Rock Cut Circular Thingy That Tells How Far Away Other National Parks Are

I don’t know what this thing is called. I should, but I don’t. I did at one point, but now all that comes to mind is Rocky Mountain National Park Rock Cut “summit marker,” and that’s not it. It feels like the actual name (and I know there is an actual name for it), is on the tip of my tongue, but I just can’t grasp it. Instead, I’ve given it the highly succinct name of “Circular Thingy That Tells How Far Away Other National Parks Are.” Pretty catchy, right? I’ve spent way too much time searching Google Images trying to find another photo of this, to see what other people called it. Not knowing the name of it is eating away at me, but it’s pointless wasting more time trying to figure out what it is. Instead, I’m hoping one of you will know. Please, one of you must know!

This happens to other people, right? It seems like I spend a lot of time on Wikipedia and Google trying to “reverse engineer” answers to these ‘tip of my tongue things’ when others can’t help me out. (How dare Sarah not know the name “that one movie with John Candy and one of the guys from Ghostbusters and that lady in a 1990s tv show.”) Twenty minutes of combining an IMDB filmography list, I realize it was The Great Outdoors, and that I didn’t really care in the first place. It’s more about knowing the answer than it is about actually knowing the answer. You know what I mean? 😉


I shot this with my Nikon D700 and and the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8. My goal here was to get really close to the “Circular Thingy That Tells How Far Away Other National Parks Are” and photograph it wide open (@ f/2.8) for shallow depth of field. I also stopped down and shot it again, and that’s probably the better shot, but I think this is more interesting. Instead of going for the obvious photo of the beautiful sunrise over the Rockies in the distance, they are only hinted at here, with the emphasis being on the sun as it hits the “Thingy” in the foreground. I wouldn’t want it to be my only photo of this sunrise, but I think it works. (Do you?)

In terms of processing, not really anything interesting here. White balance adjustment, color balance adjustment, and shadows adjustment, all of which were done in Adobe Camera Raw. Minor lens flare removal and a curves adjustment in Photoshop.

Your Thoughts…

So…does anyone know the real name of the Thingy? Can anyone sympathize with my plight in going on a quest for meaningless information simply because you should know it, but can’t think of it? Please share any thoughts you may have in the comments!

7 replies
  1. Your Name
    Your Name says:

    The “Circular Thingy” you are talking about is called a Memorial Peak Finder and it identifies the surrounding mountains not other national parks. : )

  2. Breanna
    Breanna says:

    Hey there I am so happy I found your blog, I really found you by mistake, while I was looking on Bing for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would
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    • Tom Bricker
      Tom Bricker says:

      Haha, funny that you became obsessed. Do you recall what your search query was to find that? I can’t believe I didn’t find it. I put a lot (too much) effort into the search…

    • Spence
      Spence says:

      I can definitely relate to the “becoming obsessed”. All too often I find myself in the same situation. Usually it’s a voice, or an actor in a movie or commercial. For instance, Little John in ‘Robin Hood Men in Tights’ plays the dad on ‘Good Luck Charlie’ on the Disney Channel. Also, I’m pretty sure that the guy that voiced some of the Applebee’s commercials also did the voice for the Disney Movie Club phone system? Just a small look into the craziness that is my brain at times.

      For the mountain index, my search progression was:
      rocky mountain national park distance marker
      rocky mountain national park rock distance marker
      rocky mountain national park rock distance circle
      “rocky mountain national park” distance circle summit
      –At which point I went more general…
      distance marker
      –which led me to the term ‘milestone’
      “rocky mountain national park” milestone
      “rocky mountain national park” circular milestone
      “rocky mountain national park” distance compass
      “rocky mountain national park” distance direction other national parks
      –Then I realized the thing was actually metal, probably bronze…
      “rocky mountain national park” circular bronze distance
      “rocky mountain national park” distance disk
      “rocky mountain national park” bronze distance

      –And then the magical query that broke the riddle…
      “rocky mountain national park” bronze “distances to”

      Which led me to this page:

      I did a few searches to find some more pages/images to confirm (including the Panoramio image posted by Kevin). Once I was reasonably confident, I posted it over here.

    • Tom Bricker
      Tom Bricker says:

      YES! That’s it. That was definitely *not* the name on the tip of my tongue. I have no clue what I was thinking it was, but it was not quite so simple in my head. Oh well, glad I got that mystery solved.

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