Three freakishly improbable rocks, all in a side-by-side alignment and supported by a tripod of three fragile, highly eroded columns...way out in the middle of nowhere.
Anxiety rises with each downward step as we plunge into a remote canyon in the far reaches of upper Zion. We are on a mission to revisit an old favorite feature we stumbled across well over 10 years ago...something I can only describe as a rare, almost supernatural find.
Will they still be there, I wonder, still hovering off camber on their slope, defying laws of physics and ignorant tourists?
|Plunging into wonderland|
It was the most delicate of the three features, its mud support system eroded to toothpicks. Perhaps the natural wear and tear of time and weather had finally come to bear...not all that different from the tireless passing of grains of sand through our own "hourglass." If time fells mighty mountains, what does that say about mere mortals and their pets?
So I oft wonder what caused this once supernatural superstar boulder to fall to the ground, only to become just another pedestrian rock? Did it die because some fool tourist stood on it, all for the sake of a selfish Instagram selfie? There are parallels to be drawn between us and inanimate objects, and who better to ponder them but yours truly...
I've had a peculiar fascination with pretty or unusual rocks since childhood. Over the years, I've grown more and more attached to Tripod Rocks...thus my anxiety on this hike, that we might find another or both have met the same fate as their neighbor. However that happened, the felled rock deserves a mention, a proper epitaph, if you will. One day, hopefully not in my lifetime, the other two rocks will meet the same fate. It will be a shame, minor, but a shame nonetheless. As long as I'm alive, I will continue to make this hike for its swirling red sandstone trail and contrasting white promontories.
Even with highly eroded support systems, the two remaining Tripod Rocks float in defiance of Time and Tourists...just like us.
mark and bobbie...on the road in Utah.