lørdag 15. september 2012

Canyonlands National Park and Monument Valley.

W3, day 13, part I:
After leaving Moab we all wanted to see Canyonlands National Park. It is Utah´s largest National Park, and we visited the Needles district.

Biological soil: 

Biological soil crust is a living groundcover that forms the foundation of high desert plant life in Canyonlands and the surrounding area. This knobby, black crust is dominated by cyanobacteria, but also includes lichens, mosses, green algae, microfungi and bacteria.
(the following is information from the Canyonlands National Park´s web page) 
Unfortunately, many human activities negatively affect the presence and health of soil crusts. Compressional stresses placed on them by footprints or machinery are extremely harmful, especially when the crusts are dry and brittle. Tracks in continuous strips, such as those produced by vehicles or bicycles, create areas that are highly vulnerable to wind and water erosion. Rainfall carries away loose material, often creating channels along these tracks, especially on slopes.
Impacted areas may never fully recover. Under the best circumstances, a thin veneer of cryptobiotic soil may return in five to seven years. Damage done to the sheath material, and the accompanying loss of soil nutrients, is repaired slowly during up to 50 years of cyanobacterial growth. Lichens and mosses may take even longer to recover.
Avoiding these fragile crusts is simple. Always drive or ride on designated roads. Respect road closures and search for places wide enough to pass other vehicles rather than driving over roadside vegetation. When hiking, always walk on marked trails, or on other durable surfaces such as rock or in sandy washes.

W3, day 13, part I: 

We drove by "Mexican hat" off Hwy 163. The settlement of Mexican Hat is named after this sombrero-shaped rock.

"Forrest Gump" stopped his cross-country run in front of Monument Valley which straddles the Utah-Arizona line. "Easy Rider" motorcycled through too. "2001 A Space Odyssey" used the monolits to represent outer space.

I am doing my best Forrest Gump imitation.  

Teacup and sugarbowl according to the Navajos.

Patricia, Suki and Hilke in front of the famous Monument Valley formations. According to our Navajo guide Johnny Depp was here filming earlier in the summer. A lot of movies have been filmed here, especially Western movies.

Oooooops, I see a storm coming..

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