… during a wet spring in Badlands National Park in South Dakota, USA.
Strata in Badlands National Park in South Dakota display horizontal layers that reflect different depositional conditions. Says the National Park Service: “Different environments—sea, tropical land, and open woodland with meandering rivers—caused different sediments to accumulate here at different times.“
Or should you? From Wikipedia: “For 11,000 years, Native Americans have used this area for their hunting grounds. Long before the Lakota were the little-studied paleo-Indians, followed by the Arikara people. Their descendants live today in North Dakota as a part of the Three Affiliated Tribes. Archaeological records combined with oral traditions indicate that these people camped in secluded valleys where fresh water and game were available year round.”
… in Badlands National Park in South Dakota. Geologists say the Badlands erode about an inch every year. That means the Badlands, currently about 500,000 years old, will be gone in another 500,000 years. Geologically, that amount of time is just a blink of the eye.
Looking west from Castle Valley is the western wall of Professor Valley. The Colorado River is out of sight below it. To the far right is the eastern wall. But the top of that western wall is, in essence, the floor of Arches National Park and its sweeping arches of Navajo sandstone. The cliff face is Wingate sandstone. For more explanation of Professor Valley and its geology, see here.
If this looks familiar, then you’ve seen many westerns. Director John Ford filmed several movies in Castle Valley with John Wayne. Here’s a list of movies shot in the vicinity of Moab, many in Castle Valley.
Long ago, several friends and I spent New Year’s Day climbing Mount Monadnock in southwestern New Hampshire. We did this for about a decade before time and choices led us to other geographies. A monadnock is a mountain or hill that rises substantially above surrounding terrain. Geologists created the term from Mount Monadnock’s name.