It's been a while, but I finally changed the picture at the top of this blog to another of my many travel shots. This one I haven't even posted on Panoramio (yet...), but I realized it would work well for the look of the blog. It was taken back in January of 2009 on my Southern Utah/Northern Arizona driving vacation that encompassed me seeing things like the magnificent Horseshoe Bend, a 180 degree turn of the Colorado River near Page, Arizona. The river has cut thru the earth at such an angle that as it makes it's turn at this point, it resembles a horseshoe (when viewed from above). It has also eroded the earth to a point that the surrounding cliffs are roughly 1,000 feet high, making for quite a spectacular view when you are standing there in person. As with many things in life, while there are nice pictures of it, no mere photograph can truly do it justice. I felt a true sense of awe standing there gazing over the chasm...every once in a while you are slapped in the face with your true insignificance, yet at the same time you are left marvelling at the beauty that surrounds you.
The picture at the top of the blog, however, was taken near the southern entrance of Zion National Park, just a little bit north of the "sleepy little resort town" (one is required to describe places of this nature with that phrase) of Springdale, Utah. Traversing along a winding path called Floor Of The Valley Road, you are surrounded by beautiful outcroppings of rock, and when the sun hits them just right, they look even more amazing. I purposely did this trip in January, because I figured it would look even more beautiful with a decent amount of snow around. It was also nice to quite often be pretty much the only person around for miles. Having grown up in New York, I'm not afraid of a little inclement weather, but as you can see, really all Mother Nature did was enhance some of it's beauty.
Bryce Canyon National Park was another portion of this journey, and again, there were plenty of moments when I put the camera down and just stood there soaking in the imagery with nothing but my eyes, and my soul. It's possible to get lost behind a lens and just click away and not entirely enjoy the experience of being where you are; I try not to let that happen. And with places like this, you really can't. The pictures are nice, but every time I look at them, they mainly serve as a spark for the mental photographs I have which are far more breathtaking. A truly stunning place, which will definitely be visited again before I'm finished on this plane of existence.
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park was the other main destination on this extensive driving trip. Located in the northeast corner of Artizona, you actually enter the park from the southern portion of Utah. If you've ever seen a Western film directed by John Ford, you've seen part of Monument Valley. And the picture to the left is the typical image of the area, but there is so much more to it than that...not that it isn't stunning in it's own right. Another truly jaw-dropping experience, seeing these incredible rock formations reminds you of just how small your place in the universe really is. There is a 17 mile dirt road that loops thru the area, and you can't drive too fast on it...but why would you want to? These destinations are in the middle of nowhere, and it takes lots of driving time to get there, so since all this time has already been invested, you make damn sure to leisurely meander around, absorbing the natural beauty that encompasses your field of vision. I had truly beautiful weather the day I was there, and got some amazing pictures, but still the best ones play on the projector in my head...
Blog Post Soundtrack; Alice In Chains, Louis Prima, Pink Floyd (live), Joy Division, Medeski Martin & Wood, International Noise Conspiracy, Motorhead, Bjork (live), Louis Jordan, Fear Factory, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam (live), Samhain, Chemical Brothers, Primus, Misfits (live), Mr. Bungle, Rolling Stones, Dead Milkmen (live)...(and yes, I see the irony in that), Tomoyasu Hotei