Tuesday, September 23, 2008
On The Road Again - Part II
On the road again headed to Moab. We got to the exit off the interstate and turned on Highway 191. I don’t know, …. About 20 miles down the road we came to the road in to Canyonlands National Park. Our first stop was not in the actual park itself, but along the way there was an overlook for the “Monitor and Merrimac” Buttes. Here is a writeup on them: “From here, you have an excellent view of the Monitor and Merrimac Buttes to the northeast. These prominent land forms tower 600 feet above their Navajo sandstone base. They can be seen from many points as you travel along the highway. The Monitor and Merrimac buttes were named after the Civil War Ironclad ships of the same names. If you look at a likeness of the old ships, their shapes bear a striking resemblance to these two buttes. The Merrimac (the large rock on the left) was the Confederate ship, called the “Virginia” by the southern forces. The Monitor (on the right) was the Union ship sent to destroy the Merrimac. The resulting sea battle changed maritime warfare forever. Lon after both ships lie on the sea bottom, their rock counter parts remain locked in perpetual battle. The Monitor and Merrimac Buttes are composed of Entrada sandstone. (This is the same rock layer that forms many of the arches in Arches national Park.) This Entrada sandstone is composed of three “members”, or components -- Dewey Bridge, Slickrock and Moab Tongue. The different “members” of the Entrada layer erode at verying rates. Specifically, the softer Dewey Bridge member erodes more quickly, causing the Slickrock cliffs to collapse. This process has created the Monitor and Merrimac Buttes, as well as other towering monoliths in the area. Geological forces have created the stunning landforms that we enjoy today. After leaving there, eventually we entered the park. Dave took a picture of me at the sign. Enjoy! and keep in mind this was after a long day at driving! We drove up through the park and went over this small part of the road the connected one butte to another. We ended up on what they call “Island In The Sky”. There we drove on to all the other lookouts. At the end of the road, so to speak, is the overlook called Grand View. You look on one side and see the Colorado River and on the other side you see the Green River, two magnificent rivers. After seeing all there was to see, we left the island and headed on down the road to Highway 191 again, doing what the GPS unit said and turned left and on in to town, maybe another 11 to 13 miles. We got to our room and rested up a little bit then headed over to the “Moab Brewery” for dinner. I had the best seared chicken breast with glazed honey and slivered almonds on top. It was delicious but more dinner than I could handle! We went back to the room and I downloaded all our pictures we had taken so far and did some “googleing”. We read some of the things we searched on then called it a night.