Saturday, April 26, 2008

Zion National Park

It is Saturday again....already! Where has the week gone? For SPS this week, I decided to post some of my favorite landscapes from Zion National Park. I have been to Zion twice, I remember Zion for its amazing beauty and the buses full of screaming kids! One of my favorite memories is the shear awesomeness of Checkerboard Mesa (photo 2). It is to me one of the more recognizable landmarks of Zion. Everyone pulls off the road to grab a photo of the Checkerboard Mesa. The lines in the sandstone give it that appearance.

I should also mention that the logo for SPS is a Zion photo. It was taken the first time I went to Zion with Amy. It was taken from the Big Bend stop in the park. The guides will tell you that there is nothing there, no trail heads, no facilities, but a fantastic view. Amy was the one with the skills to add the lettering and border to the logo. I went to that stop again, and was there at the wrong time with the sun, and didn't come close to grabbing a photo as cool as that one.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

As the Sun Rises

When on my recent southern Utah trip, I would get up before the sun rose to try to find the perfect spot for the colors of sunrise. I didn't always make it, but still manged to get some great sky shots before the first rays of light hit the earth or right after they started lighting up the sky. These are from Canyonlands, and Bryce Canyon. The first and last are from Bryce. The second one is from Canyonlands, I found it very cool that the sun reflected off a small area of water in the canyon, and it was incredibly bright. The third is from the road to Canyonlands, well before dawn, the moon was out and glowing in the sky. I think these are some of my favorites, because I felt like I was the only one awake to see the world. I was often the only person around, and I felt like the world was waking up just for me. I know it sounds silly, but in that moment, I knew the world was showing off for me just a little!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A fulfilled promise

While on my 6 day road trip, I was driving south to Flagstaff, Arizona to take a very southern route back to Pueblo due to a big snow storm. I had my trusty atlas with me, and saw Sunset Crater National Monument not far from my planned route. So I called my favorite friend Amy, and asked her about the park. I wanted to know if it would be worth it to go, because it would be pretty dark by the time I would have gotten there. She said it seemed like a cool place and that I should go if I got the chance. She also told me to take a photo of the sign, because it was a cool looking one! I did get there pretty late and managed to see a small portion of the park, and got some interesting sunset photos. Ironic?

You can see the crater in this last photo. I have plans to go back because it is an awesome looking park and my photos of the lava flows did not turn out so well in the dark. It is on the list for my my next extended leave from work.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Red Canyon

On the road to Bryce Canyon National Park, you travel through Dixie National forest's Red Canyon. It has rock formations that are similar to Bryce Canyon. There are also two super pretty red rock tunnels that you drive through.

Here are a few snapshots of Red Canyon for Super Park Saturday. Remember, SPS is for all public lands!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

More Bryce

Bryce Canyon NP is one of those places where sunset and sunrise set it off so magnificently, that you truly need to photograph at those times. Here are some from sunset, I have previously posted only one taken at sunset, most were at sunrise. As I have said multiple times, Bryce is my favorite NP to date.

P.S. I am now working night shift, and have been struggling with finding time to read all my favorite blogs, I will play catch up on my days off.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Snippets of Canyonlands NP

Super Park Saturday!
Today, I decided to go with photos of Canyonlands NP. I went to Island in the Sky and the Needles district. There are so many photos, I didn't know where to start with all the great ways to enjoy Canyonlands. I drove down a dirt road in the needle district, and these photos are from that drive. The rock formations are great, but I think the sky with the clouds are what make the photos stand out.

This place is red rock mecca, and as some of you may know, I LOVE RED ROCKS!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Sunrise at Bryce Canyon

Enough said!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch in Cayonlands NP is on a very easy trail that is not far from the parking area. You cannot see it from the road, but is a great site once you come down a little hill. You can walk right up to the arch and peer underneath to see the unique scene below. I also played some more with panoramas, which is the first photo below.

Just to prove I actually exist, that's me in front of the arch. I was mountain goat-ese showing off great footing on the rocks! :) Thanks to the nice Indiana couple that demanded I let them take my photo after learning I was traveling alone. They said I needed evidence of me on the trip at least once or twice!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Trees of the trip!

