"Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies...
...Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
Not all of the leavings were wasted, though. Just up the trail a little way, some enterprising ranchers built a corral out of salvaged cable. Waste not, want not. One man's trash is truly another man's treasure.
No matter. We rode sandy trails on a nice day, and the views alone were worth the trip. The above photo shows the distant LaSal Mountains. In the foreground are Navajo sandstone domes, and slightly lower are the Wingate sandstone cliffs along the Green River Gorge. The photo is taken from the vantage point of The Spur, about 600 feet higher than the surrounding desert of the Canyonlands Maze District. Geologists say that the Navajo sandstone was formed by an eolian (windblown) process about 180 million years ago. Uplift and subsequent erosion about 15 million years ago exposed these formations, and since that time, further erosion formed the deep canyons. The Navajo sandstone domes resemble, and essentially are, fossilized sand dunes with their characteristic crossbedding.If you would like to read about the history of this area, I recommend a couple of fascinating interviews with Ned Chaffin, a man whose family ranched there in the '20's and '30's. Links to the interviews are posted on the the Canyonlands National Park site, and I include them here: