|Above, the Mittens and Merrick Butte. Photo by Armand Vaquer.|
One of the highlights of my 2016 trip to Metropolis, Illinois was my stay on the way home at Monument Valley, Utah.
Although it was cold and windy, I enjoyed it. Anyone wondering where to go on a vacation trip, they should seriously consider a visit to Monument Valley.
NASA's Earth Observatory website has some pictures of Monument Valley taken from space.
They start their photo article with:
Arguably one of the most photographed places on Earth, Monument Valley is the quintessential picture of the American West. The valley covers about 92,000 acres along the border of Arizona and Utah. You may have seen this iconic landscape in several John Wayne movies as the Hollywood star rode a horse through these sandy plains. You can travel for miles on horseback amid towering sandstone pillars that are peppered throughout this Navajo Tribal Park.
Between the red rock formations and the sandstone towers, the valley contains evidence of eons of nature’s constructive and destructive power. Formed during the Permian period, this patch of land once formed part of a seafloor where sediments and sandstone piled up in layers for millions of years. Tectonic forces raised the slab above the water line and created a plateau. Then water and wind chipped away at the sedimentary rock and removed the softer materials, eventually giving us the towering structures that we see today.
The natural-color composite image at the top of this page gives a sense of the topography of the valley. The image was made from data acquired by the Operational Land Imager (OLI) on Landsat 8 from May 8, 2018, and from a digital elevation model (the National Elevation Dataset of the U.S. Geological Survey).
To see the photos and read more, go here.