Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Super Summer Sojourn 2003

Arches National Park
Jean and I arrived in the early afternoon and decided to proceed directly to Devil’s Garden for baking-hot hike out to Landscape Arch and environs. I returned in the evening to get the required sunset shots at Delicate Arch. The next day we toured Balanced Rock, The Windows Section, Skyline Arch, and Park Avenue before motoring on to

We met up with Heather and Tyler. We rode the D&SNGRR train to Silverton. Caught some excellent scenery and a cinder for both eyes. It was the 4th of July, so we got a fireworks show as well. From there, we proceeded the short distance to

Mesa Verde National Park
I took an afternoon tour of Balcony House; we all took a whole-day tour of the park, ending with a hands-on tour of Cliff Palace. Ten days after we left, lightning strikes started fires in the Park that caused an evacuation and closure. But for the moment, we were off to

Grand Canyon National Park
to enjoy the sights from the rim. I also managed to sneak in a few hikes below the rim. Jean arranged for us to take a float trip along the Colorado River through the twists, turns, cold water and hot air of Glenn Canyon. Next we headed northeast to

Monument Valley
and Goulding’s Lodge. Jean and I snuck into the Tribal Park before closing and got some sunset shots of the monuments. The next day we got a full tour of the park with a Navajo guide. Then it was back to Durango where Heather and Tyler headed back to Michigan. Jean and I motored south to

Chaco Culture National Historical Park
It’s 17 miles of dirt road into and out of the park. The Anasazi (Ancestral Puebloan) ruins are amazing, though. On our way to Bryce Canyon we stopped off for a quick tour of the

Antelope Canyon Slot Canyons
Spectacular erosional sandstone geology. Extremely difficult to photograph. A quick photo op at

Red Rock Canyon before entering Bryce Canyon
We hiked the rim and drove to the distant viewpoints. Then it was off to

Zion National Park
Zion Canyon is a desert swamp with more varieties of plant life than can be found in Hawaii. Red rock scale model of Yosemite? After a scary stopover in Tonopah, NV (don’t ever go there), we landed in Lee Vining, CA for another installment of the

Mono Lake/Bodie
pilgrimage before heading into

Yosemite National Park
The sky had been uncooperative since Bryce Canyon. But now it was getting plain nasty. Our attempts at morning and evening shots at Mono were closed down by cloudy skies or outright electrical storms. We got more of the same in Yosemite. We shot what we could while we were there. That’s all you can ever do!