Last time we were in St. Louis, Charlene and Pat took us on a 130-mile ride through some beautiful country to Elephant Rocks State Park.
When the Ozark plateau was formed during a great uplifting of the entire area about 250 million years ago, the vertical cracks (or joints) between the rocks became more pronounced. Time and weather took its toll, clearing the weakest pieces out of the joints and laying the immense, oblong blocks of granite bare to the elements. Slowly, the corners were worn away to give the boulders their smooth rounded shape, and trees and shrubs grew in the cracks to help enlarge the joints and wear away the surface of the rock. Physical and chemical weathering has also created circular depressions called tinajitas which hold temporary pools of water and often house tadpoles.
There is no record of the actual number of “elephants” inhabiting the park. Old ones erode away and new elephants wait beneath the cracks and joints of the granite hillside. The park’s pink patriarch, Dumbo, is 27 feet tall, 35 feet long and 17 feet wide, weighing in at a colossal 680 tons!
Keep in mind that Cliff and I are on a budget; we really can't afford to head off to Wyoming, but we surely do have some great places to visit right here in Missouri and the surrounding states. And that's affordable!