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Colorado National Monument - May 2011

Colorado National Monument lies just West of Grand Juntion, CO, near the border between Colorado and Utah.

The so-called "Coke Ovens", also known as the "Haystacks".  The stacks are composed of Wingate Sandstone about 200 million years old, with caps composed of harder material called the Kayenta Formation. 

The so-called "Coke Ovens", also known as the "Haystacks".  The stacks are composed of Wingate Sandstone about 200 million years old, with caps composed of harder material called the Kayenta Formation. 

Another view of the Coke Ovens from below in early morning.

Another view of the Coke Ovens from below in early morning.

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"Claret cup" cacti in bloom.

"Claret cup" cacti in bloom.

Independence Monument - a 450-foot high fin of Wingate Sandstone with a Kayenta Formation cap is all that is left of a wall that once stretched across the canyon.

Independence Monument - a 450-foot high fin of Wingate Sandstone with a Kayenta Formation cap is all that is left of a wall that once stretched across the canyon.

Collared Lizard,  Crotaphytus collaris .  Collared lizards feed mostly on insects, and can run on their hind legs.

Collared Lizard, Crotaphytus collaris.  Collared lizards feed mostly on insects, and can run on their hind legs.

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Utah

Southeastern Utah and Castle Valley, approaching Moab.

Rock formation near Dewey, UT.

Rock formation near Dewey, UT.

Left of center, Fisher Towers, framed by mesas notched by the Colorado River, on the approach to Moab from the northeast.

Left of center, Fisher Towers, framed by mesas notched by the Colorado River, on the approach to Moab from the northeast.

Castle Valley.

Castle Valley.

The ghost of Parriott Mesa [elevation 6155'] rises behind a gnarled tree during a Castle Valley snow storm.

The ghost of Parriott Mesa [elevation 6155'] rises behind a gnarled tree during a Castle Valley snow storm.