The Edge of Night…

The Edge of Night –– Shadows crawl upward on Sandstone HooDoo’s, fins and ridges –– Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Once opon a time there was a daytime TV drama ‘soap opera’ known as The Edge of Night. From the early days of black & white television in 1956 through the mid 80’s, some 28 years, 7420 daily episodes were produced and aired. In the modern age, The Edge of Night is not even in the top 10 being easily surpassed by other productions lasting as much as 57 years. Seems an unbearably long time. Still, it’s name rings strong when describing the last light –– and long shadows in any given American Southwest dusk.

Unique in so many ways, Bryce is the text book example of sandstone erosion, but it’s discriptive name ‘canyon’ can be a bit misleading. One thinks of a canyon as the result of continually running water eroding its path of least resistance over eons, or the remnants of glacier action on the spaces between mountain peaks that snow accumulates, becoming cubic miles of ice sliding toward the sea, unchecked over countless millenia. In Bryce’s case, fault lines in the edge of the Colorado Plateau area known as the Clarion Formation collapsed, exposing over a dozen separate strata of rock, creating a geologic time scale for scientists to use to understand the basis of Bryce’s formation. The fault lines began to erode at different rates due to varied hardness properties as wind, water and time worked their magic. How the fins and ghoastly HooDoo’s were formed is a story for another day –– but rest assured, it is a facinating piece of learning for the geology enclined.

So, little matter ‘canyon’ or ‘eroded cliff’, go, climb down it’s trails and become one with the orange and white rock. Walk among the trees in the crags, crevasses and floor of this place. Look upward into azure and subtile pinks of dusk –– In this wonderous and frigid silense, your senses are in a deep and aged place… The magic here was long in coming. Immeasurably long. Maybe like an overbearing daytime TV show that never ends. But wait, Bryce is not finished. Eons march on. Wind, water and time are still at work. We’re human so we only see a moment of time in the geologic sense. Scary isn’t it how long we don’t live. But, while we do live, go, visit. Leave footprints, take only photographs and memories. This is Bryce Canyon — at The Edge of Night.

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