Colorado, Utah, Nevada

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Mid May we headed west on I-70 through the mountains on our way to Nevada for the Heckendorf's memorial. There was still snow in the high country and as a couple of the ski resorts we could see snow boarders making their way down the slopes. A few of the resorts were open into June. We didn't stop.

In between several iterations of the Rocky Mountains, there was a shallow sea to the west of the current range. Untold cubic miles of sand was washed into this sea creating layer upon layer of sandstone interspersed with layers of lava flow. Ages passed and the runoff from the new mountains ate into the deposited layers. This gave us the Grand Canyon as well as many other area that revealed the strata beneath.

High country Colorado Colorado high country sand and gravel Layers of sand and gravel The Green canyons Canyons in Utah

You can click on the pictures to see larger images.

In southern Nevada, passing by Las Vegas, Bev recalled how she spent a lot of time there doing some auditing of a casino. Bright lights, shiny surface to the city. The Heckendorfs spent a lot of time creating artistic photos of plants sand flowers of the desert so I could not resist taking a shot of one of the cactus plants in bloom in their yard. They would also occasionally send us a box of fruit from their Meyer lemon tree. We would use those to make limoncello with the zest and then dry slices for later use. We'll miss them dearly.
As the Cordes reunions had dropped off during the COVID pandemic, it was also good to spend a bit of time with that side of the family, even though it was only a short time.

cactus in bloom Heckendorf cactus Lemons Set Meyer lemons Cactus 2 Color in the desert

We decided to take a different route on our return trip than the one we had taken down into Nevada. The famous Colorado River seemed a good path to follow. Not only would we see the river, but we could stop at Arches National Park. Neither of us had been there.
Since it was springtime, the Colorado River was running high and muddy but not high enough to show how it began carving out the Grand Canyon downstream. We arrived at Arches National Park late in the afternoon, after the cutoff for timed entries so we didn't have any delay in getting in althouogh our time there was limited before the sun went down. Still, we saw some of the most photographed arched in the park. Bev got the one with a figure silhouetted in the arch.

Colorado River The Mighty Colorado Pair of arches Popular pair of arches Single arche Single arch with single figure

It was a short, quick trip but we were able to spend some time with family and see some geology that we hadn't seen before.

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