Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Dislodged





1st image) Vintage postcard of Balance Rock in Devil's Lake, Wisconsin, 2nd image) Stereoscopic view of Balance Rock in Garden of the Gods, Colorado Springs, Colorado, 3rd image) Vintage postcard of Balanced Rock near Buhl, Idaho, 4th image) Photograph taken in 1922 of the Balancing Rock in Creston, California, which is no longer perching on the cliff.

They take eons to form, by the action of the wind or glaciers long since gone, but only a few minutes - in the case of a balancing rock in Creston, California - to pry loose. Ever since the invention of photography, people have posed beneath, next to, astride, or "propping up" these natural wonders, but that opportunity is gone in this case. Unlike the natural arch in Utah that crumbled from its own weight, this landscape feature was given a deliberate heave-ho by teenage vandals. It happened last March after teenagers got their 4-wheel drive vehicle stuck in the mud while they were trespassing on Mike Willer's 3,000-acre ranch. His neighbor noticed the landmark missing 3 days later. Tire tracks showed that the teens used the truck to dislodge the estimated 25-ton boulder from the granite ridge on the property and send it 50 yds. downhill. “They got up there with tire irons and shears and a 4-by-4 and levered and pried that thing. It could have come down on them; it was a miracle they weren’t killed,” said Willer, who filed a report with the Sheriff's Department. But because no property had been damaged by the boulder on the way down, the kids were not charged with vandalism, although they were given a "stern talking-to" about trespassing and the rights of others. As California journalist Bill Morem reports with consternation, "Case closed."

1 comment:

  1. This post brought to mind the fellow who was in the wilderness and somehow got his arm pinned under a boulder. He tried to get loose for days, but finally had to resort to cutting his arm off with his pocket knife. He said it was difficult getting through the bone. I truly shudder when I even think about that.

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