Wandering THE Wave

and Kodachrome State Park
by Rob Jones

September 23rd through 25th, 2005

Text and Photos © copyright by Rob

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     Kathleen and I drove far South to Kodachrome State Park. The official name of the park came from National Geographic Society photographers who named it after Kodak's color film. The park was formerly called Horley's Pasture. Here we stayed in the pygmy forest after hiking to Shakespear Arch. The arch named after Tom Shakespear, a former park ranger, that he discovered in 1976. When he stumbled on to it, he asked the local old timers if they knew of its existence and they didn't. So now it stands -- Shakespeare Arch -- a name that derived neither from early settlers nor the English playwright, but from a long-time park ranger of more recent memory.

     We also hiked the Panorama Loop past Ballerina Spire, which some say looks like a ballerina's leg. Reportedly, these spires remain because they were formed by sand grains falling into old thermal (geyser) vents, then petrifying, producing a harder rock than the neighboring Entrada Sandstone.

     Walking the park and listening to and watching the cackling Chukar Partridges (introduced), we noted a boot or phallic profile that might make neoconservatives demand dynamite or drapes for their own limited perspectives. Ahh, natural features that transcend "intelligent design."

    The next day we continued down the Cottonwood Road, stopping in to see Grosvenor Arch. It was named in the '40s by a National Geographic Expedition for the then editor of the magazine, Gilbert Grosvenor.

     We met Aaron at the Paria Movie set and enjoyed black bean burritos and a warming fire while planning to visit THE Wave. Here is Aaron relishing in THE Wave.

     Kathleen contemplated THE Wave by direct contact with this swirling mass of delicately layered petrified sand dunes.

     There is a 8'high span (arch) above THE Wave.

     I climbed up the back side of the arch above THE Wave and took some photos. The wind was blasting so fiercely that I was unwilling to climb out to photograph the front aspect of this arch.

     The top perspective of THE Wave was taken through the arch. It's a delightfully deluxe view of this small area.

     On the way back to the TH, we saw a gleam of white on the dark sandstone as we walked off one of the high dunes. It turned out to be polished remains.

     The gale force wind continued as we gained the TH. Continuing toward Kanab, we found a sheltered camp among the friendly pygmy forest. Billions and billions of stars appeared as the sunset faded, signaling the end of a wondrous adventure to THE Wave.

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