October 19, 2004
The above photo showing Agathla Peak (El Capitan) is one of dozens of exposed volcanic necks on the Colorado Plateau. It's located on the Navajo Indian Reservation, near the Tribal Park (Monument Valley), not far from Kayenta, Arizona. These stark pinnacles are actually the exposed necks of volcanoes -- their cones of volcanic ash have been completely eroded. You might call them "naked conduits." The upper half of Agathla Peak is hidden in a stratus cloud deck. In this case, the cloud base elevation is so low and distinct, it almost seems as if you could touch it.