Every so often I get the itch to go to Southern Utah, if I don't get to scratch it, I get cranky and not a lot of fun to be around. My wife (Bless her soul) accepts this and even encourages it at times. This was one of those times. The kids were on spring break and we just wanted out of the house and the Salt Lake Valley. Not believing that I could get an actual campsite during spring break, I checked anyway and found a spot booked it and off we went. We laid on a last minute camping trip with 4 women and one man, had a great time and everybody got along... a bit of a first there!
So... early morning start bagged, we left whenever we were darn well ready, I can't even remember when we actually did leave, and we headed out, portable DVD strapped to the back of the headrests for the kids in the back, Honda Pilot loaded to the gills and off we went. First stop: Bryce Canyon National Park. I had been there a few times in the last few years, but my wife not since our Honeymoon almost 15 years ago, and the kids never. The weather was perfect, 50-60's and partly cloudy, just to give the sky some texture. Sometime after noon and before supper we pulled through the gates and headed to the far end of the park, Rainbow Point to work our way back. All the pull outs are on the east side of the road and it is easier to be coming back north to access them.
This first shot is actually on the way to the front gate on UT 12, I dearly love the ponderosa pine forest and red rock entry to the area, it provides interesting images when converted to B&W. Not a devote of Ansel or anything, just enjoy breaking the photo down to light and dark, texture and composition.
Several years ago the park had some large fires, the damage was evident but that didn't deter these antelope from inhabiting the area, they were just off the road and seemed fairly willing to let us stop and take their picture.
Out at Rainbow Point the view looking along the edge of the escarpment is spectacular, the edge of the plateau falling off into the distance, miles of colorful hoodoo's dropping into lightly forested hills. Whenever I see it I am seized by a nearly inescapable urge to hike down into it and go from one end to the other. Being naturally lazy I was easily able to evade the trap and continue on my way. Need to do it one day before I get too old though....
The colors at BCNP are different from most other areas in Utah, there is more orange/pink/salmon than anywhere else, and it is a nice treat and change of pace from the darker hues.
A light dusting of snow still remains this time of year adding a splash of contrast that is not usually associated with Southern Utah.
There are few natural arches in this area, fortunately this one is easy to reach. It even lured the kids out of the car to look. They were a bit intimidated by the height of the edge and frequently needed to have someone right with them and to stay away from the edge.
This was my favorite Panorama of the day, it caught the sky perfectly and showed the sweep of the land well. I would have liked to be closer to the edge, but I wanted to stay married.
After dinner at Ruby's Inn, we headed to our camping site, Kodachrome Basin State Park. Where we spend a perfect night.
More in my next post!