67 Houdini and His Mom, Grand Staircase Escalante

(Image, March 2003, © 2005 M. Childers)

Most hoodoos owe their existence to a hat of some kind. The hat can be a pebble, a stone, a boulder, or layer of more weather resistant rock that keeps the rain from washing away the softer layers below.

This simple fact of geo-mechanics provides an almost endless variety of totems throughout the Southwest, which in their various gradual states of decay take on animal or vaguely humanoid shapes. What we do with our experience of them beyond these simple facts is admittedly pure psychological projection and also pure fun.

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