Glen Canyon NRA and Natural Bridges National Monument

10/03/17 Tuesday Traveling to Cortez, CO

On our way to Cortez, we went through a portion of the Glen Canyon NRA. John Wesley Powell undertook the first scientific exploration of the Colorado River, barely surviving the rapids at Cataract Canyon, to come out at Dirty Devil River.

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Glen Powell NRA

About halfway to Cortez, we got to see Natural Bridges NM, formed way back in 1908 by President Teddy Roosevelt. You know that arches are formed by the work of water at the lower part of a rock formation. Bridges are formed by FLOWING water at that lower part.

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“Where a canyon stream meanders there is often only a thin neck of rock separating the flow. The stream may undercut the barrier, while moisture and frost cause layers above to fall off until an opening forms…If the stream clears the debris, it may abandon its former channel, flowing instead through the opening. It then becomes a bridge.”

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“Sipapu Bridge”, one of the largest natural bridges

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This was quite the adventurous trail, yet very doable.

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This was quite the adventurous trail, yet very doable. Can you find me?

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“Kachina Bridge”, still being formed (middle aged)

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Our pose near the Kachina Bridge

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“Owachomo Bridge” no longer straddles all the streams that formed it, so it LOOKS like an arch

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Another little hike led to ancient living structures at “Horsecollar Ruin”

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That same little hike led to other ancient living structures at “Horsecollar Ruin”, from different Indian cultures.

Finally made our way to our motel in Cortez, a real fancy Hampton Inn. So spacious and comfortable. We then bought some groceries, made supper, hit the hot tub, then showers, then melted into bed!


About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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