Onward to Zion!

Posted by on May 17, 2011 in Nuttings from the Front | 0 comments

No, we didn’t go to the Biblical Zion, but our caravan of 40 headed to Zion National Park. It is a beautiful place with sheer sandstone cliffs reaching 2000 feet above. This place is a rock climber’s dream and for the climber’s mother, a nightmare!

Much of the sheer cliffs are of Navaho sandstone. In some places, the sandstone is heavily cross-bedded leading the Park officials to think that the sand was put down over millions of years in ancient wind-blown desert sand dunes. One of the videos we showed to the students along the way was Andrew Snelling’s on the Grand Canyon. In it, Dr. Snelling gave several lines of evidence which indicates that the sandstone was originally deposited as water dunes not wind dunes. Hence this and other deposits fit nicely with Flood geology!

Checkerboard Mesa

You can see some of the cross-bedding at Checkerboard Mesa in the Park. They are the horizontal and angled layers. According to the signpost, the vertical cracks are due to freezing and thawing. Perhaps, but they could also be related to pressure/stress release and even other causes.

The students certainly enjoyed their hikes amidst the splendor of the colors, the vastness of the canyon, and the many waterfalls and pools.

A Friendly Inhabitant

The night, however, wasn’t as pleasant. The winds picked up making it inadvisable to have a nice warm campfire. Sparks would have blown directly toward the nylon tent city which would not have been a good thing! The temperature dipped down that night and some of our students likely either vowed never to camp again, or at least determined to be more prepared the next time they did (as the college encouraged them to do).  Anyhow, they all survived with good stories to tell.

Dave Nutting

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