• Ada, Oklahoma to Monticello to Moab, Utah; Arches National Park and Castle Valley
I drove a tiring but trouble-free route from our home in Oklahoma to Monticello, Utah, and was up before dawn the next morning.
Michael was good enough to lend me his Honda Element all-wheel-drive, which he and I took on a trip in 2004.
After shooting a couple of sunrise images along U. S. 191 south of Moab, my first venue was the Klondike Bluffs at Arches National Park. It was an excellent hike with clear skies, though it was a bit on the warm side.
I made the short hike in the Windows section at Arches that the park service calls a “primitive” trail, but it is practically a sidewalk. The day became increasingly hazy. I was looking for a natural arch called “Ribbon arch,” but could barely make it out, and didn’t photograph it.
I drove to Hittle Bottom east of Moab and hiked the Richardson Amphitheater Loop Trail, which was interesting and fairly un-crowded.
I visited the historic Dewey Bridge, which burned in April, and photographed the ruins.
I made my way to the Castle Valley for sunset, but only shot a few frames as the sun only came out in the last few minutes.
• Gemini Bridges, White Rim Road, Upheaval Dome
At first light, I drove to the Gemini Twin Bridges. The road was rough but otherwise unchallenging.
On advice from a park ranger, I drove the White Rim Road down to the Gooseneck Trail and Musselman Arch.
A sign at the top says “Speed Limit 15 mph,” but is entirely superfluous, since there is no way to go any faster.
Michael’s Honda Element was better than a passenger car, but but no means a high-clearance vehicle.
The road was particularly rough and slow near Musselman Arch.
I hiked the Wilhite Trail from the trail head to the point at which it descends to the Holman Spring Basin below, about 1.1 miles. I saw no one else.
I re-hiked the Upheaval Dome Overlook Trail, which Michael and I had done in 2004. It was a better, more interesting trail than I remembered, possibly because this late afternoon light was better this time.
I made a point to be at the Green River Overlook for sunset, simply because I had not been there for sunset before. Despite a small crowd, it made really nice pictures.
• Confluence Overlook Trail
I spent the entire day hiking the Confluence Overlook Trail in the Needles District at Canyonlands. A 6-mile trail that crosses three canyons, this journey sported excellent variety and beautiful scenery. The overlook itself was much more spectacular than I imagined it would be.
• Alcove Spring Trail and the White Rim Overlook at The Island in the Sky
I made the long, excellent hike in a cold wind down the Alcove Spring Trail to the Zeus and Moses formations on the northern most end of Canyonlands.
Near the end of the day, I took the White Rim Overlook trail. I first hiked this trail in 2002. It was an excellent day of hiking to conclude this trip.
• Driving Home
On the drive home, I made a few images un southern Utah, and also stopped to photograph Shiprock Peak, since it was along my route.