Monday, December 30, 2013

Canyonlands: Green River Overlook & Upheaval Dome

Continuing with our September 23rd visit to Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky district, the first three images are from the Green River Overlook:

The Green River can be seen winding across the floor of the canyon.

This is an expanded view of the previous photo.

Next, we moved on to the Upheaval Dome area. First, a quick stop at Holman Spring Canyon Overlook:

Holman Spring Canyon Overlook

Then a short hike to Upheaval Dome Overlook:
Part of the short hiking trail to the first overlook into the crater of Upheaval Dome.

A sign at Upheaval Dome

This is a picture of a picture that's on the same sign.
It's an aerial shot, which would be the best way to view this phenomenon.

National Park Service literature says, "Upheaval Dome is an anomaly in the relative geologic order of canyon country. Here rock layers are dramatically deformed in a roughly circular or “bull’s-eye” pattern nearly three miles (5 km) across." Scientists are divided as to how it was created.

Hiking back down the trail to the parking lot.

I'll have one more post from this national park in a few days. Stay tuned!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Canyonlands: Buck Canyon & Candlestick Tower Overlooks

This second post from September 23, in Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky district, features views from Buck Canyon Overlook and Candlestick Tower Overlook.
These first five photos are all from Buck Canyon Overlook:

These twisted trees were everywhere at this national park.

These next three images are from Candlestick Tower overlook. The rock formation known as Candlestick Tower can be seen in the background of the photos.

I don't want to overload you with too many photos in a single post, so I'll have probably two more posts from this national part before moving on to the next stop on this vacation.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Joseph's Song

Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise:
When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost. Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily. But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost. And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.
Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife: And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS. ( Matthew 1:18-25)
Following is a video, with Michael Card singing Joseph's Song, a song written by him, which expresses some of the thoughts that Joseph might have had as he pondered the huge responsibility he had been given of being the foster father to God's own Son:

Wishing each of you a joyful and Christ-filled Christmas and abundant blessings in 2014!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Remembering Cousin Bill

My cousin, Bill, died in a motorcycle accident on November 8th. His wife, Anita, recently sat down to write thank-you notes to all who had expressed comfort and sympathy in any way in the aftermath of the accident. As she thought through what she wanted to say, the thank-you notes changed to a letter of thanks and reminiscences of her life with Bill.
I'm publishing her letter in its entirety here on the blog because it meant so much to me, and I wanted to share it with family and anyone else who might be interested; but I'll understand if some of you would prefer to skip this post.
At the end of Anita's two-page letter are two pages of a photo collage that she put together and included with her letter.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Canyonlands: Island in the Sky, Grand View

Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky district, is amazingly beautiful. I had great difficulty in choosing a few photos for the blog from the many I took there. So I'm afraid you'll just have to endure multiple posts from this beautiful national park.
The first two photos were scenes along the drive to Grand View Point, on September 23, 2013.

There had been a heavy rain in the area a day or two before we arrived, creating washout areas. There were some places where the sand appeared to have been plowed from the road with a snowplow.

The remaining pictures are all from Grand View Point:


Walking along this high cliff and looking down into the canyon made my knees a little weak.


The LaSal Mountains in the background

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The Scenic Drive into Canyonlands National Park

Our drive from Provo, Utah on September 23, brought us ultimately to Canyonlands National Park, Island in the Sky district, near Moab, Utah.
Canyonlands consists of three separate districts: Island in the Sky, the Needles, and the Maze. The Maze is very remote and accessible primarily by hiking. We didn't venture into that area.

Much of the Needles district is also accessible only by hiking, although a fair amount can be traveled by automobile. On this day, we were exploring the Island in the Sky district, but we did visit the Needles on another day.
The photos in this post were all taken along the entrance road to Island in the Sky.

It's almost impossible to see the rock climbers in the above photo...

... But here's a little closer look. Can you see them? It doesn't look like fun to me.

I believe this is part of what's known as Seven-Mile Canyon.

Monitor and Merrimac Buttes, named after the two famous Civil War ships

This is just a sampling of the beauty of the drive along Utah Highway 313, leading to the Visitor Center at Canyonlands, Island in the Sky. Passing all this beauty on the way to the entrance of the national park just built our anticipation for what we might see in the national park itself. I hope it's having the same effect on you. More to come.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Utah Scenery, Sheep, & Yoga

We left West Yellowstone, Montana on Sunday, September 22, and drove to Provo, Utah, where we spent the night.

We had supper at the Texas Roadhouse in Provo.

On Monday, the 23rd, we headed southeast on U. S. Highway 6, toward Canyonlands National Park. On the way, we stopped at the rest area pictured below.

The Tie Fork Rest Area

The Tie Fork rest area is located on US-6 in Spanish Fork Canyon a few miles west of Soldier Summit. One of the most popular and busiest non-interstate rest areas in Utah, the Tie Fork Rest Area celebrates the long history of the canyon as a major artery of the railroad industry. The design is reminiscent of a turn-of-the-century train depot. To add a little extra interest to our stop, a train went by on the hillside behind the rest area while we were there.
We hadn't gone far from the rest area when we saw a sight that caused us to turn around a go back for photos...a man on horseback herding sheep.

Our eyes met as we drove by, and we exchanged a wave of greeting.

A little further down the road, and we were ready for another rest stop. (Are you seeing a pattern here?)

A View from Horse Canyon Rest Area

It seemed an unusual place for yoga...

...but she appeared to be good at it.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Yellowstone: Elk Watching

On Yellowstone's West Entrance Road, the evening of September 21st, we stopped in an area where we'd often seen elk before. We saw a few females on the left side of the river pictured below. Then, far off in the distance, a large bull elk emerged from trees on the right side of the river.
As we watched, the bull grazed his way toward the females on the other side of the river. He eventually crossed the river, showed his authority over the females, then crossed back to the other side alone. All of this was accompanied with bugling and tearing up the earth with his antlers. We couldn't have asked for a better show...unless the action might have included a battle between bulls.
I include this picture to show the scene of the action, as well as the reflections in the water.

Here, you can see some of the grass hanging off his antlers.

 Following are a few non-elk photos that I captured during slow times in the elk action:
A young Great Blue Heron

Possibly the same heron, flying low over the water.

The family belonging to this Sheltie were also watching the elk and the heron.

This rather lengthy post will wrap up our time in Yellowstone for this visit. However, there is much more to come from our 2013 western trip.

Thanks to Hilary at The Smitten Image for including this post as a Post of the Week.

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