Virgin River

Last week, I hiked along the Middle Emerald Pools Trail. This trail has been closed since the trail head was washed out in a flood in 2010. It was reopened last September after years of repairs and stabilization work in the trailhead area. It was close to sunset when I captured this image of the Virgin River looking towards The Great White Throne. This is also part of the Weekend Sky challenge .

This image is available as a print on Art Pal: Virgin River

Enjoy!

PFTA: Reflections

In the Fall of 2016, I went to Kolob Reservoir which is just outside of Zion National Park to look at the fall colors.  The lake is surrounded by Quaking Aspen and pine trees.  This was taken from the dam.

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It is my wish that everyone can take a few minutes or more every day during this time of stress and uncertainty, and reflect on the blessings, the positive things and have hope for a quick return of some normalcy in life.

If we really think about it, do we want more of the same rat race we had before the shutdown?  Or do we want to remember the things we’ve learned during this quarantine to become better people, better family and neighbors, and cherish that human contact we are all craving in this time of separation?

Enjoy

 

A Bit of Beauty

With all the gloomy news right now, we deserve a little beauty to take our minds off the doom and gloom. I just took this as I was walking home from work today. It was snowing this morning (on Friday the 13th, in the desert? Go figure..), and it’s been raining all day.

Enjoy!

Employee Falls

Zion Waterfalls

I went to Zion today to take care of some business, and it was raining like crazy! After I got everything done, i drove up to the Temple of Sinawava to check out the waterfalls. I saw waterfalls where I haven’t seen them for a very long time, and others that I’ve not seen before. At one point, the water was just pouring over the side of the cliffs. Enjoy!

Employee Falls

Refrigerator Canyon (Angel’s Landing on right)

Above Weeping Rock

From Hidden Canyon I have not seen this waterfall at the Temple of Sinewava like this in a very long time.

Fall Colors of Kolob Terrace

Before I do anything else, I must apologize to my followers.  It’s been over two months since my last post and for that I’m sorry.  I have been very busy with work and growing food (may be worth a blog post or two, who knows), I’ve been neglecting my photography and you, my audience.  I’ll try and do better.  Now that things are slowing down here at work (crazy as it is) it’s still busy.

Now on to the post…

I went up to the Kolob Terrace, a section of Zion National Park that’s in the high country, on October 1.  (I know, it’s 10 days since, but hin ist hin, geschehene dinge sind nicht zu ändern.) It’s also midnight here and 6:00am comes early so I’ll make this quick.  I took many photos up there of the fall colors.  If you ever get a chance to get up there, GO!!

Anyway, here you go.  These are around Kolob Reservoir on the Terrace. I’ll post more later.

Enjoy!

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Water, and Man’s Quest to Conquer It

Water. It’s a simple word, but it means a lot to people, especially here in the Desert Southwest. There are only a few sources of fresh water here, like the Colorado River and its tributaries.

Of course, without water we wouldn’t have the Grand Canyon.

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Having the Colorado River running through your back yard is an awesome sight to behold, but fraught with danger. Every time there is a major storm along the river or its tributaries, there is a flash flood which is both deadly and damaging to the surrounding areas.

Man has always longed to tame this river and to control its power. In order to do that, he would make an undertaking that was monumental, even by today’s standards. It would take many years and thousands of workers to accomplish. In fact, it took so many people to build, they would need a city to accommodate everyone. A new city was born not far from the dam that is still a major tourist destination today, because of the new lake that formed because of this dam, Boulder City, Nevada.

Workers weren’t a problem, because during the Great Depression people were clamoring for work anywhere they could get it. Several years and millions of tons of concrete later (which was poured so fast, it’s still curing even after 70 years), man had finally conquered the Mighty Colorado.

The result of all this blood, sweat and tears, and sadly, many lives, is the historic Hoover Dam. It was dedicated on September 30, 1935, nearly two years ahead of schedule. It’s the only government project of any time to be completed ahead of schedule and under budget.

Thousands of people flock to this landmark every day. However, when night comes, the people disappear, the lights come on and the entire atmosphere changes.

Here is my favorite view of Hoover Dam:

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Weekly Photo’s Challenge: Hiking

I’m participating in LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge. This week’s Challenge is: Hiking! 

Hiking.  It’s what I do!   It’s my favorite thing to do when I’m not working or sleeping.  Of course, it gives me the reason to go out photo shooting.  Recently I went hiking in the Kolob Canyon section of Zion National Park.  I went on the Taylor Creek Trail and believe me, there are some spectacular views in the canyon!

