The Fairyland Loop trail (do a Google image search) is one of my most memorable hikes. The hike takes a few hours, and should best be started before dawn. You should be down at the base of the amphitheaters when the sun comes up on you in the spectacular orange rock country. Also at this hour, you would be completely alone – without any sights or sounds or other signs of human presence. You look to the cliffs in the distance – arranged in rows to form your horizon – and see the magnificent structures: ramparts, castles, battlements, castle keeps, turrets, promenade terraces…. almost anything you can imagine in an ancient historical city draped over a mountain range. A city that ordained that everything shall be built of orange rock, and shall be staggered so no one obstructs another’s view. The only difference is that, having built the city, it is as though the city planner has let it crumble a little to give the ‘antique’ effect. Or as though Picasso has scratched over a distinct scene he had just drawn – to create some type of mystery.
Of course ramparts and castles were never made to mimic nature. Quite the contrary. If you appreciate the beauty of a monastery carved into a rocky mountain, you know that the beauty stems from the contrast between nature’s haphazard irregularity and man’s austere geometric forms. So how is it that these formations mimic man’s creation?
It is as though a billion years ago, a lonely Earth was anticipating the arrival of man, and wishfully predicting and building what he would build upon her.