Wednesday, January 23, 2008

3 cars, not so much Arizona, and Storm Chasing

We started this trip on the wrong foot – or rather, the wrong wheels… The rental agencies put us in a 2WD vehicle. No way. So we changed it for a 4WD – which was great right up until we hit the freeway. A sudden slow down meant Jay had to hit the breaks hard, and the car behind us slammed into our rear end. Luckily, no one was hurt. The other car was totaled, and ours had a dangling muffler – so after filing a police report, we headed back to the rental agency for vehicle number three. This one served us well for the remainder of the trip, and we made it to Kanab none the worse for wear.

I know I told you we were headed for Arizona – and we did drive highway 89A just to check out the view – but we ended up staying in Utah… and then booking it to California when the weather shifted. We’ve spent a lot of time in Utah over the past 12 months – but the landscape is so varied that we aren’t likely to get bored with the area anytime soon.

The 4WD vehicle proved invaluable, since we spent hours on dirt “roads”… really just tracks over deep sand and rough stone. The Vermillion Cliffs area proved to be absolutely spectacular – and we only got lost once. Of course, getting lost in this region isn’t exactly a bad thing. It’s good to be prepared, though – a flat tire or two would be enough to mean a night in the wilderness.

Utah was fantastic - and I promise to get some photos up soon - but we chased a storm across Nevada to Death Valley, CA on the final two days of our trip. We got there ahead of the storm clouds, so we checked out the salt flats (last time the salt formations were less pronounced than usual and we wanted to see what our options were when the skies were right) and then hiked out to Darwin Falls (yep – there’s a waterfall in Death Valley.) The storm clouds arrived just in time for a quick morning shoot on the day we left, and we got some fantastic shots of the dunes. The textures were gorgeous… it almost hurts to walk on such amazing beauty and ruin it with your footprints. The next wind storm will erase the damage, though – and the photographs are worth it.

I’ll put some time into processing some photographs this week – once I catch up on everything that I put aside for the past five days. My website will be updated as soon as possible – check out the new gallery for frequent visitors… you’ll find my most recently added images all in one place. People were asking for that – and your wish is my command… within reason, of course.

2 Comments:

Blogger Justin said...

Hello, this is Justin again and I was looking at your shot of the dunes and I was wondering if you two had checked out the Coral Pink Sand Dunes. They are very beautiful and are completely different depending on if you go durring the warm months or the cold months. If it is cold there is snow everywhere and it is very beautiful because you can still see the ripples of the sand in places. Durring the warm months it is just plain beautiful. Looking forward to seeing you two again, and good luck on your future adventures!

-Justin Powell-

January 26, 2008 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Varina Patel said...

Hi Justin! We haven't been to the Coral Pink Sand Dunes - thanks for the suggestion. We've driven past the park several times on our way to Zion or Bryce, but we haven't taken the time to stop and check it out. We'll have to get over there soon.

Good to hear from you again! We'll definitely look for you guys the next time we're out there!

Varina

January 26, 2008 at 6:18 PM  

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