Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Visions of Utah - Arches

South Window, Arches
Sorth Window vista, Arches National Park

In 2006 we sojourned off to the National Parks of Utah for the first of what would become many epic adventures with our friends Nina and Seth. I didn't have a blog at the time, and social media wasn't quite a thing yet, so I've never written much about it. This isn't a travelogue of that trip in a linear fashion(even though I kept a detailed log of the trip, writing frantically between the whirlwind of sights in a small bound notebook). It's a collection of impressions, memories and photos I particularly liked. Most of the pictures were taken on an old Pentax K1000 or a tiny Fuji 3.2mp point and shoot. Hardly appropriate tools for such a photo-friendly environment, but some of the pictures remain among my favorite photos of all time. 

Arches National Park 
I remember being completely mentally unprepared for Arches. The sheer weight and immensity of the desert staggered me. It is an utterly alien landscape to a boy from rural upstate NY. Even as we paced cattle down highway 128, winding along the muddy Colorado, the close spaces still hadn't given way to the full scale of the land. We nestled in between massive fins of sandstone in the Devil's Garden campground. The vistas of unending high desert left me feeling minuscule, another eroded particle to be carved away by the wind. Stripped of the green sheath of life, the rocks spoke only to a solid vastness of space and time. When we encountered the fragile cryptobiotic crusts, it took a moment of mental adjustment to contemplate that any action of mine could possibly impact this ageless place.  Arches remains one of my favorite National Parks in some part because it most challenged any importance of my presence in a completely indifferent landscape. A lot of natural places of beauty leave me inspired and awed. Arches shook me.

Faces in the Rock, Arches
Faces in the Rock, Arches National Park
Park Avenue, Arches National Park

48"Idols" (B&W), Arches NP

Hardscrabble, Arches NP123456-R1-033-15
Clockwise from top left: Devil's Tree, Idols, Hardscrabble Tree, Balanced Rock with Tree

Wall Arch, Arches National Park
Evening Tree, Arches
Evening Tree, Arches National Park

 Solitude          Gates of
Devil's Playground, Arches NPNorth Window Vista, Arches NP

Clockwise from top left: Solitude, Gates of Hell, Stuck in the Middle with You, North Window Vista

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