly afterwards we spotted elk on the ridge above us.
And they came down the hill to see us… (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Bringing their cows with them. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I caught this photo of one of the bulls checking us out. You can see that he is in that ‘awkward’ stage between losing his winter coat and growing his summer one.
This cow elk was also looking a bit bedraggled. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
A final shot of the elk browsing. I liked the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean.
The Pierce Pt. Ranch ceased operation in 1973. Visitors are now invited to walk through the grounds and get a feel for what dairy ranching was like before modern dairy operation took over.
I liked the roofs.
I believe a park ranger lives in the ranch house now. I could live there!
The old dairy barn is humongous.
I took a peek inside. This is only half of the barn.
While Peggy stood at the barn door.
Since I took a photo of Peggy, she insisted on taking one of me. I took advantage of one of the downed Cypress trees. And that’s a wrap for today!

NEXT POST:

Monday’s Blog-A-Book from It’s 4 AM and a Bear Is Standing on Top of Me: I leave the Graveyard behind and journey off to the Pond where bullfrogs and catfish rule and pirates lurk.

Wednesday’s Blog-A-Book from my lead-up to joining the Peace Corps: I help corral a police car at Berkeley and the rallying cry of ‘Never trust anyone over the age of 30‘ is born.

The Charming Elephant Seals of Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Elephant seals have the look of an animal put together by a committee. It gives them a certain charm. We found this large fellow with his pronounced proboscis at Drake’s Beach. He’d come ashore at Pt. Reyes National Seashore looking for love.

Pt. Reyes National Seashore is located some 30 miles north of San Francisco. Peggy and I went there last week to celebrate my birthday. It’s been a go-to place for me since the 60s. In addition to spectacular scenery, great hikes, yummy food, and one of the best small bookstores I’ve ever been in, we were entertained by the wildlife: tule elk, a pair of sushi eating coyotes, and elephant seals (plus some cows).  Today, I want to do a teaser on our trip by featuring the elephant seals. I’ll get back to the rest after I finish my Harris Beach series. 

Elephant seals are amazing creatures that spend up to 80% of their lives at sea— 90 % of it underwater!  If that doesn’t seem remarkable enough, consider this: their normal dives for food range between 1000 and 2000 feet deep (305 to 610 meters). They can dive for up to an hour and a half before returning to the surface for three to five minutes of breathing. Semi-annual feeding binges take the males on a 13,000-mile roundtrip journey to the Aleutian Islands and females on a 11,000-mile roundtrip into the North Pacific.

They were absent from Pt. Reyes for 150 years. In fact, they were close to absent forever. Like whales, they came close to being hunted to extinction for their oil. Processing the blubber from one bull can produce up to 25 gallons. They were saved because the Mexico and the US banned hunting them in the 1920s. Gradually, they have returned to their old breeding grounds. When I first started visiting Pt. Reyes in the 60s, they were unheard of in the area. Today there are over 3000 that return annually to breed.

The Park Service had set up a barrier to separate the seals from the people who had come to admire them at Drake’s Beach. Those closest to the barrier were bulls. You can tell by their size and uniquely shaped noses. One had crossed the barrier and was worrying the rangers. “He’s escaping from the other bulls,” a ranger explained. Maybe.

This large bull had crossed through the barriers at Drakes Beach and was pointed toward the snack bar. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

A little girl next to me exclaimed, “I think he is heading to the snack bar to get fish sticks!”

“I’d bet on ice cream,” I responded. “Look at how big he is.” The girl looked at me dubiously. “Fish sticks” she insisted.

Peggy and I spent an hour watching these wonderful creations of nature who are so competent at sea and ungainly on land. They move like an inchworm, using their dorsal flippers to pull their front half forward and then using their rear flippers to push the rest of their body along like a rolling wave. Imagine moving several tons of fat. The ones we watched would make two or three of these moves and then collapse to rest.

Given their trunk-like noses and appealing eyes, Peggy and I were particularly attracted to the looks on their faces.

