Sep 19, 2013

Down the River

So, I thought these were some cool light beams:

And tomorrow, I'm getting up at four in the morning to go hiking down to Phantom Ranch in Grand Canyon, where I'll hop in the boat and row Horn Creek about 500 yards later. Here's my friend Brad Dimock running it in his custom Galloway replica boat:

It's been 10 years since I've rowed anything that big, so I'm a bit nervous. Might be my mom will ride with my dad for the first couple-three rapids, and can't say I blame her.

Anyway, I should be back around the 2nd. Don't let anything really spectacularly bad go wrong while I'm away.

Sep 2, 2013

Moab Photo Dump: Highway 128, Dead Horse Point, Arches, and Canyonlands

Be warned, this is a big one.

So first thing I did was drive down Highway 128, which follows the Colorado River into Moab:

 I believe this is Onion Creek which was flash-flooding at the time.

 Here are a couple panoramas from Dead Horse Point:

 Here's Park Avenue in Arches:

And Double Arch:

And The Windows:

 This is Delicate Arch, from across a small valley:

 In perspective (the zoom on my camera is pretty good):

 Then I went on a little hike into the Devil's Garden, out to Dark Angel. Here's Landscape Arch on the way:

 And Navajo Arch (I think):

 A couple panoramas from a high spot in Devil's Garden:

Double-O Arch:

From the other side:

And Dark Angel. It's just like it looks, a semi-random stob of rock out by itself.

It's striking how quickly the number of people falls off the further you get from the pavement. This is maybe an hour or so's brisk walking from the parking lot and by the time I got out here there was no one else in sight. And this is the high season! Leaving the parking lot for The Windows cars were piled up five deep waiting for a bus to maneuver back onto the road.

Anyway, I took the long way back, here's a shot from the trail:

 And here's a picture from the car, for reference. This is what most of the Arches experience is like:

Don't get me wrong, Arches is way cool even from a car, but it was pretty convincing evidence in favor of Ed Abbey's contention that putting paved roads right through to the heart of all the coolest places does rather spoil the experience. (More on this later.)

On to Canyonlands! Here's the Shafer Trail:

In perspective:

 The Colorado side of Grandview Point:

 I got in the habit of scrambling out on to precarious places just for the photo value. Here's one spot:

 And the view from that rock:

A couple panoramas from the end of the Grandview Point trail:

Here's Upheaval Dome:

Another precarious target:

On the way:

The view from the end:

This was a bit of a gnarly leap:

Perspective from the other side, launch point and landing point labeled:

It was, of course, not much of a jump, only the 500-foot plunge to certain death on that right side that focused the mind a bit.

Mesa Falls Photo Dump

This is a quick look at a proposed National Monument, the Mesa Falls area in Idaho. Here's the lower falls, which apparently gonzo kayakers actually run sometimes:

Mist from the upper falls:

View from the lip of the upper falls:

Further down:

 On the way back I found this massive spillway structure on Island Park Reservoir:

Look into the bottom of the spillway, where you could hear water moving but not see it: