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Tag: clouds

Sandstone & Sand Hills: The Paria Plateau

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Thursday – Sunday, January 24-27

It’s been almost a full year since the last time I was out exploring and photographing the wonderful sandstone of the Paria Plateau and I was really itching to get back out there again soon. A few months ago I secured a permit to Coyote Buttes South for this Friday and then planned to spend the rest of the weekend exploring other areas of the Vermilion Cliffs National Monument outside of the Coyote Buttes permit zones. Unfortunately, after I had already picked the weekend and got the permit I found out that the annual Ouray Ice Festival was scheduled for this same weekend, so I guess I was going to miss it this year. Diane was supposed to be in Las Vegas with a friend this weekend, which is why I originally chose it, but when her plans fell through there were no longer any permits available so I would be on my own this trip.

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Snow Day at The Monument

Rediscovering the Colorado National Monument #2
Sunday, January 6, 2019

This weekend Diane and I stayed home and took it easy, but we did take some time on Sunday afternoon to visit the west side of the Colorado National Monument for a couple of hours during a snowstorm. We drove a snow-packed Rim Rock Drive to its closure gate at the Independence Monument Viewpoint and stopped to take a few photos along the way. We only saw a handful of other vehicles up there braving the winter road conditions. I was hoping to hike a few of the shorter trails along the rim of Wedding Canyon near the Visitor Center in the snow, but once we got up into the Monument we found that the clouds were low and there was no view into the canyons. I didn’t want to hike those trails with no views, so we decided to skip them and only hiked the Alcove Nature Trail this time. I think the last time I hiked this short trail was almost ten years ago, so it was nice to finally revisit it.

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Christmas In Arches 2018

Christmas Day | Tuesday, December 25, 2018

On Christmas morning Diane and I woke up early and drove over to Arches National Park so we could continue our annual tradition of hiking to Landscape Arch and making sure that it is still standing for another year! If you are interested in checking out our previous Christmas trips, you can find those here: [2017] [2016] [2015] [2014]. We arrived at the park just as the sun was coming up for the day so I stopped a few times to take photos as we drove to the trailhead in the Devils Garden.

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Christmas Eve Clouds

Christmas Eve | Monday, December 24, 2018

When I got out of work early on Christmas Eve it looked like the winter storm that had been around all day was finally starting to clear out, and I thought it might be a good opportunity to photograph a nice sunset. I stopped home quickly to grab my camera and then headed up to the Colorado National Monument to see if I could get a few photos. Unfortunately, there was a thick bank of low clouds hovering right over the Monument and I never got the light that I was hoping for. I waited around for a while hoping the clouds would clear before sunset, but they never did, so I ended up not taking many photos. I’ll share the few photos I did take below.

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Lower Salt Wash Canyon

Friday – Saturday, December 14-15, 2018

Salt Wash begins its journey near Thompson Springs at the southern end of the Book Cliffs just east of Sego Canyon. From there it meanders generally south across Yellow Cat Flat and joins up with Lost Spring Canyon inside the boundary of Arches National Park. This desert wash eventually passes by the Wolfe Ranch near the popular trailhead for Delicate Arch as it enters Cache Valley and then carves a deep canyon through Dry Mesa just east of The Windows before finally reaching the Colorado River. I have studied this particular canyon on maps over the years and thought about hiking it a number of times before, but I always seem to find somewhere else I’m more interested in going instead. I haven’t found much information about hiking this canyon and wasn’t sure what to expect, but I guess that is what intrigued me about this location in the first place.

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