Precariously Balanced

October 21, 2003


Provided by: Dean Pritchard
Summary author: Dean Pritchard

The above photo was taken in early October in eastern Oregon. My wife and I discovered this unique balanced rock about 20 years ago while hiking in the high desert. It's one of the most fragile I’ve seen -- the contact area supporting the capstone is extremely small. Based on other formations in the immediate area, the capstone appears to be rhyolite and the pedestal is likely composed of volcanic ash which dates from the Miocene Epoch. Time is almost up for this geological treasure since there’s a new, fairly large, vertical crack in the supporting pedestal.

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