Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Chimney Rock

Chimney Rock of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Chimney Rock is an intriguing sandstone formation can be seen for several miles near the towns of Big Water and Church Wells, Utah.  Although it is easy to see, it is difficult to reach.  There are no roads that go directly to this monument.  Instead it is surrounded by sand, cacti, bottlebrush and very dry air.

During my visit, I wandered across the sand to reach this monument and felt that this was a very typical view of southern Utah on a typical day:  fluffy intermittent clouds, beautiful blue sky, classic red rock surrounded by a dry environment.  This was not the golden hour when the light changes color.  This Utah in its' full, hot, desert glory!

I took several pictures of this monument.  Ultimately I felt that the closer, wide-angle shot was the best.  I corrected some wide-angle distortion in Photoshop in order to accurately show this beauty.

Rainbow Canyon Slot

Grey Mud Pool marks the end of Rainbow Slot Canyon in southwestern Utah. During the heat of the day, this spooky place stayed cool and quiet.
Rainbow Canyon is a remote and seldom visited location in the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument.  It is located near the Wahweap hoodoos and Sidestep Canyon.  Exploring the vast wilderness on foot involves climbing over, through or around the different pathways for water has made in the sandstone.

As I was hiking up a sandstone canyon to see if it would lead to the higher ground, I found that the walls became more narrow the farther I progressed.  Eventually came to the very deep slot canyon which did not allow much light to pass through.  It was like a cave:  temperatures were at least 30° cooler. 

After my eyes adjusted, I enjoyed exploring a little bit further in this slot canyon.  The farther I went, the more beautiful it became.  At the end of the canyon there was an abrupt cliff face.  At the bottom of it lay a small pool of mud.  The light was shining in and illuminating this small wonder.