Is this fellow being coy?
Check out the big brown eyes! The size of the eyes helps the elephant seal see in the dark depths of the ocean. The whiskers apparently help as well in the search for food. He had lifted his head to check us out. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
And then returned to his resting position. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
A side glance. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
A bit shy, perhaps. Maybe he thought that the log was hiding him.
Size matters. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This was interesting. The skin of the elephant seals is sensitive to the sun. They cope by throwing sand over their bodies with their flippers, as seen in this photo.
Sometimes a little stretch really feels good! (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Peggy caught some of the girls sunbathing out near the ocean…
Drake’s Bay was named for Sir Francis Drake who reputedly visited the area in 1759. There’s another bull on the left— looking sluggish.
I’ll conclude today with this elephant seal that was making its way back toward the ocean. I decided he was waving goodbye with his flipper. I’ll return to the tide pools of Harris Beach in Oregon next week. Are you aware that groups of sea anemones go to war with each other?

NEXT POSTS:

Monday’s Blog-a-Book… “It’s 4 AM and a Bear Is Standing on Top of Me”: I move outside in the summer to enjoy nature but hire the family’s dogs and cats to protect me from the ghosts.

Wednesday’s Blog-a-Book… “The Bush Devil Ate Sam”: Held at gunpoint, I consider the odds of running over the gunman versus getting shot.

National Parks of the Southwest… From Our 2021 Calendars

Grand Canyon

It’s Christmas Eve, a perfect time for more photos from the two calendars that Peggy and I put together for our family that feature National Parks of the Southwestern US. It’s hard to imagine a finer gift to the people of America and other countries than these special places that have been set aside in the US and around the world for now and future generations. Unless, of course, we are talking about world peace. (Grin.) As I mentioned previously, these are parks that Peggy and I visited in 2019/20. Some before Covid and some during the pandemic. In the latter we dutifully social distanced and wore our face masks whenever around people. If you are a regular reader of my blog, you may have seen these photos before. Enjoy. Be safe and Happy Holidays.

Arches National Park
Canyon de Chelly
Grand Canyon
Monument Valley
And finally, Arches National Park

NEXT POSTS:

Tuesday: Welcome to the first day of the Sierra Trek! Those first 24 hours were a doozy! You won’t want to miss this chapter from my book! I still wake up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat. 🙂

On Wednesday and Thursday, I’ll finish up our calendar photos.

Calendar Photos… Holiday Schedule

Crater Lake NP in Oregon decked out for the Holiday Season.

Not knowing exactly where or when we will be this holiday season— it’s the Age of Covid— I decided to simplify my blogging life over the next two weeks by posting National Park and Monument photos Peggy and I used in two family calendars we designed for this year. (And likely used in blogs. Grin.) The pictures come from trips we took in 2019-20. Plus, I’ll slip in the slightly PG rated Christmas Card we sent out this week featuring the Corral, Chorale, Choir. I designed and drew the card several years ago but decided we needed a sense of humor more than anything else at this point in time, so I reproduced it. I will continue with my Blog-a-Book Tuesdays with stories I’m putting together for It’s 4 AM and a Bear Is Standing on Top of Me.

With out further ado: Calendar photos, starting with Crater Lake featured above. I’ll be posting six or seven photos with each blog.

Canyon de Chelly National Monument
Petrified Forest National Park
Petrified Forest National Park log.
Monument Valley
Grand Canyon National Park

That’s it for today. Next Tuesday it’s back to blogging my book. On Wednesday, it’s time for the Christmas Card featuring Cow Girls. Christmas Eve, I’ll be posting more National Park calendar photos.

Adios Arches… Hello Road Trip

I had originally intended to conclude my series on Arches National Park with photos of several of the more famous arches. But when Peggy and I were driving out, the late afternoon sun created photo-ops I just couldn’t resist. As Peggy drove, I snapped away.

Beneath Scotts Bluff, Nebraska: We are camped at the base of a towering bluff that once stood as a major landmark to pioneers traveling west in wagon trains. My great, great grandmother would have passed this way and stared up at it in awe with the welcome knowledge that she had left the Great Plains behind. And, indeed, we too are breathing a huge sigh of relief, glad to be back in our much loved west. The bluff was named after an employee of a fur trading company who had the misfortune to die not far from where we are camped. He likely would have been glad to live on and leave the bluff with someone else’s name. I, for one, prefer the Native American name, Me-a-pa-te, which translates ‘hill that is hard to go around.’

