pastel on black Strathmore
-from snapshot taken in the car on the road leading to CNP
Well, our planned three-day car camping trip to Canyonlands was cut short by a day and a half due to this intense pacific storm that is currently hitting the entire region. We planned the trip last week starting with a perfect weather forecast, and as it got closer and closer to the date, the forecast continued to worsen to a "20% chance of rain on Tues night". That ended up turning to a "100% chance of rain on early Tuesday morning" as we discovered waking up to the light patter of drizzling rain hitting our tent.
I also got skunked for the 3rd month in a row with plans to shoot moonrise photos due to cloud cover. A bummer, because watching the moonrise up over Canyonlands would have been almost magical.
However, we did get in a good solid day of hiking on Monday, having left Durango at 6:45 a.m. for the trip. The primary reason for this was to procure a camping site within the park (sites go fast at this time of the year, and it's first-come, first-served). We lucked out there, and it allowed us extra time to do our one and only hike on the trip.
Destination hike: Chesler Park, and center of the Needles District of the park. Should you ever venture to Canyonlands and are an avid hiker, put this on your "to do" list. The hike was incredibly scenic - one of our favorites. The weather ranged from sunny and warm to overcast and chilly to downright windy.
Wildflowers were in abundance, and small lizards of various species darted across the trail and rocks, occasionally posing long enough for a photo. With regards to photography on these hikes, I've begun bringing both my general purpose zoom (18-70mm) and my telephoto (55-200mm) along allows the best range of photos. I usually start with the telephoto and switch to the general zoom on the way back to get wide-angle landscape shots.
Here are a handful of photos from the hike; I'll share some wildlife and floral photos in subsequent posts.
|Along the Trail|
|Sandstone formations pano in black and white|
4-part vertical oriented pano @55mm created with Double Take stitching software
|Trail leading through a joint in the rock|
|Chesler Park panorama|
5-part horizontally oriented pano @38mm
click on photo to see larger version with more detail
|Trail leading to Devil's Kitchen, Cyclone Canyon and The Grabens|
|Colorized photo of a long fin of layered sandstone as the trail gets ready to drop off slickrock and into a canyon|