Grand Prize in Caleb and Linda Pirtle' Favorite Escape Contest Goes to Carrie O'Brien
October 21, 2012
The plants and animals of Dead Horse Point have adapted to a land of scare water and extreme temperatures. Plants grow very slowly here. Trees fifteen-feet tall may be hundreds of years old. Leaves of most plants are small and some have a waxy coating to reduce evaporation. Most desert animals are nocturnal, active only during cooler evenings and mornings. Some have large ears to dissipate heat, while others metabolize water from food.
The Legend of Dead Horse Point
Dead Horse Point is a peninsula of rock atop sheer sandstone cliffs. The peninsula is connected to the mesa by a narrow strip of land called the neck. There are many stories about how this high promontory of land received its name.
The sad part made me cry.
According to one legend, around the turn of the century, the point was used as a corral for wild mustangs roaming the mesa top. Cowboys rounded up these horses, herded them across the narrow neck of land and onto the point. The neck, which is only thirty-yards-wide, was then fenced off with branches and brush.
This created a natural corral surrounded by precipitous cliffs straight down on all sides, affording no escape. Cowboys then chose the horses they wanted and let the culls or broomtails go free. One time, for some unknown reason, horses were left corralled on the waterless point where they died of thirst within view of the Colorado River, 2,000 feet below.