As I work on this post, Scotts Bluff looms in the near distance. This notable landmark once served to guide wagon trains on their way across America.

It has been an interesting couple of weeks as we have made our way west from Virginia. This past week we kept ahead of a major storm that whipped through the Midwest with winds up to 100 MPH. We also avoided numerous motorcyclists— most with a similar look and without helmets— as they dashed around us on their way to Sturgis, South Dakota and whatever fate awaited them.

One of many groups of motorcyclists that zipped past us on their way to Sturgis and a possible confrontation with Coronavirus. Those unfortunate enough to come in contact with the disease would carry it home.

Yesterday was particularly interesting. We started our day at Buffalo Bill’s historic ranch camped out on the North Platte River and then hopped on one of America’s most historic backroads, US 30, otherwise know as the Lincoln Highway. It was America’s first cross-country road. But that’s only a small part of its history. For thousands of years it served as a major route for Native Americans. In the 1850s it was part of the Oregon Trail. Pony Express riders used it on their two year ride to glory and the nation’s first transcontinental railroad was built beside it. In 1908 it became part of the greatest road trip/road race ever, the New York to Paris Road Race, which will be the subject of my next blog.

A view from our campsite on the North Fork of Platte River. Buffalo Bill’s historic home is less than a mile away.

But today, it’s time to say goodby to Arches National Park.

One of the many late afternoon views we had as we drove out of Arches National Park. I’ll share a few and let the photos speak for themselves.
A final view. Goodby Arches. Hello road trip.

NEXT POST: What better place to start posts from our present journey around the US than what I consider to be one of the greatest road trip/races of all-time: The 1908 race around the world from New York to Paris. I’ve been meaning to do this blog ever since I came across the winner of the race at the National Auto Museum this time last summer. It’s epic!

The Arches of Arches… Finally!

While every arch in Arches National Park shares a ‘see through look’, each arch is unique in the space created and in the surrounding rocks. One of my favorites is Turret Arch, shown here in a photo by Peggy.

“But where are the arches?” my brother-in-law John asked Peggy about my series on Arches National Park. “There is more to Arches than arches,” Peggy had responded. John readily agreed but there was still a plaintive ‘where are the arches’ tone to his voice. This post is for you, John— and for all of our other followers who have been wondering about how anyone could do a series on Arches National Park without arches.

They aren’t hard to find. There are over 2000 in the park, the highest concentration of any place in the world. Of course you would need a month to find them all plus put in a lot of miles hiking. We only had a day and the 100 degree F heat (37.7 C) discouraged much roaming in the time we had. Not to worry. The road plus a little walking took us to some of the most famous in the Park. So without further ado, I’ll start with the arch I featured at the top of the post, Turret Arch, named for its resemblance to turrets on castles.

This was my view of Turret Arch. The turret rises above the arch on the left.
This shot facing the arch provides a view of a smaller arch forming to the left. The dad and child seen through the arch give perspective. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Here, Peggy captures the yin and the yang of the smaller arch.
We were fortunate that impressive clouds added depth and interest to our photos.
I couldn’t resist using the arch as a dark frame for the clouds.

A walk up to the Turret Arch easily includes two of the Park’s other Arches, North and South Windows.

This is the view of North and South Window Arches from Turret Arch. I won’t hold it against you if you see two eyes and a large nose instead of windows. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I took a close up.
A view of the South Window Arch with the nose looking a lot more like a massive rock!
The North Window Arch is more popular with an easy trail leading right to it from the parking lot. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This photo by Peggy gives an idea of how massive the arch is. Note the person enjoying the shade! Also, check out the large crack, a reminder that these arches do come tumbling down.
My shot looking up shows how thick the arch is. You can see the beginning of the crack.
Which Peggy caught.
We both had fun using the clouds as a backdrop. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
My contribution.
And finally, I thought a black and white rendition of the North Window Arch would be interesting.
The famous Double Arch is just down the hill from the Windows and Turret Arches. New arches can be seen forming on the right.
You have undoubtedly seen photos of this Arch even if you haven’t visited the Park. Or perhaps you caught it at the beginning of the Indiana Jones’ movie “The Last Crusade.”
While we have hiked down to and around the Double Arch in the past, I took this photo from our air-conditioned van!

