ryan stufflebam

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S.P. Crater

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Filming the documentary took us back out to Arizona to see S.P. Crater and the rock formations around Sedona. S.P. Crater was first on the docket. That’s “shit pot” crater, for those not in the know. Evidently, who ever owns the property has naming rights, and this particular rancher was pretty colorful, if not down to earth.

It’s a cinder cone volcano of somewhat recent origin with a 6-mile long basalt flow coming out its side. We ended up filming on top of the basalt rather than the cone, which was definitely for the better. I can’t imagine trying to steady myself on a 45 degree slope made of loose scree.


That was probably one of the nicer roads we traveled on this trip.


That’s S.P. Crater in the background.



The basalt flowed out as liquid lava once upon a time. The reason it’s all rubble now is that as the puddle of lava cools, it cools from the outside in, and it’s got the right chemical composition so that instead of creating one big rock, it cracks. And as it cools more and more, it cracks deeper and deeper until it’s cool the whole way through and there’s nothing left but a bunch of rocks. Giant’s Causeway was made the same exact way, but it’s composition allowed for the cracks at the surface to follow the same path all the way through, which is pretty cool.



We spent a day here and got most of what we needed. In documentary work, you really just kind of hope you walk away with what you need, but you never know. We spent the next day in Sedona, which will be in another post.



Written by ryanstufflebam

April 1, 2016 at 10:11 pm

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