"Arches National Park Blames Erosion, Gravity"

This is a picture of Wall Arch that I took when I was in Arches NP in late July. The arch is so named because it formed from a long fin of rock that resembles a wall. (Click to enlarge.)

Unbeknownst to me at the time, the arch was poised to collapse a mere five days later while I was in neighbouring Canyonlands NP. Although the event occurred at night, and no one was injured, park rangers decided to close the trail that passes nearly underneath it to access Double O arch, the Dark Angel, and other features to the north, partly because of the threat of further rockfall, and partly because the trail was covered with rubble. Here's an after picture:

While my own courtship with Wall Arch was short-lived and pitifully uneventful, and the Arch's passing rouses little emotion in me, I can't help but be reminded of the words of the venerable (and sexist) preservationist Edward Abbey, whose sojourn among the pinyon and juniper of Arches inspired me greatly: “Men come and go, cities rise and fall, whole civilizations appear and disappear. The Earth remains, slightly modified.”


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