Camping & Taking Photos in E. California and the SouthWest

Archive for February, 2013

White Pocket, second day

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Arizona/Utah

After it warmed up a bit, we had breakfast and started taking photos. We missed the really good light – it was just too cold to get out of bed! We wandered around for a while and discovered an area of White Pocket we hadn’t seen. It was surreal…I felt like I was looking into the vortex! The swirls, colors and textures were mixed together and came up from a deep hole. While we were there, a guide and his party came over and I heard him say “These folks have obviously been here before…they know where the ‘sweet spot’ is!” Well, it was dumb luck on our part.

We’ll return when it warms up a bit (that might be a while – the weather report shows 100% chance of snow tonight and tomorrow). The road has to dry out before we can drive on it; it’s truly impassable when it’s wet.

Into the Vortex…

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The Wave

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Arizona/Utah

Ever since I first saw photos of The Wave, I’ve been wanting to see it. We’ve tried to get a permit for over 3 years. Only 20 people per day are allowed in, which is great because it’s quite a small area and everyone wants to take photos. There are two lotteries – one online and one in person at the Kanab BLM office. Finally we got a permit! It took about 2 hours to drive to the trailhead from Kanab, and then another 2+ hours to hike to The Wave. The hike itself was quite spectacular…past lots of beautifully colored rock formations. We spent 3-4 hours there before we headed back to the car. We got back just as it got dark. What a day and what a wonderful experience! The Wave is enchanting – with waves of textures and colors, plus lots of other interesting formations. We’re ready to go again!


White Pocket

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument
Arizona/Utah

White Pocket is one of the most amazing places I’ve been to. To get there from Kanab, we had to drive about 40 miles to the House Rock Valley Road, another 20 miles down that dirt road, and then through deep sand another 20 miles to the trailhead. After all that driving, we like to take advantage of as much light as possible, so we plan to arrive in the afternoon, take photos, and then take more photos in the morning before we leave.

After taking photos until dark, we had dinner and got in the back of the truck to read and then sleep. It got so cold that the moisture on the windows inside the truck froze, but we stayed warm under our comforter and sleeping bags. It was too cold to get up for the sunrise though. As we were falling asleep, we heard coyotes howling nearby…I’ve missed that sound!

These photos are from our afternoon:


Pahreah Townsite

Pahreah Canyon
E. of Kanab, UT

After a few days of dry weather, we returned to the canyon and made it all the way to the end of the road! We crossed the wash and passed the old cemetery. Unfortunately there are no other reminders of the old townsite or movie set. The scenery is still breath-taking:


Gunsmoke

Johnson Canyon
E. of Kanab, UT

In 1951, Hollywood director William E. Wellman made a film for MGM called “Westward the Women,” about 140 mail-order brides making their way to ranchers in California.

Wellman had an entire Main Street built in Johnson Canyon outside of Kanab. The set had a saloon, a blacksmith shop, a doctor’s office, a general store and, of course, a hanging gallows.

The set was used in several more movies and then it was used for “Gunsmoke”.

Not all of the Gunsmoke episodes were filmed in Johnson Canyon, but a lot of them were.

Here are some photos of what’s left of “Dodge City”:
while I was taking photographs, I was visited by a half dozen horses who roam around Dodge City these days. They were very curious and friendly – let me pat them and looked hopefully at me…for an apple or treat?!


Johnson Canyon revisited

Johnson Canyon
E. of Kanab, UT

Johnson Canyon, a few miles east of Kanab, offers breathtaking scenery as it passes the Vermillion, White, and Pink Cliffs of the Grand Staircase region. We drove to the Skutumpah Road intersection, then turned back to catch the light.


Red Rock Canyon

Red Rock Canyon
Kanab, Utah

Despite the snow and underlying mud, we were able to drive down to the wash, then walk about a mile to the canyon entrance. It has several sections and was longer than we had expected…a nice surprise. With the right light, we could have some very nice photos!


Image

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

Happy Valentine's Day!!!


More Snow!

We had another snow storm last night (Friday, 2/8) with more expected today and tomorrow. …Just when things were drying out! But it’s so beautiful and certainly nothing like what they are having in the NE.


Yellow Rock

We drove about 20 miles along the Cottonwood (dirt) Road to get to the trail head. The roads and trails have been quite muddy after recent snow, so we took it slow but had no problems. We crossed the still icy stream, hiked past the entrance to Hackberry Canyon and then up a very steep slope to the Yellow Rock overlook. I was very tired and wanted to make sure I could get back down the steep trail, so I relaxed while Doug hiked up Yellow Rock. When we crossed the stream to return to our truck we got wet! A lot of the ice had melted since we crossed the first time…there weren’t as many places to step!

Above: Entrance to Hackberry Canyon

Yellow Rock (Doug is climbing the rock – he’s the small dark dot on the left, about 1/3 down
from the top)

Beautiful lichen…