Unfortunately, we’re home a few days early. I wound up canceling the Yellowstone portion of the trip, mainly because of weather conditions there. We were going to head up to Wyoming from Las Vegas (where the temperature was in the mid 90’s). Temperature-wise, the transition to northern Wyoming would have been a bit of a shock. Early morning temperatures were going to be in the single digits, while the afternoons would barely be in the mid to upper 30’s. Those kinds of conditions aren’t unusual for Yellowstone in October, but we hadn’t packed anything that would have kept us from turning into icicles. As luck would have it, it’s currently much warmer there now. I think the high today is supposed to be in the 50’s. Our timing just sucked, I guess. Maybe next time……..
Actually, a number of things didn’t go as “planned”. For a variety of reasons, I did only a few of the hikes I’d wanted to do. I never made it to Fisher Towers (near Moab), for example, except to take a quick peek at them. Nor did I make it back to Antelope Canyon in Page. Or Red Rock Canyon (near Las Vegas). Or Valley of Fire. Just too damn hot there during that week. It may be a “dry heat”, as some say, but walking around in the desert at 97 degrees can wear on you quickly. Keep the lip balm (and water) very close.
Not that we didn’t have fun. We did. Even with the sea of orange barrels and cones dotting the interstates out and back. As I’ve said before, some company is making a fortune producing those things. In places, they extend for miles and miles (like Indiana).
And we did see some new things – like the Burr Trail. This is a road (partly paved and partly dirt) that runs off of scenic byway 12 near Boulder, Utah. Originally, this route was used by settlers to move cattle from the high country to the Waterpocket Fold area of what is now Capitol Reef NP. It’s beautiful and it’s quiet. Somehow we’d missed it on previous trips.
We also got out onto Lake Powell for the first time. The lake was created, of course, when Glen Canyon dam was built. In a very real sense, Page, Az was also “created” at that time. Before the dam was built, Page didn’t exist. I’m not sure building the dam was the best idea they’ve ever had in that area, but it’s there nonetheless. As is the lake behind it. What’s interesting about the lake is the water filled canyons that seem to be everywhere. It would take days (or weeks?) to explore all of them. And you’d probably get lost.
As for the image, it’s a nearly 180 degree panorama of the area known as Park Avenue in Arches NP. In my opinion, it may be the only good way to photograph this spot. Otherwise, you just get pieces of the whole. Using an extremely wide angle lens (12 mm, maybe?) might work, but the far end of the image would appear to be very small, I think. Although you can’t really see it here, the detail is very good. It looks much better as a large print.
There was one small mystery, however. In the 5th or 6th frame used to make this, there was a man walking on the trail (wearing a bright red shirt). It’s the only frame in which he appeared. After doing the “Merge to Panorama in Photoshop”, he’s completely gone. Vaporized. Or at least his pixels are gone. I’m not at all sure why Photoshop did that. I’m sure there’s a simple explanation, but I haven’t found it yet. Any ideas?