Monday, August 20, 2012

Driftless Region

They call it the Driftless region, the southwest corner of this state where the glaciers didn’t drift. It's a name that suggests absence but the geography is a proclamation of presence in an otherwise razed Midwest.

Left to the whims of wind and water, the land plummets and plunges, thrusting upward before disappearing into clefts created by forces no longer present.

This canyon? Once it was an ocean. The water receded and the bare beaches became stone. Centuries of flood waters surged over the sandstone flats, forging rough valleys out of the sea bed. 

Here trees grow from rocks, long trunks surging upwards until a profusion of green meets the endless blue. If you climb to the top, you could be there too.

Or so it seems.

The hard verticals and sudden shifts in altitude take my breath away.

(If only you knew how literally I mean that.)


  1. Like northern az in some ways

  2. wow. I've never seen anything like this-certainly not in person. I'm Happy to see the midwest isn't all flat and prairie grass! I've been reading about the natural history of New England (glaciers, old growth forests etc.) and I am finding it rather interesting--of course, I was already reading about natural history in this blog, so thanks for the intro Professor K!