The Two Nancys Tour of Western National Parks

Grand Canyon – south rim

Last month, I decided to visit and take amateur photographs of National Parks. This May, after talking with a girlfriend (another Nancy), a decision was made to visit the Grand Canyon, Bryce and Zion. So the two Nancys headed west, May 2021.

The two Nancys on their western park adventure

As we visited each park, we started to wonder about their geology and how they came about. Each National Park is beautifully unique and awe inspiring.

These parks are geologically associated with one another and are the result of a combination of distinctive geologic events (sedimentation, lithification, erosion, volcanic and tectonic uplifting ). Today, these forces continue to work on the Canyons. The below information is a paraphrase of the referenced information. Click on these hyperlinks for more detail

Click here for the geology of the Grand Canyon informatio

Click here for the geology of Bryce Canyon information

Click here for the geology of Zion information

The Colorado Plateau is a region in the Southwest USA. About 50 million years ago, the Colorado Plateau was mostly flat and part of a lake and floodplain system. The Colorado Plateau encompasses parts of the Four Corners region (Utah, Colorado, Arizona, and New Mexico). This area includes parks such as the Grand Canyon, Arches National Park, Canyonlands, Mesa Verde, and Bryce Canyon. Zion National Park is located along the edge of the Colorado Plateau, sitting at the boundary between the Basin and Range geologic province and the Colorado Plateau.

Today, due to tectonic activity, “The Colorado Plateau is at a higher elevation than its surroundings, ranging from about 2000 -12,000 feet above sea level at its highest peaks. While some of the lowest (oldest) rocks in the region are metamorphic and igneous, the more visible and characteristic rocks are layered, sedimentary rocks with vibrant hues of rust-colored reds and orange.”

Through a series of volcanic action, tectonic uplifts and erosion the bottom layer of rock at Bryce Canyon is the top layer at Zion, and the bottom layer at Zion is the top layer at the Grand Canyon. Interesting concept, isn’t it?

Grand Canyon- south rim

The Grand Canyon came into being when igneous and metamorphic rocks were formed about 2 billion years ago and layer upon layer of sedimentary rocks were laid on top of these basement rocks. Between 70 and 30 million years ago the whole region was uplifted, resulting in the high and relatively flat Colorado Plateau.

Finally, beginning just 5-6 million years ago, the Colorado River began to carve its way downward through the sedimentary rock.

Colorado River – Grand Canyon
Colorado River – Grand Canyon

Bryce Canyon is known for its distinctive hoodoos, spires and towers. To me these towers resemble castles and cathedrals. Others see them as forests of rock.

Bryce Canyon – amphitheater
Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon

Millions of years ago, the Colorado Plateau, in which Bryce resides, was once periodically flooded by freshwater. Bryce Canyon is almost entirely composed of sedimentary rocks, meaning it was formed by deposits of sediments (precipitated out of water) cemented together (lithified) into sedimentary rock and later uplifted by tectonic activity. Over time, the rock was subjected to the slow, powerful weathering and erosion forces that molded the columns seen today.

Bryce Canyon
Bryce Canyon- Natural Bridge

Zion was a relatively flat basin near sea level 240 million years ago. Sedimentation of mountain runoff deposits, lithification, volcanic activity, tectonic uplift, erosion and the Virgin River carved out the current Canyon. Today, uplift is still occurring. In 1992, Springdale (city at the south park entrance) had a 5.8 earthquake and the Virgin River is still excavating. The canyon is subject to powerful flash floods.


What’s new at the St. Pete Farmer’s Market

Visited old friends and made new ones at the St. Petersburg FL Saturday Market. Our first stop was the Twisted Indian food truck. Kat had the Lamb Korma Naanwich, which she described as perfectly spiced with just the right amount of heat. I had my favorite drink, Mango Lassi, a refreshing cold drink made with yogurt. The exciting news is the Twisted Indian will soon have a location on Central Avenue!

On our way to the produce stands, we were snagged by the vendors with colorful prints and fun hats.

Kat with her cool new tunic and cross body bag.
My new straw hat!
Gorgeous produce from Immokalee

May 29 is the last weekend for the Farmers Market at the Rowdies parking lot before it moves to Williams Park for the summer.

