In the country of red canyons
In the states of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico on a relatively small area, the size of about 25 large protected areas – national parks, natural monuments, as well as invaluable archaeological and cultural treasures of Paleo Indians: Ruins of the dwellings of Anashai, stone palaces Pueblo and rock paintings by Navajo. Most of these reserves are based on the protection of unique geological formations. 600 million years ago, a shallow water was splashing here, and sandnotes were postponed by layer on the layer. Subsequently began the area, the sea retreated, and the rivers cut through many picturesque canyons, among which the world famous large Canyon of the Colorado River. The ripple walls of the canyons seem to be painted in yellow-orange stripes – these are former marine sediments, which turned into solid arrays called Navajo sandstones by the name of the Naval people living here.
At the eastern of Arizona, about halfway between the cities of Albuquerque and Flagstaff, one of the largest clusters of fossil multicolored tree trunks in the world, whose age is 225 million years old. This is the Petrified Forest National Park (Petrifaid-Forest) – a Triassic Period of the Geological History of the Earth. The fossil residues of wet coniferous forestsjungles, consisting of extinct breeds (Araucarioxylon Arizonium, Woodworthia, Shilderia) survived. Lush vegetation was buried under volcanic ash. Rains fluttered salt from ash ash impregnated with it "brine" trees and ferns, which eventually turned into a stone. This mineralization has even retained the structure of plants cells, not to mention annual rings, bits and roots. From those who are confused in the colored powders of fossils, the Indians created their ritual sandy paintings, pouring "paints" Right on the ground. Now such pictures of colored mineral sand, but already glued on the wooden foundation, are of great popularity, attracting bright, saturated colors.
North from here at an altitude of 2,000 m is the legendary canyon of cheaps. This place is so holy for local Navao, which is considered to have a heart of the world, so the historic reserve Canyon de-Shey is under the joint management of the public service of national parks and the Navajo tribe council. Distelling, practically sheer, orange cliffs of the de-neck canyon are not at all similar to the detached slopes of the famous Big Canyon Colorado, located 200 km to the west. They resemble the mysterious red first world, which is told by the ancient legends of Navajo and where the path is only. The feeling that there is only such a way is intensifying at the bottom of the canyon, where the only winding descent leads. In the depths of the canyon, in the very center of the reserve, the end of a narrow mountain trail, an eight-marched logged yurt is located on the flat bank of a small river – Hogan. By type of khogan roofs, you can determine what woman lives there. In such houses, her ancestors Navajo lived inhabit the last twenty centuries. A modest plate appears the gaze of the passing traveler: "People live here – please do not disturb". Smithy smoke from the pipe, vegetable garden and sheep – a simple setting of her simple life. Elderly mistress is inappropriate, with difficulty understands in English. It looks like a descendant of the legendary Witch – Women Spider, the patroness of a local tribe, which lived on top of a huge red rolling-pillar, standing by a monolith of 24 m in the middle of the canyon – just above the yurt and the ruins of the ancients carved in the cliffs of the palaces and fortresses of Navajo. A pathway running along huge acacia and a small orange river Rio cheap leads to a white house – one of the numerous ruins that remain from the ancient Indians of Anashai, which for unknown reasons unexpectedly left this territory in the XIII century. Of the countless caves, fortresses and palaces, only the White House is available to the rest of the Gorge, only the White House is available, they do not get to the rest of the facilities, they have to review them only from opposing Canyon Opposites. From the middle of the rise becomes visible to the northeast Canyon of the Dead – the most sacred for Navao part of the de-neck reserve, in which the ancient Indian burials were discovered.
When you drive up to the valley of monuments, it seems that you are not on earth, but somewhere on Mars – around the lilac shades of the sunset sky, the red dirty of single mountains with flat vertices and a winter bluish mist. North of the Montument Valley are the Red-Orange Mountains of the Glen Canyon Reserve, whose slopes are descended into the lead-blue mirror smooth of Lake Puell – one of the largest US reservoirs located on the Colorado River. Sand is orange here, and the stones are red and brown from "Desert tan" – Thin crust of manganese and iron oxides. The slopes of the Valley of the Colorado River are cut by small canyons resembling a corkscrew. Water happens in such cannonchiks only in the spring when powerful streams rush, twisting by the waterways, through very narrow (several meters width) wins over the entire height of the canyon, "Singing" In a layered orange sandstone, unimaginable gyruses and turns. At the moments of successful lighting by the Sun (and it penetrates inside the canyon only for a short time) this rugged gorge turns into a fantastic temple of light and color.
From the north shores of the Colorado River to Glen Canyon, the extensive reserve of Grand Stairkeis Escalante is adjacent to the Glen Canyon (simply – a large staircase, which corresponds to a step-up relief of this area), and the North-West is a tiny Bryce Canyon National Park wide less than 15 km and 60 km long. Despite the more than modest sizes, Bryce Canyon is unique with its labyrinths, the bottoms of which are pine, and the edges consist of hoods called. During the warm season, this small territory is attended by more than one and a half million people, admiring the maze and the sludge, wandering in stone paling.
Here, in the heart of the North American mainland, the history of his oldest inhabitants began, who left, leaving the richest cultural and natural legacy.