Monday, November 29, 2010

Canyonlands: Scrambling, Mesmerized by a Moth. (Day 15)


Egads man, I still have about 13 or so entries left for this trip. Talk about takin' my time eh? Well then, on with it....after this quick side note: Saw 127 Hours a few days ago. Go see it! It's about that guy (Aron Ralston) who got this arm lodged by a boulder in Canyonlands...It's pretty much the only movie I've wanted to see in a theatre in years. I definitely approved.
3 September
The moon was nice and bright last night, hardly needed a headlamp. I woke up just before sunrise but it took the sun a while to make it's way over those big rocks. After packing stuff up and eating breakfast on a nice overlook, started the hike back.
And what a sweet hike it was - some serious scrambling for the first couple miles. Soooo much fun!! The flood had definitely washed away a lot of rocks and the trail was more or less obsolete in a lot of places, so it was a little sketchier than it may have been otherwise. I think it made it more fun, heh. There was a little bit of crawling, which, with a big pack throws you off a little bit. I had to put my camera away for this part of the hike cause otherwise it would have either fallen off some edge or just gotten way too beat up.
Lots of cryptobiotic crust on the last stretch of the trail (and all over Canyonlands). Cryptobiotic crust or soil is made of cyanobacteria, along with algae, moss, lichens, etc. It's pretty fascinating stuff. Cyanobacteria is thought to be one of the oldest living organisms (coool!) and plays a crucial part in the desert ecosystems. Look it up for more info..and DON'T STEP ON IT! It's extremely fragile stuff.
(Cryptobiotic Crust above and below)
Eventually got back to the trailhead (didn't see any people for about 20 miles, beautiful!) and we were able to snag a spot at the small campground. I ended up doing a fast 3 mile trail at sunset (again, no people!) and ran into a fairly large bighorn sheep. There was some pretty serious eye contact between us for a couple minutes. I got to an awesome overlook but the light was pretty harsh, outstanding views though. Lizards everywhere on the trail. I ended up running back the last mile since it was more or less dark at that point. Made some dinner with a Juniper Titmouse hanging out nearby. Starred at a moth that was sitting by my lantern for 30 minutes. Mesmerized. My World

25 comments:

Out on the prairie said...

Fun post, I like that bighorn shot.

biobabbler said...

Sounds like heaven. =) Thanks for the virtual hike! =)

Aina said...

Looks like you had a nice hike. So great to see these images of canyons. I have not seen the canyons for more than 20 years. A long time ago when I was in the usa.
Have a nice day!

Arija said...

Love that kind of country and isn't the best part being alone with all that grandeur?
I too could stretch out my desert trip to another 50 post, though I probably won't.
Splendid light on the rocks and I wish I could still scramble.

PS A long time ago, I lost my very first camera, a Brownie Box over the side of a razor back ridge. Full marks for packing yours away!

Birgitta - foto CHIP said...

Very tuff for trees in this area ;) beautiful shots anyway :)

http://fotochip.blogspot.com/2010/11/mwwhat-wonderful-day.html

Sylvia K said...

What a fantastic place and definitely an incredible place to visit -- your photos are the next best thing to being there! And, yes, thanks for the virtual hike! Have a great week!

Sylvia

Carver said...

What an incredible part of the world you are in. Looks like a fantastic hike. The canyons are breathtaking and I love the single bare tree you began with. I'll have to check out the movie.

Jossie said...

Great pictures. Make me feel very small.

EG Wow said...

It's a wonderful area...so photogenic!

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Wow, grandi foto !!!
Buona serata.
Chissà il caldo....
Myriam :))

aka Penelope said...

Awesome shots, Jill! Not sure I’d like the crawling part but would definitely enjoy staring at a moth for half hour. :)

Woody said...

Awesome shots!! Thanks for the education on Cryptobiotic crust, I hope I get a chance to make use of that knowledge! It was kind of Mr. Bighorn to pose so nicely and not charge at you, I wouldn't want to mess with one.

Barb said...

I like seeing you hiking in shorts through the Canyonlands. It brings back a little bit of fall to me while the snow is flying here in Breckenridge.

Dominic Gendron said...

Great serie, you visit so nicve places! Love the sheep on the last one ;)

Sinbad and I on the Loose said...

Thanks for the tip on the movie. I read the story and seems I saw a bit on it on some Discovery Channel program but did not know about a movie. You approved so I assume it was not Hollywoodized.

Steve Borichevsky said...

I love the desert. Thanks for taking us along.

Martha Z said...

Beautiful shot of beautiful country, Jill.

Jay at The Depp Effect said...

Aaaah - Canyonlands! One of the Utah parks I haven't been to yet, and it's been recommended by so many people! It looks gorgeous!!

No hiking for me, no sketchy crawling and scrambling, certainly no running after dark (I'd love to be able to do those things!!) but I'd be able to gaze at those overlooks in wonder and take pictures - and see the cryptobiotic crust for myself.

Did you ever find out what the moth was?

Lawstude said...

wow, awesome photos. i truly enjoy your landscape photography.

BraCom (Bram) said...

Beautiful My World Tuesday posting

Have a nice week,
Greetings, Bram

Link to My Word Tuesday post!

Seen on My World Tuesday

Sistertex said...

As always, so much beauty - great job and wonderful commentary as well. Packing the camera away...smart! :)

Randi said...

Amazing sceneries! Your photos are stunning! The colour of the canyons looks similar to the colour we have in south of France.

jason said...

Gorgeous! I totally appreciate putting the camera away during the worst parts of the trail. Having it fall or having it bang around until it was dead would not have been fun. And that bighorn is stunning! Nice pose.

Married to Singaporean said...

Sounds like a very fantastic place, love your photos,

cloudbusting2 said...

A beautiful but lonely walk out there. Cryptobiotic soil, well, now I know. Thanks!