There are a couple of famous rock formations in the Poudre Canyon. Profile Rock and Sleeping Elephant are probably known to most visitors to the canyon. A few weeks ago, in a post I called “Lower Poudre Canyon: Mishawaka, Tunnel, & Totem Rock,” I posted an image of Totem Rock, a lesser know formation in the Little Narrows area. Even more recently, I bought a postcard of a Poudre rock formation captioned “The Duck, Little Narrows.” Here’s a scan of it and, as you can see, it looks a little duck-like.
Jan Gueswel, a Poudre Canyon resident and the editor of a monthly newsletter for lower Poudre Canyon residents, and I have shared emails in the past. I had a chance to meet her personally last week at a presentation I was giving on the “Automobile Comes to Fort Collins.” I mentioned my latest Poudre Canyon purchase and Jan began telling me about other rock formations in the Canyon, none familiar to me. Jan was nice enough to take pictures of them and send them to me. Now she’s letting me share them with you.
First, let’s look at Jan’s Duck image, which she found just below (or east of) the tunnel, on the south side.
Here are the others she sent, roughly in east to west order up the Canyon. I’ve included Jan’s location information as well as well as a re-post of my Totem Rock image.
Any “Trekker” will recognize this rock formation as Mr. Spock’s Vulcan Salute from the 1960’s television series Star Trek. The salute was often accompanied by the phrase “Live Long and Prosper.”
Apparently, instructors stop at this point in the canyon to point out this feature to geology students. According to a geologist friend of mine, “This is an intrusion of younger granitic rock, probably a pegmatite into older metamorphic rock. If it cooled slowly crystals could form in it. The pink color is from the mineral feldspar which is a large component of granite along with quartz.” Visualizing the pig is up to you.
It might be worth a ride to check out these formations and maybe find and name some of your own. Have fun and let me know if I gave any bad directions. Also, if you know of any more rock formations in the canyon send them to me with some directions and I’ll post them in the future. Send them to my email:
Next Sunday, I’m going to show you how fast the automobile changed the face of Fort Collins.