The Power of Three, October 2007

A Third Anniversary Vacation for Abby and Richard

The sun sets on the La Sal Mountains viewed from north of Castle Valley near Moab, Utah.
The sun sets on the La Sal Mountains viewed from north of Castle Valley near Moab, Utah.
These three crosses are situated in an open field along Tucumcari Boulevard. I was even able to find them on Google Maps. In the distance across I-40 is Tucumcari Mountain.
These three crosses are situated in an open field along Tucumcari Boulevard. I was even able to find them on Google Maps. In the distance across I-40 is Tucumcari Mountain.

• Driving to Farmington, New Mexico

We loaded the car with me, Abby and the Chihuahuas Max and Sierra, and all our stuff, and headed west to Farmington, New Mexico. It was a fairly routine drive, with a couple of thunderstorms on our route, and a wildly windy eastern New Mexico. We are retracing the wedding trip of three years ago.

A climber makes his way up one of the pinnacles at Fisher Towers east of Moab.
A climber makes his way up one of the pinnacles at Fisher Towers east of Moab.
Abby smiles at me as we hike at Fisher Towers.
Abby smiles at me as we hike at Fisher Towers.

• Farmington to Moab, Utah; Fisher Towers

We got up in Farmington to a beautiful sun in a bright blue sky. We had a big breakfast, then headed north through the Four Corners region to a regular stop for us, Blanding, Utah, for our bags of fun free stuff from their welcome center.

We drove up U.S. 191 through Monticello, where we stayed twice last year. It’s a lovely small town, and we might have stayed with them again this time, but hunters occupy the Abajo Mountains hunting deer this time of year, and there was no room in the inn.

We got to Moab, Utah, by midday, got a bite of lunch, then drove up the Castle Valley highway to Fisher Towers. The trail and scenery were nothing short of spectacular.

Fisher Towers stands in handsome afternoon light.
Fisher Towers stands in handsome afternoon light.
Abby and Sierra grind their way along the early parts of the Fisher Towers trail.
Abby and Sierra grind their way along the early parts of the Fisher Towers trail.
View from Fisher Towers looking west toward Castle Valley
View from Fisher Towers looking west toward Castle Valley
"The Titan" is the dominant formation at Fisher Towers.
“The Titan” is the dominant formation at Fisher Towers.
Abby and Sierra hike along the Fisher Towers trail.
Abby and Sierra hike along the Fisher Towers trail.
This view looks directly up from the base of "The Titan" at Fisher Towers.
This view looks directly up from the base of “The Titan” at Fisher Towers.
Abby plays with Sierra on the Fisher Towers trail. This is my favorite image from this trip.
Abby plays with Sierra on the Fisher Towers trail. This is my favorite image from this trip.
This Fisher Towers formation was known as "The Cobra." It collapsed in July 2014.
This Fisher Towers formation was known as “The Cobra.” It collapsed in July 2014.
Abby made this image of the me climbing on some boulders on the Fisher Towers trail.
Abby made this image of the me climbing on some boulders on the Fisher Towers trail.
Abby made this image looking back at our cars. It captures a sense of scale.
Abby made this image looking back at our cars. It captures a sense of scale.
Abby proudly shows off her Chihuahua Sierra. Max the Chihuahua was with me, but there are fewer pictures of him.
Abby proudly shows off her Chihuahua Sierra. Max the Chihuahua was with me, but there are fewer pictures of him.
This view looks west from the Fisher Towers trail.
This view looks west from the Fisher Towers trail.
Abby smiles at me on the trail at Fisher Towers.
Abby smiles at me on the trail at Fisher Towers.

Abby and Sierra weren’t up for hiking as far as I was, so the ladies found a nice spot to rest and enjoy the sunshine, and I took Max on down the trail another mile or so.

Abby stopped in this shady spot and made this nice image on the Fisher Towers trail.
Abby stopped in this shady spot and made this nice image on the Fisher Towers trail.
The reddish brown mudstone of Fisher Towers and deep shadows are set against a perfect blue sky.
The reddish brown mudstone of Fisher Towers and deep shadows are set against a perfect blue sky.
The half moon rises at Fisher Towers.
The half moon rises at Fisher Towers.
Abby made this bold, amphitheater-like image in the heart of Fisher Towers.
Abby made this bold, amphitheater-like image in the heart of Fisher Towers.
Fisher Towers, east of Moab, Utah
Fisher Towers, east of Moab, Utah
Afternoon light creates shadows on formations at Fisher Towers.
Afternoon light creates shadows on formations at Fisher Towers.
A tree clings to the face of a cliff on the Fisher Towers trail.
A tree clings to the face of a cliff on the Fisher Towers trail.

After returning to the car and driving a couple of miles, we stopped to photograph an excellent golden hour scene of the La Sal Mountains viewed through a canyon with slickrock formations in the foreground.

This telephoto view show Fisher Towers from nearly a mile west at sunset.
This telephoto view show Fisher Towers from nearly a mile west at sunset.
The La Sal Mountains and the mesas of Castle Valley, Utah take on last light. We spotted this on our way back to Moab after hiking at Fisher Towers.
The La Sal Mountains and the mesas of Castle Valley, Utah take on last light. We spotted this on our way back to Moab after hiking at Fisher Towers.
Utah's red rocks stand behind this stop sign at sunset near Castle Valley.
Utah’s red rocks stand behind this stop sign at sunset near Castle Valley.
This last light view was also made near Castle Valley.
This last light view was also made near Castle Valley.
The castle of Castle Valley east of Moab, Utah at sunset.
The castle of Castle Valley east of Moab, Utah at sunset.
Richard and Abby hold a picture of their wedding at Delicate Arch as the two hike the Delicate Arch trail three years later.
Richard and Abby hold a picture of their wedding at Delicate Arch as the two hike the Delicate Arch trail three years later.