This is Taylor Creek:

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During the hike, it’s fun to look for things that are unusual or interesting.  Take  this lizard for instance, he’s enjoying the sun and warm rock.

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Along the way, there are a couple of pioneer cabins from the homesteading days.  Here is one of them.

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The ultimate goal of hiking of course is the journey and the adventure that goes with it, but sometimes there is a reward at the end of the trail.  In this case, it was a combination of all of these that prompted me to hike this trail.  At the end there is the world famous Double Arch Alcove.

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After the hike, it’s always fun to go up to the view point and look at the Kolob Fingers of Zion National Park.  This section of the park doesn’t get as much publicity or appreciation as the lower canyons.  But it is just as spectacular or more so.

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My philosophy with hiking is this: the journey is the reward, not the destination, although that helps.

 

 

Wild Weekly’s Photo Contest: Green

I’m participating in the online adventure travel and photography magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Green!

 

There is an old saying: Water is Life!  No where is that more applicable than in the desert.  A person can go without water only 72 hours, maybe less in the desert.  Especially when it’s hot and dry.  However, here in this canyon where I live, there is a Riparian Woodland Climate, there are also hanging gardens, swamps, and of course, desert.

Here in the desert, you will find Prickly Pear Cactus, which is a very hardy plant that you can eat and is very high in water.  In a survival situation, you can cut these up and use the center for a water source.

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Of course, if you want to get a good source of water, the best thing to do is find a spring like this one.

_RW_2723This is The Grotto in Zion National Park.  It’s also an excellent source for water.  You would still need a water purification system, because all water sources in North America are considered contaminated with bacteria and viruses.

Another great source for water is water falls, as seen here.

CRW_0031This is the world famous Menu Falls, in Zion National Park.  It’s called Menu Falls because it was featured on the menu at Zion Lodge during the 1950’s.  It’s also a great place for weddings (there is a wooden platform here so you can look at the waterfall).  A friend of mine was married here a few years ago (you know who you are!).

Moving into Pine Creek Canyon, there are wonderful spots to just simply relax, of course getting there you have to climb over boulders and walk in the water, which in some places are absolutely breathtaking and relaxing.

_RW_1452I could sit here for hours just listening to the water fall and watch the pollywogs in the water, (the little black dots on the right).

Along the way, you will find ferns and other water loving plants.  Water just seeps out of the sandstone and creates wonderful micro climates.

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Of course, it’s amazing where you can find ponds and streams, this pond is located at 11,000 feet at Cedar Breaks National Monument.

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Eventually, though, water does come from the sky in form of rain and snow.  Since the theme for this contest is Green, I’ll stick to rain.  This is from the West Rim Trail in Zion National Park looking south, one of my all time favorite hikes.  I was always told you don’t see Zion until you see it from the top.

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Of course, I do like to go camping in places other than Zion.  This is at Oak Grove Campground just above Silver Reef, Utah.

_RW_1579You can see the oak leaves on the left surrounded by Ponderosa Pine trees.  This was a wonderful sight to wake up to.

 

Of course water comes in all shapes and sizes and colors.  This was at a water sculpture in the Aria in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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Without water, there can be no life, and therefore, no green at all.  Hope you enjoyed this post and even learned a little about the importance of water.

Kelly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild Weekly’s Photo Contest – Exploring

I’m participating in the online adventure travel magazine LetsBeWild.com’s Wild Weekly Photo Challenge for bloggersThis week’s Challenge is: Exploration!

I explore the desert of Southwest Utah quite frequently.  However, this time I decided to post an adventure I had that made me quite queasy (literally).  I went on a seven day, seven night Western Caribbean Cruise.  One of the destinations was Grand Cayman Island.  I had never been snorkeling before, so I decided what the heck.

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Notice the reef in the harbor? It means that large ships can’t dock here, just small personal water craft or ferries.  Did you know there is a shipwreck in the harbor?  Well, it wasn’t caused by the reef like you would think.  It was caused by a coal engine.  Apparently, the vibrations from the engine rattled the ship apart.  Of course the ship wasn’t designed for a coal engine, it was originally a wind powered ship.  When the ship made it to harbor, it was leaking so bad, the officials determined to just sink it where it was.

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This was the engine for the ship.  It’s a popular spot for fish to explore.

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Not just fish, but for snorkelers (like me) and scuba divers like him:

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Of course, that’s about the time claustrophobia kicked in and I had to leave the water.  It was fun while it lasted, though.  I had a blast.