Many many galleries

In the middle of July 2008 I hit the road and took lots of pictures. The bad news was that I posted them all at once, which probably wasn’t the best of ideas, but there you have it:

Well the good news is I got a couple of weeks off work and was able to head off on a road trip and see many beautiful places, the bad news is I took my camera along and took way too many pictures. I realize that the number of galleries included in this email is overkill, but I’ve tried to keep each of the galleries as trim as possible. Anyhow, on with the pictures.

I first headed out to the northwestern corner of Death Valley National Park and camped out at the Eureka Dunes. I started hiking up before dawn when the temperature was nice and cool, and was lucky enough to get many beautiful shots:

When the temperature started to heat up too much I hopped in the car and headed north toward Tahoe, on the way I stopped in the ghost town Bodie . Bodie is an abandoned gold mining town in the northern Sierra. Much of it is left as is when the final inhabitants left it:

I was planning to meet up with a number of people to  do some canyons in the northern  sierra, but when I got to Tahoe I found  the air full of smoke and ashes raining down.  The canyon meetup was cancelled  and at that point I had to decide what to do. I visited for a day with Stephanie and Bill, and then headed on the long drive across Nevada to see some national Parks in Utah. On the way I stopped off in Reno at the Apple store to get a new Battery for my laptop and a new power supply, since I foolishly forgot to bring one along. I didn’t realize that it was the day they released the new iPhone, and the store was a zoo, with a lineup hundreds long. I was able to skip to the front and in since I wasn’t looking for an iPhone and managed to escape the carnage relatively easily. Eventually after a long day of driving I arrived at Capitol Reef National Park. I managed to get a wireless signal for my computer here and posted a note on the American Canyoneering Association site (ACA) looking for someone to canyoneer with in Zion for the next week. The next day I spent hiking and exploring the park, taking a few pictures along the way:

That night I headed down to Bryce Canyon , but had a hard time finding a place to stay, since all the National Parks are overflowing with European tourists this year with the strength of the Euro compared to the dollar. Eventually I found a place, and I charged up the computer and cameras in preparation for exploring Bryce the next day. I managed to get enough of a phone signal to hook up with James Clery to do some canyons in Zion, which was great. I woke bright and early and set off to photograph Bryce. You will notice a few pictures from Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park here as well, since I stopped there on my way down to Zion:

The next day in Zion I met up with Jim, and we started on our week of exploring Zion’s Canyons. The first canyon we did was Spry Canyon, which began with a steep hike up slick rock close by the end of the Zion tunnel and ended at the base of Pine Creek:

Tuesday we headed up to do 2 shorter canyons, Pine Creek and Keyhole Canyon. Both of these had flooded the day before when the monsoons, as they call them in the area, brought late afternoon/early evening storms. The rain had pounded Springdale, where I was staying and we were expecting the canyons to be brimming with water. We were not disappointed:

Wednesday we headed into Mystery Canyon. Kurt joined us for this one, and we were expecting a fair amount of water here as well, but it was fairly dry. It shows just how localized these summer thunderstorms get since this was not all that far from where we had been the night before. Sill the hike in was fun and the canyon beautiful, and it ends with a long rappel into the narrows, generally with a large audience of hikers. This day was no exception as there were plenty of people heading up the narrows when we arrived there:

Thursday we took it fairly easy in preparation for a longer day on Friday. Jim and I headed back down Pine Creek since it had been so spectacular 2 days earlier. It was still full of water and just as much fun:

On Friday we headed out with Kurt to do Das Boot. This was a blast, although nowhere near as technical or as much swimming as we had been led to believe. Its a long narrow slot before the start of the famous Subway hike.

This was the last canyon we did before it was time to leave Zion. Even with the pictures its impossible to describe how beautiful and exciting and peaceful this whole week in the canyons was. Zion National Park is my favorite place on the planet, and this week only served to confirm that opinion. It was sad that I had to leave, but there is so much more to explore there that its a bit overwhelming. I will be headed back. Anyhow, we headed up to Cedar City to visit with Rich Wild at his canyoneering store, Canyons and Crags, and then I headed over to Cedar Breaks National Monument for one more hike before driving back to LA. Cedar breaks is very similar scenery to Bryce Canyon being formed from the same rock by the same processes. I did a 4 mile hike along the rim of the amphitheater through alpine meadows with hundreds of flowers and Bristlecone pines. Finally I headed back to the car and got on with the long drive back to Los Angeles:

It was a spectacular couple of weeks and I hope the pictures can give you some small idea of how beautiful it all was. many many galleries

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