Saturday, February 22, 2014
Hike 2014.008 -- White Rock Canyon Trail to Liberty Bell Arch and the Colorado River
I had hiked here just about one year ago. Additional details on finding the trail head and the hike can be found there.
I enjoyed that hike. Wished I had a longer telephoto lens on it, though. The overlook down to the Colorado River, you're probably 1200 or 1600 feet above the water. So, this time around, I had a 500mm Tamron catadioptric telephoto lens to play with, and this seemed like the perfect place to try it out.
The Tamron is actually an old lens to me. I've owned it since either the late 1980s or early 1990s. It was mated to an "adaptall" Canon FD base, and I used it with my old 35mm film cameras.
But then I came across a mention of an adapter to allow Tamron Adaptall mounts to attach to Nikon autofocus cameras. The resulting mating will not allow autofocus, or even metering or aperature priority shooting. Still, for about $20, I could regain the use of a very long telephoto lens. So I bought an adapter about two weeks ago, and got to try out the contraption on this trip. You've already seen the Kelso Dunes shots. Here are some along the Colorado River.
The first one is from the trail before you've go get nearest the arch. You're looking sort of southerly with that one, so you have the arch is in its own shade. Kind of like the detail you can see, what with the various large chunks of rock looking like they're about to tumble right off.
On the trail, after passing the arch, you've got a few switchbacks before you reach the crest of this rise, and then venture on to a nice flat area with views down and across the Colorado River.
The next shots start up somewhat later, after I've already gotten back to the White Rock Canyon, and am now heading down the canyon. The volcanic walls are tall, and the canyon is sometimes quite narrow. I've got one shot of a group heading back up the canyon, to give some idea of the scale of these walls.
Pretty substantial loss and then gain of altitude on the way down to the river, and even more so if you headed up to the Colorado River overlook after Liberty Bell Arch.
At the river, I saw that a Boy Scout troop had decided to make their camp at the mouth of White Rock Canyon.
It's a pretty consistent flow of boats going downstream. I assume the canoes and kayaks get towed back up the river by some sort of motorboat. Otherwise, it would take some pretty serious paddling to make it back up to the put-in point.