Camping & Taking Photos in E. California and the SouthWest

hiking

Wave Again

Doug applied for another permit to visit the Wave and was the first one picked! We could not have asked for a better day…it was perfect. The 2-hour hike is so beautiful…and The Wave is beyond description.

This first photo was taken along the way…

This large camera was formerly owned by Edward Weston, a famous photographer in the early 20th century. The current owner lovingly restored the camera, which was painted in battleship grey during the war years. I would love to see the photos.

Advertisements

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…


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:


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!


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…


Toadstools

Rimrock Canyon with it’s badlands and toadstool-shaped rocks lies about 40 miles from Kanab. We hiked about a mile into the canyon to see the first few toadstools. Then we drove up the Cottonwood Road aboout 3 miles and hiked another mile to the rim of the canyon. These rock formations are so cool; in all sizes and shapes. Made for a very fun day!


Zion

I like to imagine what is what like for the Mormans when they first saw this area. It must have seemed like the promised land with the towering cliffs, deep valleys and the rushing river. It was named Zion for the biblical “City of God” by Isaac Behunin, the first settler. Each time we visit, I am impressed by Zion’s beauty and majesty. It is truly grand.

The peak below is “Angel’s Landing”. You can hike to the top, using chains on the steep parts. It’s one of my hiking goals.

We saw 3 climbers climbing the rock cliff pictured here:

Although we had a sunny and fairly warm day, it was cold in the shadows. It will be a while before this ice thaws:


Our winter home

We’ve been looking forward to spending the winter in Kanab since last summer when we visited. Now that we’re settled in, we’re even more excited! What a great location – there are so many things to do, and so many places to visit. Within 100 miles ~ Zion, Bryce Canyon, Lake Powell, the Grand Canyon, the Wave…plus there are lots of sights and hikes nearby.

After stocking up on groceries our first day, we didn’t get into the truck for almost a week! We’ve enjoyed walking to town, spending time at Willow Canyon ~ a coffeeshop, bookstore & gear store; shopping for groceries on our way home.

Kanab is a lovely town, bordered by the Grand Staircase Escalante. Many Grade B westerns were filmed here back in the day. It’s pretty quiet now; lots of motels and restaurants close for the winter ~ but it’s hopping the rest of the year. We’re enjoying the peace and quiet, and are meeting some very nice locals.

Our digs:

Some scenes from around Kanab:

Gotta try these pies!

Snow left over from storm just before Christmas!

Grand Staircase of the Escalante ~ it goes on and on…