Rimlands are found in the American Southwest, where the weathering effect of wind and water has sculpted the land into fantastic figures and shapes. The main rimland region in the United States is the Colorado Plateau—especially along the Mogollon Rim in northern Arizona, part of the southern edge of the plateau—where the horizontal rock strata have been dramatically uplifted, then subsequently eroded by streams. Rimlands are the stony epidermis of the Earth’s upper crust, exposed for the eye to savor and enjoy. They form a stark vertical world, cut into immense chunks and sections that stand on their own in isolated splendor. Motoring along a highway, hiking inside a canyon, drifting along a river, you are confronted on all sides by towering cliffs composed of a bewildering variety of sedimentary strata. At the stupendous edge the Earth falls away, and you seem to fall with it into a world channeled and grooved by a labyrinth of secret passages. These massive layers of resistant rock overlooking a canyon or valley draw your spirit out of the husk it inhabits and enable you to observe the land from the perspective of a passing bird.

Conger Beasley, Jr.