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ZION NATIONAL PARK UTAH This image was made during the fall of 2015 in SW Utah. It was one of three parks that we visited on this tri...

Friday, October 31, 2014


About the first of October we--my wife, including our two dogs and Ringo the cat, took off with our small, but comfortable new trailer to explore western Utah. Our primary objectives were Bryce and Zion Canyons. Pat had never visited western Utah so this would be a first for the two of us.

The scenery was fantastic, but the crowds were equal to rush hour in a large city. In the DC area, it would be referred to as grid-lock. Zion was the worst because of the narrow roads and tunnels which were built for traveling during the nineteen twenties. But we managed to see a few of the sights, but finding an empty pull-off was next to impossible unless you went in early in the morning; like about sunup. It's easy to  get stuck in an endless line of traffic going through that park during most of the more popular hours for photography. Ten to three were the worst, we were told.

They use buses to shuttle people in and out of the lower areas, and Pat took that option and enjoyed the trip in and out. I stayed back in the campground that day because I don't do well with large crowds. I did, however, manage to capture enough photographs to make the trip worthwhile. And the overall experience was positive despite the mass of humanity. I would just never go back unless it was during the cold winter months. The cold months is the time to photograph Zion.

Bryce was a bit more accommodating. The Park Service had room to build a nice easy-to-travel highway through the park, and the overlooks were spacious and plentiful. The campground was maybe 20% occupied in October, and it was huge. Camping among the ponderosa pines was quite pleasant. These are beautiful trees.

I don't think I've ever seen so many people with cameras in all my life. Still, you actually had room to set up a tripod, although a time or two, I had to wait for the crowds to move a bit. We both left this park with many lovely images, including the one shown above.

I had one real nice couple walk over to me and ask if I would "take" their picture showing the background of Bryce. I'm not used to this, but I joked about it a bit; like asking if this was the button I was to push. I am not used to using these little pocket-size cameras, but considering their size, they make excellent high quality images. Totally unlike the old days.

After leaving Bryce, and having spent two days in the park, we headed east on a scenic byway, and this is when things really opened up. The crowds were slim and far between, and that gave us a chance to really get close to Mother Nature. This was actually the best part of the trip, and we visited sites off the beaten trail and enjoyed the many small villages along the way. And yes, there were canyons and cliffs most everywhere you looked. In fact, we enjoyed this last section of the trip so much that we are already talking about going back in the spring and picking up where we left off, and then working our way back through the southeastern part of the state.

The next image that will show up on my blog is of an erosional feature made in Devil's Garden. We made it a point to stop at the various Visitor's Centers along the way, and that was a big help in locating interesting locations to visit.

To view a larger image of the above, left click on the image with your mouse.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Along the Burr Trail, Central Utah.

This image was made about a week ago in Devils Garden along the Burr Trail in south central Utah. These sandstone columns are normally called hoodoos, a rather common erosional feature found in many desert areas, including Utah.

I did not realize that I had also captured a large bird which appears in the upper center of the sky. It appears to be a common turkey vulture.

To view a larger image, click on the image above.