My last post of the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs includes the tilting rock. It seems to me to be more of a balancing rock. I wonder how it just sits there without falling with it’s own upper weight?
Stewart M. Green, provided some good information about the rock at https://www.outtherecolorado.com/colorados-precarious-rock/, and comments that the balanced rock, poised above the park road at the Garden of the Gods, defies the laws of physics as it balances on a sloped ledge of sandstone. “The famed boulder, appearing in publications around the world as one of the best examples of a balancing rock, is the most famous rock formation at the Garden of the Gods, the number one city park in the United States.”
Geology of the Garden and Balanced Rock – Stewart M. Green
“Balanced Rock, rising 35 feet above its pedestal base, weighs about 700 tons or 1.4 million pounds.
Balanced Rock is composed of Fountain Formation sandstone deposited along the edge of the Ancestral Rocky Mountains between 290 and 296 million years ago. Coarse sediments with sand and chunks of rock were swept off the mountains by quick-moving streams and rivers, which then deposited them in deltas and alluvial fans. Heat and pressure later cemented the sediments into rock, including sandstone colored red by iron oxide, mud deposits that formed soft shale, and mixed sand, pebbles, and cobbles forming conglomerate.
When the current Rocky Mountains began rising over 60 million years ago, today’s Balanced Rock was uplifted and exposed as part of a rock ridge that connected with nearby Steamboat Rock and an escarpment to the south. Water erosion and frost wedging excavated the ridge for millions of years. Its current shape, formed in the last two or three million years as a soft layer of shale at the base of the formation, eroded faster than the harder sandstone layers above, leaving the boulder perched on a narrow pedestal.
Geologists call Balanced Rock an erosional remnant, a formation that was not transported and deposited in place but instead was eroded from surrounding bedrock. Balanced Rock, like other precariously balancing rocks, is an incredible natural wonder that appears ready to topple over at any moment.”
Are people taking a risk in posing under the rock? Well, they’ve been doing it for a long time. However, if I am there and feel the ground shaking even a little, believe me, I’ll move out – away from the rock. Wikipedia has some good information about the garden at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garden_of_the_Gods, including:
The area now known as Garden of the Gods was first called Red Rock Corral by the Europeans. Then, in August 1859, two surveyors who helped to set up Colorado City explored the site. One of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested that it would be a “capital place for a beer garden.” His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, “Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods.”
I still like my personal understanding of the garden. It is the creation of our one and only God and I appreciate the beauty He has provided.