Virgin Goods Cafe+

Virgin Goods, 2 East State Route 9, Virgin, Utah 84779 On the west side of Zion National Park on SR 9

Curiosity! I want to stop, but can’t. I am chasing a time clock of Zion’s 1.1 mile tunnel closing. And I want to catch a glimpse of Kolob Canyon.

Kolob Canyon National Park located on the North West side of Zion National Park. Kolob is a cooler, more forested area of Zion’s Park.

Having time to spend on the way out of Zion the next day, of course I had to stop at “Virgin Goods” in the desert in the middle of nowhere.

What to sample?? I regretted having had my morning travel meal of fruits, nuts and cheese. The toast sandwich of “Gooseberry Very Berry” looked delicious as a customer munched it down.

I chose a trail mix cookie & brownie for the road. I nibbled on part of the trail mix cookie composed of oatmeal, nuts, chocolate chips ….sitting at a table in the library section.

A book “Lucky From Virgin: An Unlikely Story” was displayed on the table. I thumbed through it to find it was an autobiography of a small town kid growing up in Virgin, a Mormon town, to become an Emmy award- winning correspondent/storyteller/producer in broadcast journalism.

To add to the warm-cozy flavor of the cafe-goods store, two books containing 8 novels by Lilian Jackson Braun were propped supported by the wall and table top. Braun was an American writer who wrote a light-hearted cozy feeling mystery series of “The Cat Who… “

I got up from the table to browse their used book store. Books ranged from old novels, semi-modern mysteries to medical, environmental soil health….. Good collection where something could be found to fill evening downtime after a day’s hike. But not if you are one that has to have the latest or a specific author.

I move on to the goods area, where people’s past treasures were up for sale as well as a small amount of tourist related items…. Virgin Goods is a two room store, so the area is compressed to provide a little of everything in this small spot on the map.

Before I leave I visit the bathroom, not knowing when my next possibility would present itself. Wow! A clean bathroom!

A cool breeze was blowing the curtains of the singular window opening to the outside. Brought to mind was a remembrance of a “peaceful aloneness” feeling stirred by “wind blowing curtain” paintings of the late 18th, early 19th century ( e.g. Andrew Wyeth).

Reflection time over. Time to move on to catch an airplane home.

If you are in the area around Zion and wish the flavor of a young eclectic natural health food nibble, stop by “Virgin Goods.” Their menu of possible toasts is only an ingredient list. They will make a nibble according to your desire with ingredients on hand. Since baked goods can dry out in Utah, to avoid disappointment , ask for their freshest baked goods.

It was well worth the stop. I recommend to all who appreciate those small, yet unique homey spots.

Along the way from Zion to Virgin. the landscape looks like volcano action generated these tailings . The area around Zion would be a geologist dream. I don’t know what the stone is. It is not coal, porous lava or obsidiam.


Having spent the last 12 plus months witnessing how people have reacted to the Covid pandemic, I am saddened, perplexed, and amazed. I surely am not the only one who has witnessed the hoarding of toilet paper and basic home supplies in the rush of making sure I get all mine before it’s all gone. I have witnessed the simple act of wearing a face mask to protect myself and others, turned into a narrative that our civil liberties are being taken from us. This past week, once again, I witness the hoarding and panic because much of North Carolina and the Southeast is dealing with a fuel shortage due to a pipeline being shut down.

I am not lost on the fact that gasoline is a precious commodity, but so is courtesy and kindness, respect for others. How did we get here? How did we get to a point where the only thing that matters is how much we can get and to hell with everyone else?

I see much more than that in my world. I see the seeds of awareness and awakening, albeit slower than I would like, it is still happening. The world is in chaos and change to be sure, embroiled within this chaos and change are birth pains of a higher frequency. The soul cries out to be heard, the pangs of old illusions and limitations are real and in the throes of their own death spiral.

