Tuesday, July 31, 2018
There had been some pretty serious downpours around Zion earlier in the week and as I drove through the Gateway town of Springdale, there was plenty of evidence of dirt having been pushed off the road. I also saw that parking in town was no longer free. I pulled into one lot just to check the price: Flat $20 for the lot nearest the entrance. I don't know if the other lots or along the street have different prices, but $20 seemed kind of steep. If it costs almost as much to park as to enter, I figure more people will try to enter and find parking in the limited area between the gate and Canyon Junction. In any event, my arrival this day was late enough that it wasn't an issue. Only a few cars in front of me, and I had a campground, and the guaranteed parking spot that came with it.
As with my Arch Rock hike of the previous month, I got to where I though I might take some shots then pulled out my phone and launched my planetarium software, to see where the Milky Way would be, later that night. Of course, this was pretty speculative, since, at the time, it was pretty cloudy, and getting cloudier.
Sunday, July 29, 2018
this meadow in mid-July 2010, I knew this was a relatively dry and warm winter, so I figured the bloom would be earlier. Similarly, I had also been here in late June one year, and even then, the bloom was not as thick as my first visit. So I know there's a lot of variability, depending, I assume on the precipitation, how cold the winter was, how quickly the summer heats up and so forth.
The hike there is not particular steep or interesting. It's mostly flat. But there are several meadows with plenty of mariposa lilies. This is probably the most reliable place I've been to for finding this flower. As you can see, some look more purple-tinged than others.
previous hikes in the area, but still plentiful.
It's an easy two miles or so to the summit. From there, there's the possibility of continuing on, to Mount Abel (or other destinations, but that's the one I'd been to, in the past). However, I needed to get back reasonably early, for family purposes. So I spent only about fifteen minutes around the overlook, snapping pictures and enjoying the rest bit, then returned the way I came.
Saturday, July 28, 2018
This bit of "public art" has been standing since May 2016. Originally intended to be displayed for two years, its stay has been extended through the end of 2018, and may stay longer.
But I suppose if you're going to do a bright, random pile of rocks, sure, why not? It's a big desert, and if I want to ignore them, I can drive on by, looking the other way.
On this Friday, I had gotten a reasonably early start, so traffic wasn't an issue. Also, the winds were whipping, so folks weren't staying too long. Well, sure, you still have plenty of people trying to get selfie and expressive poses in front of the rocks, but it wasn't obnoxiously crowded, as I had seen, in the past.
the website says no tripods are allowed onsite, so that wouldn't be possible, anyway). As it was, I just snapped some cell phone shots, stretched my lets for about fifteen minutes, then continued on my way.
Anyway, I'm several hiking events behind in my posts, so I figured I'd get this one up, today. More to follow soon, hopefully!
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The trailhead for Arch Rock is within White Tanks campground. It's a small, 15-site campsite, with vault toilets but no running water, and no ability to make advanced reservations. Well since I couldn't guarantee myself a spot there, I had to reserve a motel room. The Motel 6 in Twentynine Palms was my choice, as it's relatively cheap, and quite close to the North Entrance.
At the arch, I took a few cell phone shots from both sides of the arch, then launched my planetarium app (Sky Safari 5 Premium) so I could see where the Milky Way would be later that night. I determined that, yes, I could manage a shot of some interest later that night.
I wore a cheap headlamp to light the way during my walk, and the red light function of the headlamp, handheld, to quickly "paint" the arch for foreground illumination in some of the pictures.
Friday, July 6, 2018
I've had a few other hikes since last I posted. Will need to work on getting those blogged and illustrated.