No trip to Arches is complete without a trip to see the Delicate Arch, which many consider to be the National Park’s most scenic arch. Rather than make the gentle three mile round trip at 3 P.M. when we were both hot and tired, we took an alternative one mile trip straight up a steep slope for an overlook. Hmmm.

Peggy’s telephoto worked best for capturing Delicate Arch.
I’ll conclude my post today with this shot of a towering cumulous cloud and tiny people making their way to the arch. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

NEXT POST: As we drove out of Arches, I took several photos from our van that will serve as a closure to this series.

Rocks, Trees, Early Inhabitants, and Towering Clouds… More of Arches NP

I am going to start at the end of the main road in Arches NP today. This is the trailhead to the Devil’s Garden.

Purcellville, Virginia— outside of Washington DC: We are at our daughter’s home where she lives with her husband, Clay and her kids, Ethan and Cody. They are renting an old home that was built in 1880. The main house next door once was part of the Underground Railway for slaves escaping from the South. I’ll do a post on the houses later.

Our visit to Arches National Park today takes us back to the end of the paved road and the beginning of the Devil’s Garden trail. We hiked a way on the trail but the 100 (37.7C) degree heat encouraged us to make it a short. We then doubled back where we checked out the historic Wolfe ranch and some interesting Ute petroglyphs.

Like so much of Arches, impressive rock monuments filled the area.
I was particularly impressed with this pinnacle.
And took a close up.
Gathering clouds added to the area’s scenic beauty.
And called for a black and white photo.
As always, I was drawn to trees. The red rocks provided a contrasting backdrop for this one we found along the Devil’s Garden Trail.
The sky provided the backdrop for this tree near the Wolfe Creek Ranch.
The rock foreground and the splash of green caught my attention here.
Here, it was the La Salle Mountains looming in the distance.
Wolfe Ranch provided a perspective on how the early pioneers in the area lived. This home was built in 1898 and occupied by his family for a decade. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This old corral was part of the Wolfe Ranch.
The Ute Indians occupied the area before the Europeans made their way into the area. They were quick to adapt to the horses that escaped from the early Spanish. These petroglyphs reflect the Utes hunting Big Horn Sheep with their dogs. The rock art would have been carved sometime after 1650 CE. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Water was and is the lifeblood of the desert Southwest. This small creek would have provided water for both the Utes and the Wolfes.
I’ll conclude today with a final photo of storm clouds gathering over Arches. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)

NEXT POST: The arches of Arches!

From the Garden Of Eden to the Fiery Furnace and Beyond… Arches NP

You can easily drive the road into Arches National Park and get a feel for the beauty and geology of the area. On a hundred degree plus day, it’s tempting to do just that! We didn’t, but I’ll confess that our walks were short.

Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina: Peggy and I have now moved on from our large beach house on the Outer Banks (OBX) of North Carolina where we were entertained by our kids and grandkids for a week. Peggy was treated royally in honor of her 70th Birthday. (Okay, I was spoiled too.) Eventually, I’ll do a post on OBX. Presently we are in an RV campground in Roanoke Rapids, not far from the Virginia border on an unexpected layover day.

When we arrived here yesterday, I noticed that we could get a mobile RV service to come by and fix the water line running to our pump from our fresh water tank. It hasn’t worked since shortly after we left home. Given that most RV repair shops are booked solid for weeks during the summer, we hadn’t had an opportunity to repair it.

Rufus and Cleve arrived at five in Rufus’s brand new ‘shop,’ a 2020 Hemi. It would be hard to find two guys more country— from their looks to their accents. But they were genuine, fun and knowledgeable. Eventually, they found the problem. The plastic water tube buried beneath the water pump in an extremely difficult place to get at was twisted and frayed. Cleve returned this morning with new tubing to finish the job.

The plastic tube delivering water to our pump was twisted and frayed with a pin-prick sized hole in it. The tube was buried down in the innards of our van.
Cleve had a rooster ringtone on his phone and a rooster tat on his arm. I asked him about it. “I just really like roosters,” he explained to me in his deep country drawl.

