We had to make it a bit of a whirlwind due to scheduling, but we made it work. We left Salt Lake City @ 3:00 am, and made the Goblin Valley area just at sunrise. Our first stop was to do some canyoneering. Which means we were going to hike in narrow slot canyons, wiggle around and over boulders, and generally try to get sore and scraped without breaking anything important.
We started with the Ding-Dang loop. These are not the prototypical slot canyons that twist and wind for hundreds of feet with nice sandy floors. These are a little more... athletic. They were also a blast! I had not been able to finish the full loop before due to lack of light and equipment when we got to the scrambly bits. We had to turn around and go back whence we had come. Determined to make it this time.
It was too cold with too poor of light to get much going up Ding, this is up at the mouth "Behind the Reef" the hill is the Ding-Dang-Dome. Just love saying that.
This is where I got stuck before. I have to say that despite what the guidebooks say, this really needs a rappel to get down easily. Fortunately there is an anchor, a single anchor. I prefer doubles.
This next obstacle was somewhat unexpected, there was little water prior to this and I did not expect to have to deal with any. sigh. This is where canyoneering gets athletic, this technique is called "Stemming". You put your butt on one side and feet on the other and just scoot along inches at a time. This is especially fun when you have several thousand dollars of camera equipment in your backpack and didn't think to bring a dry bag. Got over it OK though, it is fairly akward to do this with your backpack behind you so it has to go in front... also awkward.
Getting around the ripples on the side wall is rather interesting as well. Or should I say challenging?
Back to a more photographic mien. I really was arrested by the textures and shapes in this spot. I loved the strong diagonals with the crossing shadow. Just... LIKE it.
The exit from Dang. This is just down from the wet spots, and it was very nice to be back in the sun. It was rather chilly down in the bottom.
Next we moved on to Little Wild Horse Canyon. I have been there many times and focused more on just enjoying rather than shooting pictures. Did have to repeat this shot though, it always amazes me the amount of gravel and sand that gets washed out. The first time I went there it was easier to go over.
After going through and around behind the reef, again, and descending Bells Canyon, we sat tiredly, rested then went into Goblin Valley proper. I love this place, you can just sit and let your imagination run wild. The shapes and humps take on life and character and become fodder for your imagination. It is even better in moonlight! ;-)
I never get tired of the color or the textures. The eroding ground is simply striking when seen in the right light.
I intentionally like to convert some to B&W, thus making the photos even more about the shape and texture. It is really hard to take a bad shot down here.
This is a jazzed up frame I played with. I think I sorta like it, and sorta don't. Will see if it grows on me. What do you think?
I saw Snoopy here, could just be my imagination.
The sky and the red rock are stunning to behold, and amazingly can become familiar enough that you stop thinking about it. Until you look at your pictures again.
Wild Horse Butte in the distance dominates the skyline, though less so in an ultrawide angle shot like this.
These two shots were processed quite differently, the second with much less saturation and contrast. Though it is somewhat washed out relative to what my eyes see, it pleases me nonetheless.