After renting a 4×4 truck in Antofagasta, we’ve spent the last week camping and touring in the Atacama desert, based around the oasis town of San Pedro de Atacama. Read more about our adventures this week, and see LOTS more photos below! Continue reading “A Week in San Pedro de Atacama”
We just got back home to Colorado after a quick road trip to San Diego to visit my relatives and friends. Instead of doing the drive in one grueling day like I used to do, we took our time and broke up the drive into three days each way, giving us the opportunity to see some of the sights in the desert along the way. Here are a few photos from the trip! Above is Cedar Breaks National Monument, where we camped the first night.
On our way back we drove through Zion National Park, stopping to hike up to Angels Landing. This was a questionable decision for a September Saturday, as the [paved!] trail was clogged with people and felt like a Disneyland attraction. But regardless of the crowds, it is always a spectacular hike with killer views of Zion canyon!
We continued to Capitol Reef National Park and the next day we did a wonderful hike down Chimney Rock Canyon, where sheer sandstone walls tower overhead.
Here’s a couple shots from inside Lehman Caves, in Great Basin National Park, eastern Nevada.
Both shot handheld (no tripods allowed) with the Panasonic GF1, f1.7, ISO 1600.
This is what it looks like above ground, with the 13,063 ft. Wheeler Peak (on the right) dominating the scene. We had hoped to climb and ski a sweet 3,000 foot couloir in the morning, but our plans were thwarted by high winds and stormy weather. I will be back here again, next time with my downhill skateboard (you’ll know why if you’ve been there!).
By the way, I was very impressed with the whole northeastern region of Nevada, with its vast pristine sage-filled valleys and rugged snowy mountain ranges. It’s an often overlooked portion of the west, but well worth a visit.
I just posted a bunch of photos from my trip in Utah! Though I was only out there for two weeks total, it truly felt like a full month. It always amazes me how time slows down when I travel. I think that is the secret of living longer… to travel a lot! In that regard, I suppose it’s not all about how long you live, but how well you spend your time while you’re here. (I say that after having the last three days fly by while working on the computer again).
Anyhow, now I’m back home in Ouray, Colorado. It feels great to finally be back home. I’m really looking forward to summer.
Sunrise at the Great Goosenecks of the San Juan River, as seen from Goosenecks State Park overlook on the southern end of Cedar Mesa in southeastern Utah, on the morning before my backpacking trip in the Grand Gulch this last weekend.
The San Juan River, which originates from the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado, slowly flows through the 1000 foot deep canyon walls, forming one of the world’s best examples of entrenched river meanders. This is one river in the photo – it flows from left to right via three immense meandering curves. It is a very impressive sight to see, and to portray the full scene with all the different river bends, I needed to create a panoramic image.
I made this panoramic photo by stitching together 5 vertical photos in AutopanoPro. Each of those 5 photos were made with dual exposure blends, prepared manually in Photoshop, to control the dynamic range of the bright sky and darker canyon. So that was a total of 10 photos needed, which I shot as quickly as possible using manual focus and two manual exposure settings (one for the canyon and one for the skies), with preset white balance for all. Between the relatively long exposures and quickly changing sunrise light, I only had about 2 chances to get this right.
Over three days and two nights this last weekend I went on a ~25 mile loop hike from Cedar Mesa in southeastern Utah. I hiked down Todie Canyon, to Grand Gulch, then out Bullet Canyon. Most of the way the hike passes through dramatic canyon scenery with vertical cliffs and dramatic rock formations. But the highlights were without doubt the numerous ancient ruins and pictographs along the way.
Check out all the photos from the Grand Gulch trek on my gallery site.
[+] On my way home today from Midway, Utah (near Park City), I made a detour from Moab and drove up to the Island in the Sky, in Canyonlands National Park. There was still lots of snow on the ground, even two days after the Christmas dump, and the roads up there were sheets of ice! After a slippery drive to the Grandview Point overlook, I donned my down jacket and snowboard boots, and hiked a mile along the rim to take photos of the evening light and sunset.
More photos below.
5.13.08: UPDATED WITH 4X5 PHOTOS
This last weekend I went backpacking in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park in Utah. After shelling out 25 bucks for entrance and permit fees, I set off into the “wild”. Is it just me or do national parks feel like nature amusement parks? All the regulations and designated trails and campspots definitely spoil the notion of being out in the wilderness. But these areas are national parks for a reason – they are undeniably spectacular!
Here are some DP1 digital photos from the trip, as well as a few 4×5 film ones.