Moab Utah is a Scenic Giant!
I visited Moab and many of the National Parks there in 2009. Several old friends from my military days were traveling together just to rehash old times and for general camaraderie! It was a fun trip essentially planning on a lengthy visit to Yellowstone. That was definitely not going to happen when Mother Nature decided differently. First upon our arrival at the East gate, there was a humongous fire burning which caused the closing of the entrance to that side of the park. There was smoke everywhere since it was such a large blaze. The only answer was to back up and drive around to the north entrance and come in from there. There were no problems there other than we were limited as to what part of the park we might visit. If you know anything about Yellowstone you realize there is still plenty to do. We checked into our condo and begun to plan for the next day and lots of wildlife photography. The day started early and we drove miles and miles enjoying wildlife sightings and the prettiest scenery you can imagine. After a full day of activity we turned in for the night.
As we drove to a local breakfast joint the next morning there was an obvious storm approaching. While we dined the skies became full of clouds heavy with snow. The waitress suggested the restaurant would be closing as we left. This really changed things for us and we decided to head south to outrun the approaching snowstorm. Man did we zoom out of there. Thirty miles or so south we stopped in Jackson Hole to look a bit prior to taking off for our new destination of the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, and of course anything interesting we passed on the way! I was mesmerized by the Grand Teton vista! The mountain tops were out of sight due to cloud cover and we were so time challenged that I just decided that The Grand Tetons were going directly into my bucket list! I decided to return to the Grand Tetons someday! So we headed out to the southern Utah and Grand Canyon area and had a terrific time. Now all of this is to say I only whetted my appetite by seeing so many places in so short of a time period.
I had been following Jeff Clow on Facebook for quite a while even to the point of buying his "Guide to the Tetons" book. So this year I decided to purchase a seat on his tour of the Moab, Utah trip. There are three or four National Parks there and the area is absolutely scenic in every sense of the word. We visited Cloudlands NP, Arches NP, Mesa Verde, Professor Valley, and a couple of us remained after the tour to visit Dead Horse Point. For my interests Professor Valley was my most enjoyable single vista. I was so tired by the time I got to the top of Mesa Verde that I did not get a decent shot. This is desert country at its most beautiful. All the stories of photographers fighting for a position to shoot are true! The area where you actually shoot is about 30 or 40 feet across and it was packed tripod to tripod with all kinds of people speaking many different languages. It was all friendly yet definitely competitive as each of them want the perfect light they had worked so hard to see there. To benefit from such a great opportunity it is my best guess you need to be there at least a half hour or more before sunrise. We arrived there in time for my mates to get what they needed, but my old body was unable to crest the hill in time to shoot it correctly. I was old and out of shape and out of breath! However the beauty of what was there to see and enjoy just by being present, more than made up for my loss of a photo op! I can always return another day! Well I will attach several of my favorite images to this blog and I hope you enjoy them.
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