Saturday, March 1, 2014
When Diane and I woke up Saturday morning we had no plans for the day. We wanted to do something outsite but the weather was calling for rain all day. In the end we decided to ignore the weather reports since it looked nice outside and took a last minute trip just over the stateline into Utah so I could check on a geocache that I had placed a few years back. It’s in a remote area that sees little traffic so very few people have actually found it. It had been a while since I had been out that way and I was looking forward to hiking around the area. After getting off the pavement onto the Yellow Cat Road we ran into some pretty muddy conditions that slowed down driving, but nothing too bad. After leaving the Yellow Cat Road we pretty much drove on sandy roads the rest of the day and didn’t have to deal with any more slippery mud. Although, a lot of the two-track roads we drove were filled with tumbleweeds, so we had to deal with those instead. It appears that we were the first vehicle on some of these roads this season. Even though there were storms all around us for most of the day we managed to miss most of the rain. It was a bit windy out all day, but the scattered clouds made for some excellent photography conditions with the changing light and shadows. My favorite kind of day!
After checking on my geocache, we entered the backcountry of Arches National Park and started hiking and exploring this area more thoroughly than I have done before. There are a lot of great views from the rim of this small canyon that I refer to as The Sandstone Bowl, especially with the weather conditions we had today.
Even though it was very windy out, the beautiful and constantly changing sky made up for it!
Diane exploring the sandstone in the wind.
Lines in the sandstone from the recent rain.
We came across a few large water-filled potholes.
A sliver of light illuminates the sandstone bowl below.
An amazing view over this small side canyon. We waited for a little while at this spot until the light was just right.
Light and shadows…
A closer look at the large alcove across the canyon. The light on the Book Cliffs in the background was pretty nice all day.
Looking back up the short canyon towards the sandstone bowl.
Fingers protrude from The Sandstone Bowl.
After exploring this seldom visited area of Arches National Park we hiked back to the Jeep and made our way over to La Boca Arch. I’ve been here a few times before but never with a nice cloud-filled sky like we had today.
La Boca Arch
Nice light on the domes of sandstone behind the arch. Look closely and you might be able to spot a raven sitting on top.
Looking up through La Boca Arch.
We left La Boca Arch and then made our way across Dome Plateau, past Cave Spring, and eventually met up with the Kokopelli Trail.
It’s calving season…we saw quite a few calves along the way.
A great sky above as we drove across the sandy two-tracks of the Dome Plateau.
Nice view over Yellow Jacket Canyon. I need to come back and hike this canyon one of these days…
A storm off in the distance as we drive towards some domes of sandstone.
Amazing light on the sandstone.
We stopped to visit some very nice dinosaur tracks.
I found this great view of the Fisher Towers and La Sal Mountains while we were exploring, so we waited around for the light to get good.
I’d say it was worth the wait!
Rain all around us…
Rain lit up by the late afternoon light as we made our way back to the pavement.
This small rainbow showed up briefly in the distance.
As we got closer to Cisco on the old highway we were treated to an amazing sunset.
A rainbow even showed up! It was a great way to end the day.