Photos: Utah Landscape — Part One   6 comments

I’ve been reading Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire of late. It really is a fantastic book—my first experience with Abbey, who has long been on the intended reading list. It also is making me miss the Utah and Arizona desert landscapes. I have a soft spot for them in my heart, harkening back to the year I spent living in Arizona, from the summer of 1996 to 1997. I fell in love then and continue to love it today.

I thought I would be visiting Arizona again this year, at the beginning of April, but that plan has fallen through. Partly this is good, for a private reason, but it also partly is a shame, as my reading of Desert Solitaire has left me with a strong desire to see the desert again, even if it was to be a different part than the one Abbey is writing about.

I am a blessed person, though, and I have seen the areas that Abbey writes of, though certainly not as he saw them. Back in 2004, I took a long road trip through multiple National Parks, with the bulk of that trip spent in southern Utah, at Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce Canyon and Zion. Abbey has evoked memories of that trip multiple times.

In lieu of a visit to the desert—and in need of an update to this blog while I mull a lengthier post to be published, hopefully, by Monday—I place here for your enjoyment a few pictures from the Utah portion of that trip. These pictures don’t begin to do the landscape as much justice as Abbey’s words do, but they evoke my time actually there, within this landscape, amongst these rocks and cliffs and trees, and so they’ll work for now as a small echo of reality.

This is part one. Part two will come later.

Looming Cliffs

The cliffs in Zion really are quite spectacular. I love the clouds in the sky that day, as well.


Mesa Arch

Mesa Arch in Canyonlands, the landscape stretched forever behind it.


Navajo Arch

A side shot of Navajo Arch. I find the erosion pattern reminiscent of musculature.


Looming Hoodoos

Some of the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon, looming against the sky. I love erosion.


Hoodoos Everywhere

Yet more hoodoos, extending off into the distance.



I just love this tree against the sky. I have a thing for cool trees framed against the sky.



6 responses to “Photos: Utah Landscape — Part One

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  1. You’re absolutely right, these are beautiful pictures, but they don’t do those landscapes justice.

    • Hi John,

      You’re right, they don’t begin to do the landscape justice! You really have to see it in person to understand the beauty.

      As for your comment on the previous post I never responded to, I certainly think we’ll always impact the world and will be able to, to a certain degree, guide that impact toward our desires, but the level of control we’ve come to think of as normal is something that I don’t really believe is possible without the massive energy stores of fossil fuels. I definitely agree that the time scales will change, and I also suspect that will typically be for the better. (A good example, in my mind, is the difference between selective plant breeding and genetic modification of the Monsanto, et al. variety. Such genetic modification probably won’t be achievable in the future, and we certainly won’t be able to work so quickly, but we’ll still be able to create new plant varieties via a careful selection process rooted in observation and skill. And that’s a better way to do things, anyway.)

  2. Musculature is the right word. It looks like a shoulder with the arm outstretched to the side. A splendid collection of photos. I enjoyed them.

    • Thanks, Jordana! That’s exactly what I thought it looked like, but I hadn’t really noticed until I was selecting it to post here. It’s so neat when you see elements of the human body reflected in the landscape.

    • Hi Chris,

      Thank you! You’re right, definite similarities to the Bungle Bungle range—which looks amazing! I would love to see and explore that in person some day.

      Also, I finally responded to your comment from the previous post. I’ve been catching up on my responses tonight.

      Lastly, congratulations on the rain! Saw your update over at TAR and was quite pleased to hear of it. Hopefully more is on the way and things will begin to even back out.

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