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Shocking!  Erosion is a Beautiful Thing Shocking!  Erosion is a Beautiful Thing
THE BEAUTY OF NATURE CAUSED BY THIS UGLY WORD (Photos by author) When I wrote this, I had just returned from a marvelous visit... Shocking!  Erosion is a Beautiful Thing


(Photos by author)

When I wrote this, I had just returned from a marvelous visit to southern Utah and several National Parks. I couldn’t believe how beautiful erosion could be. Yes, erosion. This area of the United States has been eroded over time to some of the most spectacular scenery I’ve ever experienced.  Many ModernJeepers are in Moab, Utah for Easter Jeep Safari this week enjoying “erosion.” But think about how we perceive that word today: erosion.

It seems we’ve tweaked words in different directions these days than they were originally meant. Now erosion supposedly needs mitigation; yet some of our most treasured national parks were formed by erosion. Death Valley, the Grand Canyon, Bryce Canyon NP, Zion, Cedar Breaks, Arches National Park, etc. were all caused by wind and water erosion.

The Canyonlands of the Grand Canyon from Deadhorse Point State Park, Utah

Yet, ask some of our self-proclaimed “environmentalist” friends, and you’ll hear the bad things about erosion. Interesting. What about the beauty of nature’s own creations?

There’s another tweaked word: environmentalist. You won’t hear me call the radical protectionists environmentalists. No sir! The real environmentalists are folks like those in organized recreation groups who fight to preserve our resources for the public instead of from the public — folk like you.

Radical protectionists or anti-access folks are names that better fit the folks who run around spouting book-learned ecology and advocating excluding us from our public lands. It’s unfortunate that the anti-access folks get the attention they do; but that brings me to another word that’s been misused: access.

Access means passage and freedom of entry. It does not mean entry for only those who recreate by non-motor means. It should mean access for all. It should mean sharing our public lands and sharing our trails — for all users. In my opinion, it should not mean a mandatory ride on a shuttle bus to see our public lands for which we’ve already paid for and hired folks to manage.

I am certain of one thing. When you stand on a wind-swept sandstone formation that breaks off below you hundreds of feet down, you can’t help but behold the beauty of a word like erosion. But words like erosion, environmentalist, and access have all taken on multiple meanings these days. My suggestion to you is to ensure the words you’re speaking are the words your listener is hearing.

One never knows.

Read more on ModernJeeper about getting involved in your public lands here.

Enjoy the gallery.

Natural arch in Arches National Park, by Del Albright

Arches National Park, Moab, Utah offers wonderful examples of erosion by weathering, wind and natural causes.

Del Albright photo of Stacie Albright in San Rafael Swell, Utah.

Stacie Albright plays with eroded rocks in San Rafael Swell, Utah.

Del Albright Photo

Death Valley


Del Albright Photo, Grotto Canyon, Death Valley

Grotto in desert

Water erosion in the places like Death Valley are the main cause of the most interesting formations like grotto-filled canyons.

Del Albright Photo, Arches National Park


Del Albright Photo


The famous “Balls” or “Jump Rock” outside Moab, Utah.


Del Albright Photo, Castle Valley, Utah



Del Albright Photo, Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah

Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah.

Del Albright Photo


Castle Valley tower, Del Albright Photo


Zion National Park, Del Albright Photo

Zion National Park is unequaled in views of eroded rock and hillsides.


Del Albright Photo

Too much run off and cause more than just erosion.


Del Albright Photo of Jerry Sparkman in Moab, Utah


Exposed “slick rock” in Moab, Utah, from weathering and erosion.


Del Albright Photo


Del Albright Photo of "Balanced Rock" of Arches National Park outside Moab.

Balanced Rock of Arches National Park.

Del Albright Photo

Weathering and erosion pulled this giant rock down nearly blocking the road.


Zabriski Point, Death Valley


Del Albright Photo

Erosion (mud waterfall) in process along Wall Street of Moab, UT.

Be sure to take your family and friends to see some of America’s wonderful “eroded” areas and keep in mind how words get twisted as much as some canyon walls.


Del Albright Ambassador

Internationally published author; WorldWide ModernJeeper Abassador and 2014 Inductee of the Off Road Motorsports Hall of Fame. Del has been involved in the Jeeping Lifestyle for longer then most of us can count. His educational and mentorship programs have helped developed warfighters in the ongoing battle to keep Public Lands Open to the Public.

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