THE BEAUTY OF NATURE CAUSED BY THIS UGLY WORD
(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.
Arches National Park, Moab, Utah offers wonderful examples of erosion by weathering, wind and natural causes.
Stacie Albright plays with eroded rocks in San Rafael Swell, Utah.
Water erosion in the places like Death Valley are the main cause of the most interesting formations like grotto-filled canyons.
The famous “Balls” or “Jump Rock” outside Moab, Utah.
Grand Staircase Escalante, Utah.
Zion National Park is unequaled in views of eroded rock and hillsides.
Too much run off and cause more than just erosion.
Exposed “slick rock” in Moab, Utah, from weathering and erosion.
Balanced Rock of Arches National Park.
Weathering and erosion pulled this giant rock down nearly blocking the road.
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.