Angry Finger, one of many. Gods were nowhere to be seen.
More angry fingers, on right and distant left (source).
We're in the habit of naming rock outcrops that have suggestive shapes. There are plenty here, thanks to the erosion-resistant Cedar Mesa sandstone, which provides protective caps for softer Cutler rocks. Santa Claus, Rudolph, a rooster, a setting hen, a bell, a battleship, seven sailors, and De Gaulle and his troops all reside in the Valley of the Gods, which prompted the question: “where are the gods?” Then I came upon the Lady in the Bathtub and was really puzzled.
That's the Lady in the Bathtub?!
Turned out my perspective was wrong, as I had driven in from the west. I needed to go a little farther, and a little further around the bend. There she was … a Cedar Mesa beauty luxuriating in a Cutler bathtub.
More interesting to me was the curious feature in the rock layers near the base of her bathtub – this is the geo-challenge (I have no answer at this point).
These are typical lower Cutler beds, with alternating layers of mudstone, sandstone and limestone. Was there a depression in the surface where the sand and limy sediments were deposited? Or was the underlying layer deformed later? Any modern-day examples?
Sources (in addition to links in post)
Fillmore, Robert. 2011. Geological evolution of the Colorado Plateau of eastern Utah and western Colorado. Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press.