Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 54.djvu/80

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72
THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

Monument Rocks near Colorado Springs are well known for their fantastic shapes, but another set of similar monuments in southern

PSM V54 D080 The art gallery.png
Fig. 10—The Art Gallery.

Colorado are not so familiar, and have been formed in a different way. Those near Colorado Springs are due to a hard spot in the rocks acting as a kind of roof for the portions below, but in the other case the resistance has been offered by fragments of basalt rolling down to a plain from a neighboring hilltop, and assuming protection over the area upon which they happened to rest. Thus they soon found themselves topping numerous adopted monuments twenty or thirty feet high (Fig. 11).

One of the most out-of-the-way regions left within our boundaries is that lying around the junction of the Grand and Green Rivers in eastern Utah. These two rivers, flowing at this point in canons about twelve hundred feet deep, come together in a canon thirteen hundred feet deep to form the Colorado. You climb out from the junction by a narrow crevice, and on top find yourself on a barren, much-cut-up plateau.

PSM V54 D080 Basalt topping earth.png
Fig. 11.—Basalt Topping Earth.

The surface is verdureless, consisting for the most part of bare rock split by numerous crevices. You are in the midst of "The Land of Standing Rock," as the Indians call it. Powell, in referring to this locality, says: "We must-not conceive of piles of bowlders or heaps of fragments, but a whole land of naked rock, with giant forms carved on it; cathedral-shaped buttes towering hundreds or thousands of feet; cliffs that can not be scaled, and cañon walls that shrink the river into insignificance; with vast hollow domes, and tall pinnacles and shafts set on the verge overhead." Year and far in all directions the eye encounters pinnacle after pinnacle, butte after butte, cliff after cliff, like a stone forest, impassable, impenetrable, except to the trained