Thursday, October 10, 2013
What a crazy day! The weather was all over the place which made for some great dynamic conditions- perfect for photography! My camera sure got a workout today. It started out by raining all night. My tent kept me dry and the rain actually stopped when my alarm went off so I could get up and photograph the sunrise. I hopped in my Jeep and drove up the Sand Flats Road to the Castle Valley Overlook but the sunrise never happened. It was just too cloudy and another storm rolled in while I was up there.
A view of the La Sal Mountains before another storm rolled in and completely blocked the view.
As I was driving back down towards Sand Flats it started raining hard again so I went into town and had some breakfast at the Moab Diner.
Low clouds hang above yellow cottonwoods in the upper reaches of Rill Creek as I drove back to town.
When I finished my breakfast the rain finally started to let up, so I decided to follow the River Road in search of waterfalls since it had been raining pretty hard. I found plenty of them…
As I was driving back towards town I caught a glimpse of what looked like a very nice waterfall, but it was hard to tell from the road. I decided it was worth checking out, so I grabbed my camera and tripod and started hiking. I’m glad that I did!
I climbed up higher for a different view.
This waterfall was located just below the previous one.
Before heading back towards town I made a short detour to the entrance of Arches. I figured I should at least get a photo of the barricaded entrance while it was closed since I had never seen that before…
While driving down Main Street Moab I looked up and saw that the La Sal Mountains were still hidden in clouds and figured with all the rain down in the valley that there might be a good amount of snow up in the mountains. And if I was lucky there might even be some fall colors around, so I continued south to the Loop Road.
This lone tree in the field stuck out to me as I started climbing the Loop Road.
There was still a lot of green down at the lower elevations with touches of changing colors.
As I climbed higher the snow got deeper and I managed to find some yellow aspens.
There was some great scenery along Geyser Pass Road.
Another lone tree that caught my eye…looking down towards the Moab Valley.
There were nice autumn colors where the road crossed Mill Creek.
When I reached Mason Draw I had an expansive view of Castle Valley and this low cloud sort of made the Castleton Tower look like a chimney.
The amazingly vibrant colors of the Pinhook Valley never disappoint. This area burned a few years back and since then there has been an amazing display of colors here in the fall.
Another view of the Castleton Tower from Pinhook Valley.
Every now and then I had a good view over into Arches National Park, too.
Since the sunrise at the Castle Valley overlook was pretty much a bust, I thought I would check it out again in this constantly changing weather.
Spotlight on Castleton Tower.
Shortly after arriving back at the overlook this faint rainbow appeared in front of Adobe Mesa.
Cloudy view down Porcupine Rim.
After hanging out at the overlook for a little while another storm rolled back in over Round Mountain and Castle Valley.
Soon it started hailing and raining on me so I got back in my Jeep and considered leaving and going somewhere else. But something stopped me. Even though it was windy and pouring, I decided to stick around and see what would happen. I am so glad that I did, because once that storm passed, the sun came out again through breaks in the clouds and created a rainbow.
Here’s the amazing thing, a few more storms rolled through the area while I was up there. Each time it started to rain I would take shelter in my Jeep and wait it out. When it would blow over I would hop of out my Jeep again ready to take photos. This must have happened five or six different times and each time there was a new rainbow over Castle Valley and Pinhook Valley. I’ve never seen so many rainbows in one day! It was awesome!
The dynamic weather also created some beautiful spotlighting.
After sticking around at the overlook for much longer than I had originally planned I finally started driving back down the Sand Flats Road towards town so I could meet up with some friends.
There was still nice light on the sandstone fins and domes as I drove back down.
I took one last detour before reaching town so I could try and catch the sunset from near Mill Creek Canyon.
I didn’t find a good view of the sunset on the La Sal Mountains as I had hoped, but I turned around and caught these sun rays filtering down through the Moab Rim.
Oh yeah! I even caught one last rainbow as I made it back to my Jeep.
This definitely turned out to be a day I will not soon forget 🙂