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I'm now selling my photos!!!

I now host galleries of my favorite photos @ www.lloydshell.zenfolio.com Feel free to surf over there to see photo's that may have drifted into the darkest reaches of the archives here on Blogspot.

I also have begun selling my photographs when requested, I can handle most sizes and finishes either locally or via my on-line printing service.

Thanks for looking!

Lloyd
lloydshell@gmail.com

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The Big Trip

My brother (The man who's fault it is that I am a Pentaxian!) and I, recently had the opportunity to run away for a few days to southern Utah. He and I are avid amateur photographers, we took a photo trip to part of this area a few years ago and were both yearning to get out of the valley and photograph some beautiful parts of our great state. So.. we did.

We started out leaving the Salt Lake Valley on a Wednesday, the Wednesday before Easter. This may not have been the best idea. Neither of us connected going to Goblin Valley with crowds, as we never go there during the busy times of the year. sigh... Anyway, we got a late start due to work issues and got to Goblin Valley State Park in SouthCentral Utah right about dark. We realized as we drove to the ranger's kiosk that there were a LOT of people around. As we pulled up we saw the sign that said that the campground was full. This was a bummer as we wanted to camp with hot showers and access to the valley. Neither of us had thought to get a site reservation, so we headed out to BLM (Bureau of Land Management) land adjacent to the park where it is legal to camp at the side of the road.

We got set up in the gathering gloom (See the following post for a picture of our "Camp") and then set about playing with our cameras. It was quite windy (Broke a pole in my dome tent) with a bit of dust but nothing horrible. We turned in to get some rest for the next days hike and drive. I didn't sleep much, the wind was flapping the tent, and though I brought a good sleeping bag and an air mattress, thermax long johns, wool socks fleece watch cap etc... I was FREEZING!! It was fairly cool and the desert cools off fast after sunset, plus I forgot that air mattresses tend to suck the heat out of whatever is lying on top of it. Great for summer, bad for early spring. I finally nodded off about midnight when the wind quit. I then woke up at 4:00 ish to the music of my teeth chattering. Desperate to get warm, I got up, dressed, set up my camera and tried for a few more shots while I jumped up and down and ran around to get warm. When I was done with that magical light I got back in bed with everything but my coat and boots on. Mildly warmer than when I got up.

As sunrise approached I looked out checked for anything good developing, it wasn't, so I went back to sleep for another hour or two, got up and went on walkabout. I didn't get a much but it was fun to wander around and just look and be warm.

After breaking down camp and stooging around taking some more shots, we ate a sparse and cold breakfast and headed to Little Wild Horse Canyon. I would highly recommend this to anyone going to this area. It is a very accessable hike with several areas of tight slots. It is georgeous and lacks the overuse and crowds of the slots in Zions National Park, though it is not quite as dramatic as they can be. There is a whole post further down with photos of this magical place. Here is your humble photographer.

And here is the man responsible for me being a Pentaxian.

We tried to live by the motto of take only pictures and leave only footprints, in fact I felt so strongly about it... I took a picture of a footprint!

Finished with LWH we headed into Goblin Valley for lunch and exploration. Even in the harsher noonday sun, Goblin is a rather unusually weird place but still beautiful. If you ever saw the movie Galaxy Quest then you have had a glimpse of Goblin Valley.
After wandering for an hour or so we packed up and headed southwest to Capitol Reef National Park, specifically to Cathedral Valley. Which I had never been too, I wish I had. It is one of the most beautiful and little touched (and yet fairly easily accessable) areas of Utah. Here I am in front of the Temple of the Moon. This area is accessable by 2WD vehicle with high clearance. If it rains though even a Hummer won't get you out of there.
We thoroughly enjoyed the drive and despite the pressure at many spots due to the Easter weekend, we saw 4 cars the entire drive in. Four. We camped at the Cathedral Valley Campground in the north end of the park. By ourselves. Glorious solitude. Silence. Yet strangely I had cell service, go figure. Anyway, we camped my bro. made a huge and filling dinner and we hung out by the fire for awhile. This is my brother, the cook, he tends to have a little fire in his eye at times.

We got up and drove out the next morning, again photo's to follow, and drove to Lower Calf Creek recreation area and hiked to the falls, enjoying a beautiful afternoon stroll. As we finished, decision time came, weather was moving in, confirmed by radio weather cast on 2 meter band radio. We had planned to camp another night but decided to not bother due to the weather, and made a run for Ruby's Inn at Bryce Canyon for dinner before blasting back to the Salt Lake Valley.

It was incredible, beautiful, and exhausting. We took tons of pictures (over 450 for me) and got some memories that will last a life time. I hope you enjoy looking at my following posts half as much as I enjoyed taking the photos!

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