Friday, January 23, 2015

Kachina Natural Bridge, January

[Kachina Bridge, from the west buttress.]
Natural Bridges National Monument in southeast Utah is the only place in the world with three massive natural stone bridges in such close proximity to each other. 

I decided to revisit the youngest of the three, Kachina Bridge. The trail was free of ice from the past two storms, because there it faces almost west, and so it gets afternoon sun in the low light of winter. 

Down the stone trail, across slickrock and down some stone steps cut into the bedrock, or built upon it. One short ladder section, bolted to the cliff and polished smooth by the hands and boots of many hikers. 

[Kachina Bridge, west face, halfway down the trail.] 

Down to the canyon bottom. The stones and soft sand of the stream bed. Down underneath the belly of the massive stone beast arching above. 

Nice afternoon light. 

I climbed the sand embankment at the west buttress. Photographed a pile of massive boulders created by the most recent shedding of rock from the bridge above, in the 1990's. 

Then photographed some ancient (700 years ago, plus) artwork on the stone buttresses. The Hopi say they can trace these symbols to their ancestral clans, before they migrated to the Hopi mesas down in northeast Arizona. 

Incredible to ponder.

[Bighorn sheep petroglyph and yellow hands pictographs, Kachina Bridge.] 

Photo location: Natural Bridges National Monument, San Juan County, southeast Utah.

© 2015 Stephen J. Krieg