Tuesday, February 5, 2019

--- The long and the short of it ---

I like long hikes and hikes under extreme conditions. They teach me things, too. I've learned a lot about how my body operates and especially how to handle stress. But this blog isn't about limits. When I talk about a steep trail or a thirty mile day hike, I'm not suggesting that people follow my example (though I'm sure there are people who have never done it that could and would enjoy it.)

You don't have to hike for miles to see new or spectacular things.

In my estimation, the best all around waterfall in Alabama is easy to get to. When you park at the High Falls trailhead between Talledega and Ashland, Alabama, you can hear the roar of the three waterfalls, stacked one on top of the other, and a short walk will bring you to this.

                                                             [High Falls, Alabama]

Some spectacular things are close by and you have to look close to see them. On my last walk to the library, I saw this on the parking lot across the street.


This ice looks like a claw rake to me. What caused that?

A car had driven in the parking lot while snow was falling and it packed the snow down between the tire treads, then more snow fell on top of it. When the snow melted, the part that had been packed down was more resistant and remained. By the time I returned from the library, this delicate ice sculpture was gone.

So what?

Well, you can thank the same principle for the rock formations of the Fountain Formation - Red Rocks, Garden of the Gods, the red sculptures in Boulder's Eben G. Fine Park, and other red rock features along Colorado's Front Range. By some process or other, sand became packed down long ago and was overlaid by more sediment. When the blanket of softer sediment was worn away by wind, water, and weather, the red rock spires were left behind.

[red rocks]

Keep an eye out for what's down around your feet. You might spot some spectacular thing down there.

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