• Delicate Arch and Morning Glory Natural Bridge

Abby and I hiked to Delicate Arch, where we got married three years before.

It was a perfectly beautiful day, just like the day when we wed. There seemed to be more people there than three years ago, but not so many as to spoil our time. It was a wonderful experience to take Abby back to this place we both love and is so meaningful to us.

Abby makes pictures on the "dome," a large open slickrock slope on the Delicate Arch trail, Arches National Park, Utah.
Abby makes pictures on the “dome,” a large open slickrock slope on the Delicate Arch trail, Arches National Park, Utah.
Your host poses with Abby's hiking pole on the Delicate Arch trail.
Your host poses with Abby’s hiking pole on the Delicate Arch trail.
The author poses for a photo on "the dome," an open slickrock portion of the Delicate Arch trail. Of note is that he is wearing the same shirt he wore when he got married.
The author poses for a photo on “the dome,” an open slickrock portion of the Delicate Arch trail. Of note is that he is wearing the same shirt he wore when he got married.
The sun ducks behind a tree on the Delicate Arch Trail.
The sun ducks behind a tree on the Delicate Arch Trail.
Abby has a very serious look on her face as she scopes out our next steps on the Delicate Arch trail.
Abby has a very serious look on her face as she scopes out our next steps on the Delicate Arch trail.
Abby prepares to make pictures as we arrive at Delicate Arch.
Abby prepares to make pictures as we arrive at Delicate Arch.
Abby looks up as she photographs Delicate Arch.
Abby looks up as she photographs Delicate Arch.
Abby shot this very nice portrait of Delicate Arch in nice midday sunshine.
Abby shot this very nice portrait of Delicate Arch in nice midday sunshine.
Posing under Delicate Arch, the author attempts to provide a sense of scale.
Posing under Delicate Arch, the author attempts to provide a sense of scale.
A different perspective on Delicate Archis visible from above near a small opening in the stone.
A different perspective on Delicate Archis visible from above near a small opening in the stone.
Your host poses at the iconic Delicate Arch, where he and his bride married three years earlier.
Your host poses at the iconic Delicate Arch, where he and his bride married three years earlier.
Abby and I smile as we pose near Delicate Arch where our marriage began three years earlier.
Abby and I smile as we pose near Delicate Arch where our marriage began three years earlier.
Back on the trail after Delicate Arch, the author poses under a large fallen tree.
Back on the trail after Delicate Arch, the author poses under a large fallen tree.
The author makes pictures at Delicate Arch.
The author makes pictures at Delicate Arch.

After lunch, Abby stayed in and  I hiked Negro Bill Canyon to Morning Glory Bridge, which is the sixth longest natural span in the world. It was an excellent hike, and I timed it perfectly, such that I was back at the trailhead right before dark.

This is another view of the stream in Negro Bill Canyon, showing reflections from the canyon walls.
This is another view of the stream in Negro Bill Canyon, showing reflections from the canyon walls.
Water flows in Negro Bill Canyon. This canyon trail leads to Morning Glory Natural Bridge.
Water flows in Negro Bill Canyon. This canyon trail leads to Morning Glory Natural Bridge.
Sunlit cliffs of Negro Bill Canyon are reflected in the creek.
Sunlit cliffs of Negro Bill Canyon are reflected in the creek.
Morning Glory Bridge is visible in this view from the approach. It is difficult to express in an image how large this feature is.
Morning Glory Bridge is visible in this view from the approach. It is difficult to express in an image how large this feature is.
Morning Glory Bridge
Morning Glory Bridge
Morning Glory Natural Bridge; this arch (it is not actually a bridge) is one of the longest natural spans in the world.
Morning Glory Natural Bridge; this arch (it is not actually a bridge) is one of the longest natural spans in the world.
This view look straight up from beneath Morning Glory Bridge.
This view look straight up from beneath Morning Glory Bridge.
Sierra and Max look up at me as we hike the Fisher Towers trail.
Sierra and Max look up at me as we hike the Fisher Towers trail.

• Driving East Toward Home

We drove at our usually leisurely pace, stopping to photograph a thing or two, the dogs in the back seat or in our laps. We spent the night in Tucumcari, then enjoyed an easy drive the next day to our home in Byng, Oklahoma.

This panographic view as the sunset starts to fade shows Fisher Towers on the left, Fisher Mesa, Adobe Mesa, Castle Valley, the La Sal Mountains, and finally, the rising moon. (Click it to see it larger.)
This panographic view as the sunset starts to fade shows Fisher Towers on the left, Fisher Mesa, Adobe Mesa, Castle Valley, the La Sal Mountains, and finally, the rising moon. (Click it to see it larger.)
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2 Comments

  1. Greatness. I don’t think I’d seen this one before. I do think the picture of Abby is one of the best, love the mountain in the b.g. and the edge lighting. I also really appreciate the image of the stop sign and the sunlit reflections in the creek.

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