Tuesday, July 11, 2017

May 20 -- moving from Valley of Fire to Bryce Canyon National Park


Here is a link to the interactive expedition map.

We are still in Valley of Fire State Park (in Nevada).  There were things I'd never seen before, everywhere I turned my eyes.

Closer crop of the above -- I wonder how this was made!  It makes me think of the bottom of a wheel-thrown pot, if you cut it off the wheel with a wire while the wheel slowly spins.....

We stopped at the visitor's center before we left the park.  There were a bunch of big-horned sheep very near the road.

Closer crop of the above.  Two ewes and two lambs.

I said they were close to the road?  VERY close to the road.  Only this one came this close to us.  I'm terrible at estimated distances larger than about 18".  Maybe we were about 150 feet from this one?  (The others were more distant, but still far closer than I'd ever been to any non-captive members of this species.)

When we left Valley of Fire, we went to see "Lake" Mead.  (I'm still having trouble understanding why we can't tell the truth and call it a reservoir.  Mama Nature had nothing to do with putting a body of water here............)

I find it ... creepy ... that there is all this water, sitting here evaporating in this oh-so-dry (and so often SO hot) place.

And I find human behavior creepy in other ways, too.  Why do so many find it ok to dump trash everywhere they go?  Shame on them.  (I picked it up.  I picked up a plastic grocery-bag-full of trash here, though we were only here for a few minutes.  Sigh.)

I had thought I wanted to put my toes in this water, but when I got here, I did not want to.

We are now on our way to Utah and Bryce Canyon.

This was a very confusing trip for "what time is it?"  Nevada and Utah are not on the same time.  Utah and Arizona are not on the same time.  Moving back and forth across state lines meant all of our devices (including the car) probably had the wrong time............  Mostly this didn't really matter, but when it did, it was a pain to keep track of.

This next image taken from a moving car.  (Note blurry vegetation in lower left.)  I continue to be pleasantly surprised at the quality of the images one can collect from a moving vehicle.

We stopped to get something to eat.  Plants at the rear of the parking lot.

Back in that moving car.  The weird light greenish places in the upper left quadrant are glare on the window.

Pretty sure all of this green is vegetation.  I bet this place is not green now.

Here we are, on the interstate, in a place where there just aren't very many roads, and the divided highways are few and far between.

You don't see natural water on the ground very often in these parts.

The river again.

The river, visible only at the very bottom left.  Here's what I believe a river valley is supposed to look like in this part of the country, in late May.

I believe the line of green through this image is where the river is.

A closer look at the sort of red/white/yellow/gray formation we've been seeing.  You can see how the gray parts at the top are crumbling and running down over the red parts below.  And then you begin to wonder about the dark red/brown thing closer to us -- it doesn't match the layers at the same height behind it........  (as always, click on any image to embiggen)

Ok, this is just wrong.  In this dry, dry, dry country, we're pulling a boat?  No.

I didn't see this in the above until I got the image on the big screen.  So much is wrong here.  A lake in the desert.  A *golf course* in the desert.  So many people, in a place which cannot sustain them for long..........

People throw away water, making golf courses in the desert, and then they want the Great Lakes for when they've used up all the water there was in the southwest.  No.  Just.  No.

I am pretty darn sure it is very bad for anyone to get everything they want.  People end up forgetting that everything has a cost.  Taking water that ought to be going downstream has a cost.  Depending on water sucked out of the ground (groundwater is finite) has a cost.  Running air conditioning 9 months of the year has a cost.  And I'm not talking about money............

Let them choose between lakes (and green golf courses) and the magnificent landscapes of the west.  Not have both.  They can't have both in the long run, and they might as well not develop that fantasy to begin with.

It's just wrong.

Sigh.  I suppose the same sort of thinking that enables this sort of disregard for the planet is why people throw trash everywhere, too............................................


We drove through the Red Canyon on our way to Bryce, and saw our first hoodoos.  The camera thought this was very dark.  I've lightened it up a lot.

To our naked eyes these rocks were still light enough to see easily.  They looked a lot redder than this.

We are getting very close to Bryce......... 

Here is a link to the next post about the Grand Canyon expedition.



Jeanie said...

Valley of Fire was my first of these western spots I visited. Beautiful. But I think you are going to go wild at Bryce!

I need orange said...

We saw so many landscapes that were totally new to me. Bryce included. This was a once-in-a-lifetime trip. So many amazing things to see.........