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Off The Usual Paths

Joe Miczulski
Sunday, September 13, 2009

There are places in the National Park System that seem to run contrary to the park you're in. Mention Dinosaur National Monument and folks usually will think of the Dinosaur Quarry with its bone-studded cliffside, or the turbulent rapids of the Green or Yampa rivers.

How many would think of a lichen-covered rock -- orange, red and black lichens at that! -- in Dinosaur?

To find such settings, you have to go off the well-traveled paths and search for the unusual. Sometimes it's easy, sometimes it's not. But most often you're rewarded.

This is interesting. Multicolored rock tells us about different ages and interesting geographic facts.

I came across sites in Gates of the Arctic that seemed to have been created in the red rock country of southern Utah. This included a natural arch and slot canyons.

Bigger than your head, smaller than a big-screen TV, with the Yampa River off in the distance.

I'm having trouble with the sense of scale in this photo. Is this a close-up of a head-sized rock, or a scalable boulder with landscape in the background? In any case it's an interesting photo, thanks for posting it.

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