September 10, 2014
Last place we stopped at was cathedral gorge state park in Nevada. We decided to drive down and around hurricane Utah and back up to cathedral gorge so we could check out this place and it was a suprise for us to see what we found here.
We arrived at the state park and we were not assuming much from this place as there was not much around until we entered the state park. We pull in and notice conglomerates of cream colored hoodoo spires in mound clusters rising up which had small slot canyon passages cut into them.
I am not much for state parks but I enjoyed walking through these slot canyon mid and alkali passages which reminded me I some cave passages I have encountered in the past. The canyons were thin with upto 100ft of passage to meander around.
There use to be a lake at this location millions of years ago that eventually dried up and collected a mud alkali material that was easly eroded in a solution all manner that reflected the way carbonic acid has formed solution all cave passages back east. I found this to be very interesting as gravity, erosion, and waterworks has a similar effect on more materials than just traditional limestone.
There were pits at the end of these passages that also looked very similar to caves we have rappelled into back east.
There must hve been a total of 10 different passages that led to these dry fall pits where water would work itself through. There was also a sediment layer which had wood lodged into the strata and made me wonder if this wood is of an ancient origin.
Continuing down the road we came to a picnic area which had more hoodoo spires and a 4 mile trail into the valley wash. We walked this trail and hiked up to the overlook to see the valley below.
|Staglactites in Cathedral Gorge|
Continuing back down we went back into a couple more passages to view the fluted dry fall walls and the dry formations in the slot canyons.
|Fluted walls in Cathedral Gorge|
We ended up driving back to Las Vegas to hangout with a good friend of mine and get back into civilization a bit while we get ready for our flight home to Chicago. This was one hell of a trip and I am so glad I was able to accomplish what we accomplished with the weather allowing us to pursue what we wanted to do. A few days later a monsoon came through and wiped out highways and closed Zion including the canyons that we were in. I can only imagine the turbulent rapids coming through those slot canyons we were in which would have proven fatal given the gravity of this monsoon. The water washed away every bit of minimal impact we had and continues to modify and grow these canyons deeper and more intricate for generations to come.
|Hoodoo Spires in Cathedral Gorge|