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After the Nightscaper event in Kanab, we had a couple of days left in Utah. It was too hot for Luna to really enjoy it and our campsite offered no relief in the way of shade or water. The landscapes are amazing with another unbelievable formation around every corner.

One afternoon, to escape the heat, we drove up to Bryce where it was much cooler. However there were so many people, some parking lots were at full capacity. Instead of seeing park rangers, I saw parking managers. Still I did enjoy the scenery.

And I got out one night for milky way photography with a little low level lighting. Ken helped me with the lights. It really doesn’t take very much. I still need so much practice.

Nothing but time to get things done at home, read books, walk the dogs, plant a garden, learn new stuff, cook, eat, sleep. Remember the stuff I miss – hanging out with friends, eating out, lingering in town, photographing weddings and other events, travel. Travel is the number one thing for me. I missed a trip to Florida last month and right now, right now, I ought to be in Utah. Hiking and exploring with the dogs, photographing the night sky, learning new stuff. I miss going places.

We – Ken and me and our dogs – and our closest friends, are doing as much as we can to shelter in place. We feel that’s best for the overall good for everyone. The dogs don’t understand it for sure.

So I dug out the hard drive from 2018 and revisited images from the last time I was in Utah. Such a wonderful place to visit. I have re-scheduled my trip for next year but it seems so far away. I am hoping for a healthy future for all of us and a return to something like normal.

With all this time, I also reworked my website. So far it’s drawn a little bit of attention. Hopefully I will learn more about online marketing and be able to generate income in the future.

We’ve been home for over two weeks now and I’ve finally finished editing the 4000+ raw image files I brought back with me. The girls are still anxious to get in the car and go places. I thought maybe they would be tired of travel but no, anytime, anywhere, they are ready. They were great traveling dogs. They got along with everyone they saw on the trail and in the campgrounds and everyone that met them said they were well-behaved dogs and SOOO good looking. We all kept each other warm during the long cold nights, piled up under wool blankets and down comforter.

The car and the tent trailer worked well for over 4000 miles and I was happy to have a trouble-free trip. People worried about me traveling alone (what? dogs don’t count?) but we never had any problems along the way. No one ever stepped on a cactus or got bit by snakes. Good luck? Good karma? It all just felt right. And the endless sunny days and star-filled nights. Oh my.

My favorite part of the trip was all of the hiking in Utah. It was fabulous and really, I only just touched the surface of the places I visited. There is so much more to see.

I had intended to take selfies all along the way but I only managed one. It was at Fisher Towers.

And this is my last photo from Utah. Morning over Canyonlands.

The landscapes of the southwest are expansive and sometimes, you need to travel by car in order to begin to take it in. These images are from the scenic byway – highway 95, the Moki Dugway and the Valley of the Gods.

We arrived at Goblin Valley on Halloween. That was not planned. It just happened.

The landscape of Goblin Valley is pretty unbelievable. As you approach the park, you can see the looming Wild Horse Butte that dominates the horizon. The campground sits right at the foot of it. During the short fall days, the light is constantly changing, giving new looks to the rocks and cliffs. Sandstone walls give the camping area a sense of protection from the elements. They also provide a pallet for people with high-powered spotlights to illuminate in the darkness. The second night I was there, numerous people were enjoying that activity while I was trying to do night sky photography. According to its website, Goblin Valley is known for its dark skies, perfect for attempts to photograph the stars. I had mixed results.

The goblins of Goblin Valley are stone shapes that resulted from millions of years of geologic history. They are made of Entrada sandstone (debris eroded from former highlands redeposited on a tidal flat). The goblins show evidence of being near an ancient sea with the ebb and flow of tides, tidal channels and coastal sand dunes. Fracture patterns within the sandstone beds create zones of weakness. The unweathered joints intersect to form sharp edges and corners with greater surface-area-to-volume ratios than the faces. As a result, the edges weather more quickly, producing spherical-shaped goblins. This information is from the Goblin Valley brochure.

Whatever caused the stone shapes in the valley, it is well worth it to get down off of the overlook and walk throughout the three valleys of goblins to get an up-close view of the impressive and whimsical rocks.


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