Friday, May 7, 2010

St. George - Fall 2009

Yes, i'm still the same person who only blogs every four months. Sorry to be introducing such confusion. Anyway, last fall i took a quick trip down to St. George and Zion to get some nice fall pictures. Thought i'd finally share some of them...
Camping is nice and all but why have a condo if you're not going to use it. Staying in the condo i was also close to Snow Canyon State Park. I'd heard about some lava tubes in the park so i set out to find some of them, and this is what i found. This is the opening of the cave.

Here's the view out of the cave. It didn't go back very far.

This is why you take your trusty ultrapod! Although i must admit it looks much easier than it is. Set up the camera, run over to where you think it's aimed while trying not to trip or look winded, smile, go back and see if you made it in time, were standing in the right place, were not standing too close or too far, and were not making a stupid face (obviously i have to skip that last one). And then i always have to repeat all those steps at least a few times.

There are supposed to be a few lava tubes, i think i've found them on Google Earth, hopefully next time i can try and explore those as well. I've also heard there are supposed to be bats in some of them, but i didn't see any.

Here i am starting up the Narrows from Temple of Sinawava in Zion National Park. This time there were lots of people to help to take a picture (although i naturally had my REAL tripod this time). The water gets quite chilly in the fall and since you're walking in it almost non-stop and there's very little sun at the bottom of the narrow canyon i rented some dry pants. The dry pants actually do a very good job keeping you dry but only from the waist down, so it's important to keep your balance (usually with a hiking staff) so you don't trip and fall in. Oh, and you also wear fleece long johns underneath, because the pants keep you dry, but it's still freezing cold. But it was a blast! I highly recommend it.

The waterfall to the right is actually where Mystery Canyon hooks up with the Narrows. Later, over Thanksgiving, Jared and i actually rapelled down that waterfall from Mystery Canyon back into the Narrows to finish up our hike - but more on that later (hopefully).

This is about as far as i made it, just past the confluence of Orderville Canyon. It wasn't dark yet, but hiking in the water is slow and as it was i ended up getting back to the car in the dark. Oh, and this was a fun run too! Fortunately it was a wide angle lens so i could stand just about anywhere and be in the picture.

The last (and only) time i hiked the complete Narrows was as a Boy Scout. i've hiked up a little ways before and actually i've hiked down from the confluence with Orderville Canyon, but i'd never taken a nice camera and tripod into the Narrows, so i was excited to try and get some nice pictures. i'll let you be the judge of that though...

Unfortunately these pictures do not do justice to the sheer grandeur of the canyon. The canyon walls dwarf everything in them and the way the light bounces around in the canyon and lights everything up - a picture just can't do it justice. (Sorry, you'll just have to go yourself to epxerience the full beauty).

Shoot, i don't remember which peak this is, but i'm pretty sure it's in the Court of the Patriarchs. I know the next two pictures look the same, but they're not. Although they're probably similiar enough that i only needed to include one, but you know how i am.

This is the Towers of the Virgin. You can get this view at sunrise behind the Park Headquarters and museum. i think i actually camped in the park to get here by sunrise - much easier than the long drive from St. George!

And this is the Watchman. it guards the park's west entrance. This view is at sunset from the bridge just before the Canyon Junction. It's a pretty popular place at sunset, especially in the Fall. That's the Virgin River down below. And yes, i know, these next two pictures look the same too, but they're not. But it's been so long since i uploaded these pictures i don't remember why i chose so many similar photos.

I hope you enjoyed my trip report and the pictures. i absolutely love coming here and can't wait to go back. Let me know if you want to come with!


princess jen said...

I love those photos. You have such a great talent of capturing beauty. I really wish I had been invited on this particular trip with you. :) I love you so much!!

Kira said...

Those are really beautiful pictures Alan! You are a really great photographer! Your next assignment is to take some cute pictures of my little girl!

The Andersens said...

Francesca and I just sat and drooled over these pictures. they are so so gorgeous. i LOVE the ones with the steep rock walls on each side and the water showing the motion and blurred. so breath taking. i want that in LARGE when i have a house. so so pretty.
glad your trip allowed for some awesome scenery.
btw i love the whole process you had to go through to get self portraits. so funny. looks like some of them turned out though!

Super Daysh said...

Holy cow!! Those are incredible!! I need a few of those for my wall now (I need new ones down my hallways, you other pictures are outdated now...tee hee hee). I love those pics! You are so talented!!! We need to plan a fun waterfall hike for sometime when you have work off and can go together- then you can teach me how to use my camera. :)

Lady of the Rings said...

Those are the most amazing pictures ever. As Dacia said, I too need some of those to grace my "Alan shrine" wall. There are still too many open spaces!

Mythreesons said...

Beautiful, Alan! I think your nature photographs are always so stunning. You really capture the majesty and beauty. Almost made me want to hike the Narrows. Almost.

Alan J. said...

Thanks for everyone's nice comments. It really is beautiful down there, and the hike really isn't all that bad - especially with dry pants on.