Today, I am continuing my series on Arches National Park. So far I have done posts on Balanced Rock and the road into Arches. In this post, I will start just beyond Balanced Rock at the Garden of Eden and follow the main road on to the the Fiery Furnace and beyond.

I am not sure why this section is called the Garden of Eden. I don’t think Adam and Eve would want to live here. Where would they find an apple tree? On the other hand, there are plenty of serpents. And lots of impressive rocks. The woman hiking up to the pinnacles provides a perspective on their size.
The big fellow on the right is known as Owl Rock.
Here is a close up of the giant pinnacle with its ‘owl head’ staring down at me.
The Garden of Eden also has some impressive cliffs.
Visitors are welcome to wander among the rocks in the Garden of Eden as long as they stay off of the easily damaged desert soil.

A final view before heading on to the Fiery Furnace.

We were amused to go from the Garden of Eden to the Fiery Furnace. Turns out it isn’t so fiery if you go walking along the rock and tree shaded trails. The trails were closed because of Covid-19, however. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This jumble of rocks was found nearby.
As were these colorful pinnacles. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
I thought of the rock on the left as The Troll. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
Continuing our drive into the park we came on these dramatic fins.
A more distant perspective.
There was a path that led back into the fins. Peggy posed for me. Because there were a number of people on the narrow trail, we used our masks.
As the day went on and the heat increased, clouds began to form and create a backdrop for our photos. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.).
I’ll conclude today’s post with this scene from along the road.

NEXT POST: Peggy and I drive to the end of the road and go for a walk along the Devil’s Garden trail.

When Arches Isn’t About Arches— plus Strange Times

Impressive pinnacles with ‘unique’ personalities are found throughout Arches National Park.

Outer Banks, North Carolina: We have been on the road for a month now— zig zagging across the country— climbing over mountains, crossing rivers, traveling through deserts and forests, zipping through urban areas and moving more slowly through rural. We’ve traveled from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic and driven through 13 states so far.

Let me report: It’s strange out there when it comes to the pandemic. Some states are doing everything possible to reduce the the number of people catching Covid-19 and the resultant deaths. Others are like, whatever. Or they feel that restarting the economy takes precedence. Sadly, had they aggressively fought the pandemic to start with, we would now be in a much better position to get people back to work.

We drove through Atlanta a few days ago where the governor of the state was suing the mayor of the city because she wanted to implement a city-wide mask ordinance. Thankfully, more and more people are voluntarily wearing face coverings. Even the President is declaring it patriotic. My sense is if wearing a mask can save just one life, it’s worth it.

It isn’t strange, however, that Arches National Park has a lot more than arches to ooh and aww over. In fact, I find the fins and pinnacles located throughout the park equally awe-inspiring. I’ll provide some of my favorite examples over the next two to three posts. My last post on the park will be dedicated to arches.

This is a close up of the pinnacle I featured at the top of the post.
And this knobby guy— with my help— provides a perspective of just how large the pinnacles can get. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
A different view.
These would-be/will-be pinnacles are known as the Three Gossips.
A different perspective suggests that one of the gossips might have dinosaur blood. Gossiping about it might lead to getting your head chomped off.
This is one of the views that greets you when you when you enter the park. If you look to the right, you can see a precariously balanced rock.
I think it is more impressive than Balanced Rock if only judged on its odds of teetering over. But who knows? Maybe it will hang out up there for another thousand years. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
This is another view that welcomes visitors to the park.
This fin is known as Wall Street. In other words, some person at some time thought that these eroded rocks had a skyscraper look.
Here’s another view of Wall Street
Most of the major landmarks have names given to them over the years. I find it more fun to look at them for the impressive monuments to nature and geology that they are.
Or provide your own names. Peggy saw this as The Hand.
Here, she demonstrates why.
Here’s one I can easily see, the Sheep. Its nose was once part of an arch. (Photo by Peggy Mekemson.)
We found this interesting. “Petrified” sand dunes frozen through chemical reactions in ancient times. The La Sal Mountains serve as a colorful backdrop.
I’ll conclude with a couple of scenic views Peggy and I found at the beginning of the park.

NEXT POST: Peggy and I travel farther into Arches.