Sunday, December 2, 2012

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Been a while since I updated, or since I even took my camera out to shoot some nice pictures. We made a very quick trip out to Craters of the Moon this weekend and did some nice hiking before a big storm rolled in. Here is what we got... 
 A lone rock resting on a field of marble sized cinders.
 I love the contrast that the black cinders knolls have with the white clouds. 
 This is a closeup of the "pahoehoe" on the Blue Dragon Lava Flow. This flow contains the freshest lava rock in the park and some of the freshest in Idaho. Only about 2000 years old. 
 This picture taken right after we crawled out of the same lava tube, trying to get out of the rain. Very cool inside with the lava stalactites.
 A lone hibernating plant out on the Blue Dragon Lava Flow.
 We literally stumbled onto this cavern while out on the flow hiking around. Looks like a fun exploration.
 Scarlet peering down a lava spout, this being close to the cavern above.
 "Lava Tonsils" as Scarlet called them. This is what the inside of a lava spout looks like. 
Scarlet taking cover from a rain storm inside a partially collapsed lava tube. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

Ancient Bristlecone Pines, Great Basin National Park

The Bristlecone Pine is believed to be one of the oldest living organisms on Earth. Great Basin National Park is know throughout the world for its amazing display of these ancient trees, some as old as 4000 years. What was happening 4000 years ago? That's not too long when looking at the history of the Earth, but for mankind, its hard to fathom that these trees were just starting to sprout so long ago! Some of these trees are 6 feet in diameter, yet they do not grow to be very tall. Why is this? They say that whatever is not covered by the insulating snow during the harsh winters months, is killed off. So, these trees stay "hugged" to the ground.
 The funny looking texture of the Bristlecone Pine. Looks like two eyes with a beak.
 I thought this Bristlecone skeleton looked like a standing bull.
 A cooler looking tree, shaped like a ribbon. About 6 inches thick, and 2 and a half feet wide.
 A shot that resembles the beauty of Great Basin National Park really well!
 The tight knit needles of a lush green Bristlecone branch.
And lastly, the weathered, but amazing grain of the Bistlecone Pine. 

This is my last posting for a few months. Hope you enjoy, and never stop adventuring!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Frisco Ghost Town, Beaver County, Utah

Frisco was a booming mining town back in the days. Being founded around 1875, there are many buildings still standing, and evidence that millions of dollars of ore was pulled out of the surrounding area, leaving the town once wealthy. Each building tells its own unique story. We did not spend too much time exploring the area, as its was nasty hot and windy. Possibly someday, I'll return for some better photo ops.
 A small cabin with the Frisco Mountains in the background.
 The remnants of a stone house, telling stories of hard work and high hopes!
 The entry doorway to the same stone house, viewing through, into the "underground" cellar or room. 
I love the character of this run down falling house. This is one of the bigger houses in the area, but is showing signs that it will not be standing much longer.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wheeler Peak Cirque, Great Basin National Park

On our 3 day adventure last week, we were planning on hiking Wheeler Peak. We were told by 3 different rangers that the peak was not hikable with standard hiking gear, which we figured they were just trying to scare us, much like the Zion rangers do. So we decided to resort to the Bristlecone and Glacier Trails, which lead to the base of Wheeler Peak, and dead ends in the Wheeler Peak Cirque (glacier carved). The hike in itself was quite the adventure with 3 feet of snow in the shade. This made for lots and lots of "postholing" on the hike back, once the snow was warmed up.
 Scarlet viewing the Cirque on the hike out. Gotta love those stinking airplane trails!
 The Cirque with Wheeler Peak being the point on the right. By this time, the ice was beginning to thaw, and every few minutes, you could hear rockfalls up canyon.
 A pinnacle on the east slope of Wheeler Peak. The rock here began as sandstone, and under extreme heat and pressure, turned into a type of quartzite and low grade marble. It is a beautiful rock!
 Believe it or not, this is a glacier that is here year around, but slowly disappearing.
 Scarlet traversing a snowfield on the way out of the Cirque. The snow is not so bad in the early hours, but once it warms up, you begin postholing, which is when your feet break through the top layer of the snow, and you go as deep as your shins or even thighs.
This is Brown Lake, which really has no trail going to it. You have to do your own pioneering to get there, and as you can see, is worth the hike! I loved how calm and clear the water is in these alpine lakes!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada

On our trip this week, we made it a point to stop by for a couple hours at Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada. Little did we know, a whole day there would have been better! Though its a small park, it packs a big punch. It reminded me of a miniature white colored Bryce Canyon. Between the textures, hoodoos, slot canyons and trails, there was lots to see. 
The park is about 2000 acres, and the structures are created from volcanic ash millions of years in the shaping. Its not really rock, but a clay, changing with every torrential rain storm.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Upper Pictograph Cave, Great Basin National Park

There are two types of rock art created by ancient Native Americans. There are pictographs, which are images painted onto the rock, and petroglyphs, which are images etched or carved into the rock. Here in Southwest Utah, we have mostly "petroglyphs". Each and every one is unique in its own way, but it seems like a treat to see "pictographs".
This week in Great Basin National Park, we had the opportunity to go visit Upper Pictograph Cave near the Gray Cliffs Picnic Area. It was so cool, and made me wish I could have visited the area 700-1000 years ago when the Fremont Indians inhabited the area. It is believed that the Indians lived in these caves and there is proof from smoke stains on the ceilings of the caves. Here are some images of the pictos...
 These images are in the sun part of the day, and after more than a few centuries, its amazing they are still around.
 There are many different types of images in this area. This is an Anthropomorph (resembling human form) with other "abstracts" around it.
 This is the most significant set of images in the area. The paint is in such great shape and in perfect view of the camera. We might not ever know the stories of these paintings, but that doesn't spoil the fascination!
Another closeup of a faded Anthropomorph.

If you end up in the area, give Upper Pictograph Cave a visit. Its only a 30 minute side trip from the main drag and is well worth the trip!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Supermoon, Cinco De Mayo, 2012

Some shots of last nights "Supermoon" rising over Demille Peak on South Mountain. Though nothing spectacular, I at least got to experiment with moon shots!