Saturday, September 26, 2009


So the drive down to Arches was fairly uneventful, a little longer than I expected, but a nice drive all the same. It's pretty crazy when you can drive for a couple hours... in a straight line. Not in the general sense of driving in a given direction, but truly in a straight line, where the road continues on in front of you and there is a far off vanishing point you think you'll never reach, and like the charging knights in a scene from The Holy Grail... voila, you're there.

Anyway, I think I was supposed to be talking about Arches National Park, eh? Well, it's pretty spectacular, I have to say. You really do feel at times like you're on Mars with the dry, reddish-tone landscape and fantastically shaped cliffs, arches, and other formations that constitute the draw for the park. I arrived at arguably the best time to take in the park, late afternoon, as the sun cast shadows on and through the rocks and highlighted the imaginary characters, scenes and objects the formations resemble.

I knew I wanted to get a sunset shot of Delicate Arch, a somewhat famously recognized symbol of the park, and of that region of the country... judge for yourself if I did it justice:). Needless to say I got the shot (or shots), after a short and moderately difficult 1.5 mile hike in to the site of the attraction. It was an interesting experience, as I wasn't alone in the desire to capture the image of Delicate at sunset. Rows of tripods and cameras peppered the north western rim of the small canyon that held a view of the Arch. I found a good spot to setup, though, and the only challenging part was trying to shoot in between the people scrambling up under the arch to get a photo of themselves underneath the natural wonder. Funny, at one point after a particularly steady stream of these snapshot-seekers was capped off by what seemed to be the last of them scampering off out of the frame of the shoot, an eruption of applause by the dozens of photographers seemed to have encouraged any others wanting to get their "i was here" photo to wait until another day...

The park isn't a small space, and undoubtedly one could spend days or even weeks exploring all it has to offer, but if you are crunched for time, and want to take in a ton of cool views and get some neat shots, Arches is definitely a good pick. If I were going back, I'd plan a solid 2 to 3 days to dedicate to the hikes and drives that it would take to get a complete experience of the park.

I'd hoped to re-arrange my trip to spend another day in the park, and allow for a day to do some city shots of Salt Lake City, but it didn't work out that way... so no SLC. But, my rescheduling did allow for some time in the Mojave desert outside of Vegas that I wasn't expecting to have... so look for my next post soon.... Vegas!


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