March 8, 2013. One of the greatest series of books with which to travel is the Roadside Geology series. The books are organized by the highways on which you travel, so you can look out your window and identify rock formations and other land masses from various geologic periods.
Much of southern Utah and northern Arizona have distinct formations of Redwall Limestone, as illustrated in some photos in this post. Some of this dates back to the Mississippian geologic period, which is the fifth period of the Paleozoic Era dating back to between 360 and 320 million years ago. Phew.
The Redwall Limestone cliffs weather to 500 feet or more tall. In Marble Canyon by Lee’s Ferry, the cliffs have been polished by the water action and they are gorgeous. They are made up mostly of calcium carbonate with less than one percent of sand. There are also beds of bright red jasper that has gem-like quality.
All in all it is truly a remarkable place. The wildlife is abundant. We missed the bighorn sheep one day because we were catching so many fish – yes, dozens – and that’s no fish story. I keep thinking that each river that I go to cannot be matched by the last, but I continue to prove myself wrong. On to the Sevier.