When you arrive at the crossroads of change with tears streaming down your face, consider what the tears represent. Are they for sadness or joy? Or are they the realization that you have been unable or unwilling to walk the path your soul has chosen? Perhaps your tears are for the relationships you have had to sever in your desire to live truthfully, and for those who have turned away from you because they are not yet ready to see the truth within their hearts. Your tears may very well be for those times the truth revealed itself only to have you turn your gaze away, fearing even greater loss. Why do we give more power to our fears of the truth when our hearts yearn deeply to live it?

I believe it is because opening ourselves to the truth means those parts of us living in the shadows must either come to the light or die. Something greater beckons us forward, calling for the ultimate truth to reveal itself.

WHAT IF, we could all embrace the precept that each individual is unique and divine by nature, and that we refer to this divinity as the Christ within?

WHAT IF, we could embrace the knowing that there is a creative universal law that begins in the mind and ends in manifestation? If we want to change our world, we must change our beliefs.

WHAT IF, through prayer, meditation, respect, and courtesy, we can experience our individual and collective divinity and guidance?

WHAT IF, we stopped believing in the illusion that we live in a world of lack and limitation and that there is MORE THAN ENOUGH for all of us?

WHAT IF, we live our truth, acknowledge our connection to each other and transform the world?

James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art

On Saturday April 10, 2021, we visited the James Museum to view a traveling exhibit “Go Artfully Wild.” The exhibit showcases Artist for Conservation (AFC)’s International “Nature in Art” exhibit. The exhibit features “60 paintings and sculptures that awaken our responsibility to conserve the diversity and wonder of our natural world.” The exhibit is on view from March 13 to May 23, 2021.

Patsy Lindamood – Jaguar with a Twist 2019. Colored pencil and pastel
Michelle McCune – Shake. 2020 Oil on Canvas

AFC is a non-profit Canadian-based organization, founded in 1997. The work of John Seerey-Lester, a signature member of AFC, is included in the exhibit as a special tribute. John Seerey-Lester (1945-2020) was a British-born painter who became a citizen of the United States of America in May 2011.

Rachel Ivanyi – A Delicate Balance. 2018. Watercolor and gouche on handmade paper. Shows importance of one lttle bird (Clark’s nutcracker) spreading seeds of the endangered whitebark pine that are more resistent to forest destructive bark bettles and blister rust. The whitebark pine is crititical to regulating snowpak retention/melting and thus critical to regulating the water supply downslop

AFC is the world’s leading artist organization whoses mission is to support wildlife and habitat conservation and to promote environmental education. They have hundreds of members from five continents and thirty countries. Each work of art in the “Go Artfully Wild” exhibition is dedicated to their mission.

Laurie Riley – Green Iguana 2018 Scratchboard and acrylic. NN note: The artists depicts less cuddly animals with an “aim to bring their true beauty to the eye of the beholder.”
Dorset Norwich-Young – Ancient in Time. 2020. Acrylic on canvas. “Forest bathing is a Japanese healing art known as “Shinrin -yuku”. The practice is based upon reconnecting with nature through the senses of sight, hearing, taste, smell and touch. The essence is to bathe yourself in the forest atmosphere, to feel the spirit of the trees, to learn to carry the forest within you. …Worldwide, forest wisdom has been passed down by the elders and Indigenous peoples througout history. It is as ‘Ancient as Time.'”
Kathy Kleinsteiber – Please Don”t Let This be All That”s Left. 2017. Morning Dove feather. Oil on panel. NN note: I am always amazed when an artist can provide a 3 dimensional look to a painting. The dove feather looked as if it were a feather floating in air from a nail in a piece of wood.

The James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art is located at 150 Central Ave, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Founded by businessman Thomas James (, the museum opened in April 2018. The 26,000 square feet museum gallery space houses contemporary and traditional premiere works of art (sculpture, paintings and jewelry).

sculpture outside museum
Robert Griffing – Another Broken Treaty 2013. Oil on canvas.

“The James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art provides experiences that inspire human connection and transformation through art depicting the peoples, landscapes, and history of the American West, and wildlife of the world… The museum engages the community through programs and educational opportunities, for all ages, that bring our history to life and amplify voices that are not often at the forefront of mainstream western art”. For more information on The James’ Mission/Vision go to