Autumn Colors and Amazing Rock Formations

image Utah is Beautiful!

Interstate 15 takes us to I-70 East, our yellow brick road into Denver, some 500 miles away.

Around Richfield we catch the colors of autumn and giggle with surprise and delight, like 2 little kids, which is not far off the mark.

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But wait, it gets better!

Within 30 minutes the landscape changes into these awesome rock formations:

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There’s a scenic viewpoint pull-out and we stop to admire, take pictures, and find out more at my favorite roadside plaques filled with factoids for me to decipher.

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We are viewing the effects of the San Rafael swell, which in geological terms refers to a domed area or gently arched landforms covering a sizeable region. (en.m.wikipedia.org)

From the plaque at the site, this is my translation of what I learned:

Exposed layers of the earth’s eroding crust color-coded millions of years of earth’s geological history.

The velvety gray shale is from the ancient Cretaceous sea.

The yellow and gold sandstone is from a seashore and delta that eventually became a source for coal and natural gas.

The soft purple, green, and red beds are from the Jurassic Period of tropical forests and dinosaurs.

Ancient tidal flats deposited the thin red layers.

The area we are viewing is built upon the beige-green deposits from an ancient Jurassic sea.

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Before we reach Colorado, we pass through the canyons of Green River, Utah.

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Twenty-five miles into Colorado, we spend the night in Grand Junction.

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