I really enjoy uniquely shaped trees. I found many such trees on my recent southern Utah trip. I decided to share my favorites. The first is from Canyonlands NP, on the trail up to Upheaval Dome that ended so funnily. The next one is from Natural Bridges NM when the sun was still rising in the sky and I was on a trail to see one of the bridges. Lastly, a very cool tree from Mesa Verde, just off one of the pull offs.

Which one is your favorite? and why?

Friday, April 4, 2008

Corral Pink Sand Dunes State Park

For SPS this week, I decided to post a state park, instead of a national park that have been my recent subjects! So these are taken at Corral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah. The sand is bright orange during the day, and turns pink hues at sunrise and sunset.

The orange sand is impossible to miss, it now covers the interior of my shoes and jeep! I think I am beginning to not like sand so much, even though it makes up the majority of my name. :)

As a side note, I have officially been asked to renew my contract in June. I have a feeling I will be here through the summer!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

My favorite park! :)

I love hoodoos! Bryce Canyon is the place to be for hoodoo lovers like me! I was there for sunset and sunrise and got some great effects with the cooperation from the sunlight. I played a lot more with panoramic photos. They are becoming more fun. The second photo is a combination of 4 photos at sunrise.

I love this place so much I took over a 700 photos. How sad is that?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The things I get myself into....

This was the sign. I walked half a mile to find this sign. What you cannot see are the trails below the sign. One off to the right, which leads to the first overlook, and if you look in the background of the photo you can see trail markers on the giant rock. The second trail is off to the left, and it looked like there was another trail splitting off of it. It turns out that it was not a trail. I saw this sign and went left seeing the arrow associated with the first overlook. I didn't even notice the arrow on the right part of the sign pointing up or the trail markers in the distance...the 150 foot distance!

This is looking up the trail I ended up going down, after climbing up another giant rock looks pretty steep right? Going down was fine.....

However, going back up was going to be pain.... That's George and Sue who I met along the way, they were as lost as I was and had the same issue with the sign. They are walking up the trail in this photo. I have to get up the rock face. Oh crap, now it is snowing and raining....making the rock slippery and I still have to get back.

I am not afraid of heights. I am however afraid of falling off of giant rocks. It happened once already. Independence Rock in Wyoming. I was exploring and got into a place I could not get out of and when I tried, I fell and managed to not break anything...but had some serious bruises and edema...and a rock implanted in my shin that I dug out several hours later.

I had to climb back up and walk out. I was alone at this point, and knew if I fell, I wouldn't get help. So I admit at a few points where it was too large a step to take safely, I got down on my hands and knees and crawled. At one point, I was crawling up this rock and laughing hysterically due to the predicament I would myself in.

All for photos of Upheaval Dome. It was rather neat. My best photos actually came from the first overlook...all that work to get to the second and nothing of importance to show of it.

Upheaval Dome in Cayonlands National Park. They have a theory that a meteor struck this spot 60 million years ago, and the subsequent erosion left this odd geological feature. It is rather odd looking, and totally worth the trip.

I am back at my home base, 6 days, 2562 miles, 8 national parks/monuments and 1 state park later.

For a change

I have been posting a lot of landscapes lately. For a change, decided to post something else! Today, I met this little guy while in Zion National Park. I think he wants to be America's Next Top Squirrel Model. Check out the poses!

P.S. I meant to mention this yesterday, the new header is a panoramic taken at Natural Bridges National Monument.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Petroglyph meca

I remember reading about "Newspaper Rock" in my very first anthropology class as a freshman in college. I always thought it would be a cool place to see up close and personal. I didn't think about it again until years later when on a road trip with two friends. I saw it was in the area, but it wasn't on the route we were taking. Alas, have not thought about it since, because I forgot where it was. It turns out it is on the road into the Needles part of Canyonlands NP. I stopped, I drooled, and took too many photos. I was the only person around at the time, so I spent considerable time just looking at it. There is so much to see, and since no one truly knows the meaning behind them, you can just make things up. The first photo, look for the bison throwing a man in the air, at least that is what I think it is. The second, look at stupid people defacing a part of history. The other ones are just pretty! :) Oh, and notice many of the footprints have six toes! Interesting!