Thursday, April 27, 2006

Southwestern Utah, April 2006

Here are a few shots of our trip. The formatting of the blog is very poor -- but you get the idea. If you want to see a particular picture in more detail, just click on it. When you want to get back to the blog, just hit the "back" button. [This is probably obvious to most folks, but it was news to me.] Each caption refers to the picture below.

The plateaus of Utah are cut by streams that sometimes form "slot canyons," some of which are so narrow that you can't see the sky. We did not go into any of those, but we did see a couple of really narrow canyons. You can see Felice in the orange jacket in the shot below -- we had to hike through the stream.

This is almost the same shot, edited years later in Lightroom:

The canyon walls and rock formations were eroded by wind and by "frost wedging," where the snow melts and freezes, breaking the softer rocks apart and leaving the harder rocks as caps. The archway below was formed by wedging. In the distance beyond Felice, a snowstorm is approaching us.

Biking in Red Canyon on a cold and windy day. Great paved bike trail near the highway. Lots of steady climbing at 6,000 feet, followed by a great downhill run.

Another slot canyon, this one at Bryce Canyon.

There was still snow at the higher elevations in Bryce in mid-April -- this part of the park is at 8300 feet -- the "Silent City" is in the background:

This is a better view of the Silent City on a cold, clear, windy late afternoon -- we could literally see for a hundred miles:

"Hoodoos" at Bryce.

More hoodoos, backlit.

Slot canyon, looking up. There was ice on the floor of this one, covered with a thin layer of mud.

This is almost the same shot, edited years later in Lightroom:

Slot canyon, looking sideways.

In Zion, the biking was great -- the main canyon road in Zion prohibits cars, and the shuttle buses were not a problem. This is one of the greatest biking roads we have ever been on.

This archway is more than a thousand feet high. It's called a "blind arch" because it is not cut all the way through the mountain. The sheer walls of Zion are created when the river cuts into the softer layers of sandstone toward the bottom of the strata. The top layers, which are harder, resist the undercutting as long as they can and then peel off in huge sheets:

One evening, we rode from the campground on the bike path that follows the river -- this is the Watchman in the late evening light:

In 2013, I added several shots that did not make it the first time -- these are "sand pipes" in Kodachrome Basin -- they are fossil geysers:

This is Calf Creek Falls:

And this is the Zion area, shot from the Canyon Overlook trail, looking west: