Home - Admission & Financial Aid - Apply - Scholars Programs - Benton Scholars - Benton Scholars News
Benton Scholars News


TBS in the Southwest: In the Shadow of the Valley

By bkelsey on March 16, 2016

Wide, open spaces. Volcanic rock deposits. Petrified wood. These are just a few of the sights you can see in the sunny Southwest!

The Southwest, being composed of vast spaces seemingly untouched by humans, seems an optimal place for National Parks and such locations, and indeed it boasts many. One such park contains a field of volcanic cones surrounded by the basalt and other rocks deposited by the volcanic activity there. Aside from being a beautiful example of nature’s ability to create unusual and fascinating landscapes, this park serves as a reminder of the potential force of nature, and just how small the span of human time is in comparison with the timeline of our planet. Perhaps one could seem to grow tired of being reminded of the power of nature in a setting such as this, but I, for one, quite enjoy it.

The Petrified Forest National Park is a similarly awe-inspiring sight, though perhaps more because of its wider landscape than for the petrified wood itself. Vast plains of sand, clay, and rock stretch out as far as the eye can see, and one cannot help but imagine them stretching on forever, layered with reds, whites, greys, pinks, and everything in between.

I have no wider thought-provoking agenda in this particular post. I think the majesty of the sights speaks for itself. It would be impossible to communicate the effect of these locations through my own humble writing, so I’ll leave it at what I have so far. Suffice it to say that I think we all shared an unspoken sense of amazement upon filing out of our van and looking out over the cliffs and across the plains. Of course, pictures aplenty were taken, but they cannot hope to capture the feeling of witnessing that sight (but I’ve already spoken enough on that topic).

I leave you therefore with but a humble drawing in the form of my words. Take it for what you can. I can ask no more.

Leave a comment

Comments: Please make sure you keep your feedback thoughtful, on-topic and respectful. Offensive language, personal attacks, or irrelevant comments may be deleted. Responsibility for comments lies with each individual user, not with Colgate University. Comments will not appear immediately. We appreciate your patience.