100 Days of National Parks: Day 21 – Arguing Old Men, Canyonlands

Arguing Old Men

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I’m a big fan of the pareidolia effect, seeing familiar patterns where they don’t exist, like seeing shapes in the clouds, or faces in tortillas.  Walking through the spires and rock formations of Canyonlands’ Needles District, I find it impossible not to do this, as around every corner, there seems to be some new, alien rock formation that seems impossible to have been created on this planet.

Walking through a narrow gap in the rock wall surrounding the Chesler Park area of the Needles, I came upon this shot at the end of the narrow canyon, and saw two old men yelling at each other against the jagged backdrop of the Needles in the distance.  Every time I look at this photo, I’m reminded of that particular moment, after long miles of hiking the Joint Trail Loop, seeing these faces in the rock, and laughing to myself at the silliness of the association.

Rock formations throughout the Southwest and America in general have been named because of these associations, from the Mexican Hat formation near Monument Valley (and really every formation in Monument Valley), to Thor’s Hammer in Bryce, and many, many more examples.  To my knowledge, these guys haven’t been named, nor am I sure that anybody else has had the same reaction to them, but I will forever claim them as the Arguing Old Men.


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