Archives for: November 2007

Partition Arch

November 24, 2007


Partition Arch
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Arches N.P.

Landscape Arch

November 24, 2007


Landscape Arch
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Arches N.P.

Double Arch

November 24, 2007


Double Arch
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Arches N.P.

Double Arch

November 24, 2007


Double Arch in Arches National Park
 
Double Arch is huge. That's Jason standing below the first arch.
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Arches N.P.

Sunset on the Jeep Trails

November 23, 2007


Sunset on the jeep trails in Canyonlands
 
The sun goes down as Jason and I hike out of Canyonlands using jeep trails. A sudden and unexpected snowstorm prevented us from using our planned route through slickrock canyons. At this point we still had about 5 miles to go. Our 15 mile adventure was exhausting but he and I made a great team.
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Canyonlands N.P.

Snow in Chesler Park

November 23, 2007


Chesler Park in snow
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Canyonlands N.P.

Campsite at 9AM

November 23, 2007


Chesler Park campsite in snow
 
When we crawled in the tent around midnight there was no sign of snow but we woke up to several inches of it. This is when Jason remembered that halos around the moon (such as the one we had seen around midnight) reliably forecast precipitation. This much snow in the Moab Desert was shocking and somewhat disturbing. Slickrock provides amazing traction when dry, but it's incredibly slippery and dangerous when wet. We had hiked 7 miles in and out of canyons to get to our campsite in Chesler Park, mostly on slickrock trails. This meant we had two options: stay and wait for the snow to melt or find an alternate route back to the parking lot. We opted for the latter, hiking 15 miles in snow along jeep trails through the desert. It was the most exhausting hike of the year for me. The worst part was at the end, some 10 hours later when we found ourselves stuck on a slickrock cliff roughly 100 feet above the ground and within sight of the car. It was completely dark by then and the temperature had dropped to around 15 degrees. We were exhausted, hungry and freezing, but managed to keep good spirits and find a safe route down the cliff. Soon we were back in Moab drinking pints at the local brewery, reviewing our photos, and marveling at the security of banal comforts often taken for granted.
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Canyonlands N.P.

Campsite at Midnight, Prolonged Exposure

November 22, 2007


Chesler Park campsite, prolonged exposure at midnight
 
Jason and I spent Thanksgiving at this campsite in Chesler Park. After our holiday feast of turkey jerkey and instant mashed potatoes we took a nap and woke up around midnight to explore the area under the intense light of the moon. The Moab Desert gets extremely cold after the sun goes down. The previous night had a low around 5 degrees. This night was a little warmer, probably around 15 or 20. We had a candle hanging in the tent to provide some warmth. Surprisingly, there was a 22 degree halo around the moon. This is extremely rare in the desert since halos forecast precipitation. They're caused by light refracting through high altitude ice crystals, and are more common with sunlight than moonlight. Unfortunately, neither of us remembered that halos have been used for thousands of years to predict the weather. We climbed back in the tent with no clue that heavy snow was coming our way. Even if we had remembered that halos predict precipitation, we probably wouldn't have believed it. The Moab Desert only gets 5 to 8 inches of precipitation every year, the majority of which falls during summer monsoons.
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Canyonlands N.P.

Chesler Park Trail

November 22, 2007


Chesler Park Trail
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Canyonlands N.P.

Jason in the Needles

November 22, 2007


Jason in the Needles
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Canyonlands N.P.

The Needles

November 22, 2007


The Needles in Canyonlands
 
This is one of my favorite areas along the trail to Chesler Park. It's a good view of the Needles across a canyon filled with sandstone spires shaped like mushrooms.
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Canyonlands N.P.

Jason

November 22, 2007


Jason in Canyonlands
 
Jason looking towards Six Shooter Peak as we start our trip in Canyonlands on Thanksgiving.
 

Categories: Utah, National Parks, Canyonlands N.P.

Pueblo Cave Dwelling

November 12, 2007


Cave dwelling in Bandelier National Monument
 
Caves dot the landscape around Tsankawi. The soft tuff allowed the caves to be dug easily. Many of the caves contain air holes drilled (somehow) through the top, allowing fire to be used for heat, and most entrances face south, providing more warmth in winter. Many of the walls are still covered in soot, along with drawings carved into the stone (and clay, which was used to cover the interior walls). Although small compared to modern standards, such caves provided great shelter in the 15th and 16th Centuries when they were inhabited by the Ancestral Puebloans. Traffic in and out of this particular cave over several hundred years has eroded the entrance.
 

Categories: New Mexico, National Parks, Bandelier N.M.

Tsankawi Trail

November 12, 2007


Tsankawi Trail in Bandelier National Monument
 
Hundreds of years of footprints have eroded paths into the tuff at Tsankawi in Bandelier National Monument. The paths are up to a few feet deep in different locations around the former Pueblo community.
 

Categories: New Mexico, National Parks, Bandelier N.M.

Tsankawi Plaza

November 12, 2007


Tsankawi Plaza in Bandelier National Monument
 
This is what remains of the plaza at Tsankawi. This was the center of a Pueblo community during the 15th and 16 Centuries. Few traces remain at first glance, but the foundations and remains of talus pueblos are easily found under the brush.
 

Categories: New Mexico, National Parks, Bandelier N.M.

Ancient Pueblo Ruins

November 12, 2007


Ancient Pueblo ruins in Bandelier National Monument
 

Categories: New Mexico, National Parks, Bandelier N.M.

Pueblo Petroglyphs

November 12, 2007


Pueblo Petroglyphs in Bandelier National Monument
 

Categories: New Mexico, National Parks, Bandelier N.M.

Peppers and Bull Heads

November 11, 2007


Peppers and Bull Heads
 

Categories: New Mexico, Santa Fe

Wind Sculpture

November 11, 2007


A wind sculpture in Santa Fe
 

Categories: New Mexico, Santa Fe

Orion and the Chapel of San Miguel por Barrio de Analco

November 11, 2007


Oldest church in the US and the constellation Orion
 
The constellation Orion shines behind the oldest church in the US.
 

Categories: New Mexico, Santa Fe

The Oldest House in the US

November 11, 2007


The Oldest House in the US
 
This is the oldest house in the US. It's located just off the Old Santa Fe Trail in downtown Santa Fe, New Mexico, across from the oldest continuously occupied church in the US and just down the street from the oldest public building in the US. The house was originally built around 1610, but because it's made of adobe it has required significant maintenance over the years. Oddly, photographs from the 1880's and late 1920's show the house with two stories, but photos from 1912 only show one. In each of these photos the sand/clay/straw/dung walls are shaped differently, sometimes uneven and cracked, sometimes smooth and clean. The house is built on top of an ancient pueblo that dates to around 1200.
 

Categories: New Mexico, Santa Fe

Oldest House in the US

November 11, 2007


Oldest House in the US
 
This is the storefront entrance to the oldest house in the US. I've found photos from as far back as 1880 with this portion attached but I don't know if it's technically part of the house or not. This section of the building is in much better condition and it doesn't appear to share the same pueblo foundation.
 

Categories: New Mexico, Santa Fe

Grey Jay (Camp Robber)

November 11, 2007


Grey Jay in the Pecos Wilderness
 

Categories: New Mexico, Pecos Wilderness

Wounded Aspen

November 11, 2007


Maroon Lake
 

Categories: New Mexico, Pecos Wilderness

Aspen

November 11, 2007


Aspen trees in the Pecos Wilderness
 

Categories: New Mexico, Pecos Wilderness