Sunday, December 16, 2018
That's nice bonus, since the rooms for even Days Inn/Super 8 level of motels in Moab is really quite high, as in $150 to $200. But they're stupid close to Arches' entrance, and not too far from the entrance to the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands. In retrospect, I might have decided to just burn my Wyndham Rewards points, because that night at Deadhorse Point State Park was really pretty cold.
Nice and easy start to the day. After getting back to Moab, I packed, then headed into Island in the Sky. The drive and overlooks were, themselves, quite impressive. I also took a short walk overlooking the Shafer Trail, Mesa Arch, and Grand View Point. Hope to get those posted, soon.
Monday, November 12, 2018
After doing an evening at Sky's the Limit, for their Night Sky Festival 2018, I drove back to Arch Rock, to get some photos of Orion, rising over the arch. This shot is 25 seconds at 20mm, f/1.8, at ISO 1600. I'm not sure if it's just reflection from the dust in the air, but the arch seemed brighter than last time, even without "painting" the arch.
As noted previously, Arch Rock is a short hike, maybe 1/4 mile each way from the actual trail, which starts in the White Tank campground. Even if you park on the main road (which you'll need to do, late night, unless you're camping here), it's still less than a mile, each way.
I still need to write up my Utah hikes. . . .
Saturday, November 3, 2018
A few months ago, I got some nice southern Milky Way shots, looking to the south, down the Virgin River. But, tonight, there were too many clouds and too much light that way, so I had to shoot north. And, even that way, there were a lot of clouds.
These were all taken in the 1/2 mile or so between Canyon Junction and the Human History Museum, along the Pa'rus trail.
Wednesday, October 24, 2018
I then went back to my motel room in Moab to eat dinner. I microwaved some store-bought fried chicken and ate a few boiled eggs, and an apple and a banana. I watched some television and waited to see if the clouds would clear. When it finally began to clear, I drove back into Arches and parked at the Courthouse Towers lot. Some people were already set up there, taking some shots and painting various rock outcroppings. I gathered my equipment and crossed over into Park Avenue.
Sunday, October 21, 2018
Starts out level, and walking over sand. An old ranch house is near the start. You cross over an area undergoing rehabilitation (removal of tamarask trees and regrading of the wash), then begin to climb. After a short climb and descent over dirt, you soon begin the main part of the climb, over exposed sandstone.
Friday, October 5, 2018
This was on a Saturday. I unexpectedly managed to get a campsite at Watchman just a few days in advanced, so it was somewhat spur of the moment. BTW, this stay was in the C-loop. Tents only. What I discovered there is that seemingly everyone in the tent area wants to burn a campfire so I was annoyingly over-smoked the night before. Also, everyone in a tent needs to use the restrooms, so those are almost always occupied. On my previous stay, I was in the A-loop, which permits both tents and campers/rvs. For an extra ten dollars, you get an electrical outlet (which I didn't really need, but which you might want to use to charge your phone or laptop) and a restroom that was little-used, because all the camper and RV people use their own restroom. I've decided it's probably worth the extra ten bucks to camp there.
This trail starts out steep, because you need to climb out of Zion Canyon. It's basically one switchback after another. You look up and seek these sheer red-washed rock cliffs, above you. I.'d estimate a mile or so of that, before you level off into a side slot canyon. Because you're heading up the east side of the Canyon, you'll be in shade in the morning, the whole way up.
Finally, you level off, and it's a largely-flat, 3/4 of a mile or so. Again, outstanding, wide open views over the main Canyon, and also to the East, in spots. If you didn't already know, you'll discover yourself way above Angel's Landing, further down canyon.
Made it back fine, and drove on down to the Las Vegas area. Easy 2 1/2 hours or so. Still, I'm looking forward to the scheduled opening of a couple of more truck stops between Saint George and the Mesquite area. As it is, if I take a restroom break in St. George, it's still a little long to drive all the way to Las Vegas without another stop. So I usually stop either at one of the casinos or at the kind-of-rundown-looking gas station near one of the easily-accessible casinos. I prefer the regular truck stops (Pilot and Flying J, in particular).
Sunday, September 30, 2018
Too early for fall color, and mostly way too late for wildflowers, although there are still some blooming. Lots of sunflowers, near the entrance. I took lots of shots, but nothing special resulted, so I posted none, here.
Monday, September 24, 2018
We had read of the birth of Pallas Cat kittens back in early spring, and made some abstract plans to go see them. But, the fact is, it's a pretty long drive to Salt Lake City, so making this a weekend road trip can be pretty exhausting, even if it's a three day weekend.
the total solar eclipse. I never really managed a proper write up of that trip, though.
Sunday, September 16, 2018
This is a short, 1 mile roundtrip hike. I first hiked this almost 20 years ago, and intended to come back here later this night to photograph the night sky. But I forgot a tripod part, so the night hike got scrubbed. Took night shots at Canyon Junction, instead, which worked out mostly better.
The trailhead is right at the east entrance to the tunnel on the Zion-Mt. Carmel highway. If you're coming from Canyon Junction, there's a small parking lot on the right, immediately after exiting the tunnel. If you miss that, or you're not driving a compact car, there is limited on-the-side-of-the-road parking, mostly on the north side of the road. If you're coming from the east and you don't park soon enough, you're forced to drive through the entire tunnel before you'll find a place to turn around, so don't do that!
according to the Park Service, was built between 1927 and 1930, and was not intended for oversized vehicles, so if you're a large camper or RV, you'll have to pay an extra fee and schedule your passage through. If you're a commercial vehicle, you'll have to go some other way.
But that means everyone who drives may need to wait for a convoy including an oversized vehicle passes one way or the other. I was waiting in just such a queue when I snapped the first shot of this post with my phone camera. Yes, I was stopped.
Right after passing the overhang above, I ran across a small herd of desert bighorn. They were still in the area when I walked back, maybe an hour later. Even without trying, they were no more than twenty yards from me as I passed.