2010 Utah Trip

Monday, October 4


After enjoying the lightening last night, we weren't sure that we would have a sunrise this morning. During my "check the sky" duties this morning, I could see the sun starting to break through the clouds, so we quickly got everything together and drove out to Dead Horse Point. The light wasn't great, but it was a beautiful morning to be out shooting.

Dead Horse Point Dead Horse Point

When we returned to the motorhome, Carol disappeared. After about 30 minutes, I called out to see if she was ok. She had fallen back to sleep. After I downloaded this morning's images, I decided getting another hour of sleep sounded pretty good.

We drove to Sego CanyonGoogle Earth View after breakfast to check out the pictographs during the middle of the day. The skies were overcast as the afternoon thunderstorm approached. It was a good time to shoot pictographs while the light was flat. Sego Canyon was only about 6 miles from I-70 and the road was even paved. There were three panels of pictographs; each from a different period. The latest panel was done by the Ute tribe and included men riding horses. I liked the two older panels. The hunting scene and the "King and Queen" from the second panel were my favorites. The third panel included some very interesting figures in flowing robes that conspiracy theorists would swear were from outer space.

Sego Canyon Sego Canyon Sego Canyon Royalty

From Sego Canyon, we drove directly to Canyonlands for the golden light hours. We shot at the Island in the Sky Visitor Center, until we were chased inside by a thundershower.

Schafer Canyon Schafer Canyon Rainbow

After about 45 minutes, the rain nearly stopped and we ventured outside. That's when we noticed it was clearing to the south where the best overlooks are. We gambled that we might get some good light as the storm cleared and started driving south. As we neared Buck Canyon Overlook, we could see the sun was lighting the canyons to the south. There was even a rainbow shining near one of the buttes. The lighting was amazing, but it only lasted a few minutes before the sun moved behind the clouds. We continued south toward Grand ViewGoogle Earth View because it looked like the sun might break through again. When we dropped down into Grand View, the entire canyon below the overlook was lit. This time, we only had about 10 minutes of good light before it was gone for good.

Approaching Storm Monument Basin

We may not have great images from this afternoon, but the lighting as the storm cleared was amazing. Buck Canyon was bathed in warm light that continued to fade in intensity until we could see only black in the distance. It looked like someone had set up a perfect gradient from intense warm light to absolute black in the distance. We chased the light all afternoon. We were always a step behind. We had a few minutes of gorgeous light in each place, but couldn't help but feel that we should have been there 15 minutes earlier for the best light. It will be very interesting how the images process in Lightroom and Photoshop. If we can capture even a part of what we saw this afternoon, we should have some very interesting images.

Grand View Storm