Crooked River

Crooked River
Smith Rocks State Park, Oregon

On another adventure earlier this spring, we went to Smith Rocks State Park along Highway 97 in Oregon. It a beautiful spring day during local school’s spring break. There was a huge crowd with the same idea as we had to soak up the rays and explore. We took a casual walk along the gorge rim. Others were hiking the steep trails and climbing the shear faces of Smith Rocks (way outside of our physical condition or skill level). It was a great day!

A Beautiful Spring Day

Palouse River Canyon Below the Falls
Eastern Washington

Memorial Day was a beautiful Spring day! We woke up to a beautiful morning full of sunshine. It was time for a road trip! We decided to drive to the Palouse and visit Palouse Falls. Three hours later we were waiting in line to enter the Palouse Falls State Park. Many others had the same idea as we did. The drive and wait were worth it.

This image is taken from above the Palouse River just below the Palouse Falls. Recent rain created the green foliage on the plateau and canyon walls. Normally the scenery is pretty brown. The sky was covered by a patchwork of puffy white clouds. The scene was a a gift!

Can You Imagine …

Palouse Falls , Eastern Washington

Can you imagine these falls during the Ice Age Missoula Floods?  Water was rushing over the top flat rim of the plateau at 70 miles per hour!  The existing falls is but a small trickle of what was.

The amazing geological history of Eastern Washington continues to fascinate me. The current falls are 187 feet tall. The Ice Age Flood falls were about twice in height. Basalt on the canyon walls was created by a series of lava flows between 15 & 18 million years ago. The Missoula Floods creating the canyon occurred 12 to 15 thousand years ago (just a spec of time in our geologic history).

The Castle of Capitol Reef

“The Castle”
Capitol Reef National Park, Utah

This was my first stop at Capitol Reef National Park following my stop at the Visitor’s Center. It was mid-day, the sun was bright, and there were no clouds. So what … I started thinking black and white from the start. I walked around until I was able to frame “The Castle” with the two trees.

To me “The Castle” really did look like a castle overlooking the valley below. It was a good way to start my exploration of Capitol Reef National Park.

Temple of the Moon

Temple of the Moon
Capitol Reef National Park, Uta
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Following yesterday’s post, this image is the Temple of the Moon. Looking at both of these “Temples” in the valley and the heavily eroded hill sides on the perimeter makes me wish that a time-lapse camera could have caught the changes over the eons of time. How interesting it would be to watch nature’s elements carve out these natural structures.

As reference, the image of the Temple of the Moon and rising moon on 28 March was taken from the perspective of the small peak on the left.

Temple of the Sun

Temple of the Sun
Capitol Reef National Park, Uta
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The sun was starting to set over the western rim of the valley. I was standing on a small rock outcropping. My focus was moving back and forth from the Temple of the Sun on my left and the Temple of the Moon on my right. The clouds were rapidly moving as the sun was setting, providing different levels of interest and shadows on the two “Temples”. I was hesitant to switch my composition from one to the other. I did anyway…

Tomorrow, Temple of the Moon

A Tree

“A Tree”

Walking into a narrow canyon in Capitol Reef National Park, I stopped and turned around to view the path I had taken. This tree was perfectly framed by the canyon walls and the cliff in the background. The shapes, colors, shadows and highlights created this image. All I had to do is place my tripod down and push the shutter. Nature is amazing.

My future bride wrote the following poem to describe how she felt when viewing the image

A Tree

Growth is everywhere, even underneath the layers
of rock where years of rain, wind, and river water color them
a bright reddish, with lines and splashes of experience.

The tree winds and tangles to the sun as if it wants
to be seen up where the air is clear and open, a place
it stretches to yet cannot see.

It is a ghost-like journey, this quest to become. The journey,
with its twists and branches, is the story that is not yet written,
not yet told.

Mary Dahlin

Goblin Valley

“Goblin Army”
Goblin Valley, Utah

Goblin Valley is located close to Capitol Reef National Park in south central Utah. It is an intriguing sight. I have never seen anything that is similar. The clay mushroom figures range from about 6 feet to 12 feet high. They looked like an army of “goblins” waiting to march into a fight.

When we arrived, the area was in the middle of a heavy downpour. We had to wait underneath a shelter overlooking the valley for almost an hour before the rain let up enough to venture out. The walk down into the valley was slow and slippery. Mud came up over the ankles of my boots. It was a messy slog through the valley but well worth it!

Soldiers on the March

“Soldiers on the March”
Goblin Valley, Utah

Down I walked into Goblin Valley. Stone soldiers were gathered around waiting for their leader to give direction. I walked around and around through their midsts and found this line of soldiers starting to march. I quickly formed into line with my camera and tripod on my shoulder like a rifle. On we marched out of the valley to a destination unknown. I slid out of ranks and sneaked back to my car.