Sunday, October 4, 2020

Majestic Sandstone and Limestone Rock Formations in the Valley of Fire

The illustrious group of senior missionaries who served in the Dominican Republic/
Caribbean Area with us. We had a wonderful time with them a few weeks ago. 

For some reason, I love rocks. I took a geology class several years ago at Boise State University to fulfill a general education assignment. I used to know the names of rocks and time periods and all that, but I have forgotten what all those are. We went on a few field trips outside of Boise to witness rock formations and how in ancient times new rocks oozed into older rocks because of heat and things, creating these magnificent colorful rock formations. Despite my forgetfulness, it was fascinating—thus, my love for rocks and what they represent and how they came to be.

You can imagine my amazement when a group of former senior missionaries from the Caribbean Area and the Dominican Republic congregated at the Valley of Fire, just north of Las Vegas and south of St. George, Utah. The red sandstone rocks were stunning!

According to the Valley of Fire state park website—see“The Valley of Fire consists of bright red Aztec sandstone outcrops nestled in gray and tan limestone mountains.  The sandstone is from the Jurassic period and is the remnant of the sand left behind by the wind after inland seas subsided and the land rose.”

The Jurassic period was a long time ago. When you look around, you wonder how it could have been covered with an inland sea. Where did the water go? I am sure there is a reason for all this but not the space to write about it here. So….

We stopped at the Visitor’s Center to read a bit about the Valley of Fire. There, we saw about 14 head of mountain sheep, scurrying up the jagged rocks. I didn’t have my long lense or I would have taken pictures of them. What stoic animals! You have to wonder about the creation and how they were placed in this part of the world or whether they just migrated from somewhere and decided they love rock climbing, jumping easily from rock ledge to rock ledge; foraging for bits and pieces of precious green sprigs growing stoically out of rock croppings; searching for water to quench their thirst; or majestically standing on the top of sheer rocks and peeks, thinking they are kings/queens of the mountains.

Now, had it not been over 100% and admonished by the park rangers not to go out hiking and wandering about because of the heat, we would have been hiking around, taking more and more pictures, and basking in the enormous beauty of these incredible sandstone outcroppings.

Of course, the best part was being with our dear friends from the Caribbean and knowing the love we have for them and who they are. They are definitely great examples to Joanne and me. We hope we can be like they are when we grow up.

I placed even more pictures on my Facebook page: if you would like to see more of the photos. I would suggest that you go when it is cooler so you can get out and hike around a bit. No matter the season, be sure to take lots of water, sunscreen, snacks, and an extra battery for your camera as you will want to take hundreds of pictures. If you are like me, you cannot take too many photos.