A quiet day today with only a light 4-5 hours of touristing. We took the morning to relax, rest and recuperate after yesterday and got caught up on the essentials such as laundry and F1 (no, Vettel did not deserve a penalty). Breakfast was, at Caitlin's request, served at Denny's today.
The afternoon reached 38c, far too hot to be out in it so we took the executive decision to nap through it. Itchy feet meant that we left for Canyonlands National Park around 4. This worked out really nicely as it meant we avoided the worst of the heat and traffic plus we got the best light as the harsh midday sun was long gone.
The landscape views on offer at Canyonlands are fabulous. They have a certain martian quality to them with the red soil, etc.
The La Sal mountains frame this magnificent landscape with their snow capped peaks rising to 12,721ft at their highest point. Something about the juxtaposition of color, temperature and direction (one going up, one is a big hole) speaks to me.
This mighty canyon area is carved by our old friend the Colorado River, yes the very same as is responsible for the Grand Canyon. I think I prefer this smaller version as my little monkey brain can actually vaguely comprehend it unlike the Grand Canyon.
Canyonlands is right around the corner from Dead Horse state park where we stayed 2 years ago in a yurt. We didn't make it to the National Park last time and having seen it today I realise that was a mistake. There's a lot on offer here, far more than just our allotted half day permitted us to utilise. Definitely one to come back to if in Moab for a while.
Most things are visible from the 20 mile long Island in the Sky road that runs the length of the park. However taking a hike to at least Mesa Arch is recommended. A true cliche for sunrise this one we settled for late afternoon golden light instead.
The cacti were in bloom too.
Next follow several images from Arches National Park where we watched sunset tonight. The golden rays of the dying sunlight just caught the inside of the arches known as "The Windows". This light lasted about 15 seconds only so I was thrilled to capture it tonight.
I had the area to myself, a rarity in a National Park. Navigating the chaotic compositional elements that littered the foreground was very tricky without straying too far from the marked trails.
One stack of rocks made by nature, the other by man (not this man, btw).
Finally after a breathless 20 minutes running round the back of the window arches searching for compositions, I came back around the front of them to be greeted with one of the most memorable sunsets I've ever seen.
Mother nature put on a show for us tonight. And for me, this is what these trips are about. Those 20-30 mins of golden light that afford the best photographs and the thrill of the chase. It's so good when it comes together like it did tonight. Great light, great location, great cloud. Great!
Turns out, we weren't the only ones in the park for sunset. A mass exodus of 'sunsetters' thronged down the switchbacks above the park entrance.
And so comes to a close another day. Tomorrow we're heading into the Rockies bound for Breckenridge where Cat and I stayed last summer. Looking forward to seeing how the Utah landscape melts into that of the high Rockies.