Ryan's Journal

"My life amounts to no more than one drop in a limitless ocean. Yet what is any ocean, but a multitude of drops?" — David Mitchell

The Day of Too Many Photos

Posted from Canyonlands National Park, Utah at 9:25 pm, September 12th, 2009

It is 9:30 at night and I am too tired to write coherently, but luckily lack of coherence has never yet stopped me from putting together a journal entry. Today we hit Arches National Park, and judging by the level of exhaustion it hit back. The morning saw visits to Double Arch, the Windows, and Turret Arch, and at each we ran into a pair of woman travelers who scrambled on the rocks while offering strangely valuable photo tips. After a stop in Moab for lunch we headed to Devil’s Garden for some hiking during the hottest part of the day (solid planning on my part) and sweltered along to the massive Landscape Arch (300+ feet) and then up to the very scenic Partition Arch.

The day ended with a climb up to Delicate Arch (the Utah license plate arch for those not up-to-speed on their arch identification). I’ve visited this arch at sunrise when only a handful of hardy souls were present, but never before at sunset when it is a MUCH different experience – perhaps seventy-five people were arrayed around the arch waiting to take photos, with the souvenir-seekers lined up in front of the arch waiting to get their photo taken. One-by-one they stood under the arch, got their picture, and then traded places with the next person in line, all while the nature photographers fretted that they would miss out on an amazing photo while waiting for the Johnson family to get their Christmas card photo. As frustration mounted loud shouts of “Boo!” erupted anytime someone lingered a bit too long. While this may not have been the most serene natural setting it was fairly amusing, particularly when one especially clueless girl stood for a minute under the arch admiring the view while everyone yelled and whistled; when finally she got the hint a rousing cheer erupted from the assembled gallery. Lightning flashed on the horizons during the journey back to our campsite making for an awesome display, and we’re now heading to bed under slightly cloudy skies with hopes of staying dry until morning.

Audrey at Turret Arch

Audrey at Turret Arch.

Courthouse Tower

Courthouse Tower.

Audrey at Turret Arch

Delicate Arch at sunset. This is clearly a prime example of the creativity a photographer can exercise in composing a scene – my thought process: “point at the arch, click the shutter button”. Ansel would be proud.

Near Canyonlands National Park, Utah

Posted at 9:55 pm, April 15th, 2005

6:45 AM: the alarm goes off. I’m awake, but I’m also in a bed for the first time in a week, and it’s really comfortable. Plus, there’s a shower ten feet away softly whispering that cleanliness is such a nice feeling. I wish I could say that I fought the good fight, but there aren’t going to be any sunrise pictures from Arches National Park on this trip. After lounging around and then doing laundry I got to the park in the late afternoon and spent the time roaming the Devil’s Garden area, including a bit of scrambling on the cliffs with two guys from Wyoming. Aaron is graduating from paramedic school next Thursday, so from here on it looks like it’s going to be a slow journey homewards.

Moab, Utah

Posted at 8:40 pm, April 14th, 2005

I did my utmost to get up before sunrise, but it just wasn’t happening. Luckily Delicate Arch was still free of visitors when I arrived at 8:00 AM. Later in the day while visiting Double Arch I ran into a college group that I had seen in Canyonlands yesterday, and we hung out under the arches, enjoying the sun and talking about everything from golfing at the South Pole to local geology (despite my obviously immense knowledge, I let them do most of the talking on that one). The remainder of the day was spent crashed out in a hotel doing my best to scrub off a week of accumulated dirt. Clean is good.

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch.