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Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Inverted Sky

15 Jan

The title of this blog is the imagined way I’d hike in the sky if everything were upside down, inverted — the sky being the ground.

This morning was one of those days where the light was a little flat (hazy/cloudy sun) on the fresh snow.  It can be really flat when it’s snowing, too. Sometimes when I’m snow-shoeing in flat light I can’t really see the snow.  Instead I see only all white, with no depth. I take a step into the white not knowing where my foot will stop and touch something firm.  There’s something surreal about it, like I’m not walking on the ground.  The inverted sky.

 

Hazy light of dawn

Hazy light of dawn, Mt. Thorodin in the back ground, the stone ruins of Caribou gold mining town in the foreground.

A lot of snow has fallen since I returned from the deserts of Utah, much more than I’ve ever seen here at this time of year.  But this is what I expect with a warming climate, the heavier snows we would normally get in spring will fall mid-winter when it’s usually just cold and dry.

 

Which snowdrift should I go to?

Which snowdrift should I go to?

This morning, I endeavored to stay off any trails. When I’m walking on a trail, my mind wanders and contemplates things, often unrelated to the hike.  This is good when trying to make a hefty decision about something. When I’m off-trail, I’m fully focused in the moment, path-finding, choosing where to go, especially in the forest.  It can be exhilarating and gets me out of my head.

I emerged from hiking in a fairly dark forest and into one of my favorite valleys. A lone coyote yipped and howled from the side of the valley, possibly as a simple greeting to me. It surprised me a little because coyotes usually head for lower elevations in the fall (I was above 10,000 feet).  I can’t imagine a coyote hunting for showshoe hares in such deep snow.  There were snowshoe hare tracks all over the place.

Another cool thing were these large feather-like ice crystals growing on the branches of the trees.

 

The largest ice crystals I've ever seen, especially upper left in the shadow and lower center.  Click for larger.

The largest ice crystals I’ve ever seen, especially upper left in the shadow and lower center. Over an inch long (2-3 cm). Click for larger.

They kind of reminded me of moth wings.

 
 

Utah 2016, part 4: Landscapes and Wildlife

12 Jun
Zion National Park

Zion National Park

 

Zion National Park

Zion National Park

 

Pine Valley Peak on the right, Zion National Park

Pine Valley Peak and George, Zion National Park (click for larger, then click again)

 

Looking up canyon from the previous photo. Pine Valley Peak would be upper left.

Looking up canyon from the previous photo. Pine Valley Peak would be upper left.

 

Calf Creek Recreation Area

Calf Creek Recreation Area

 

Cliff Dwelling off of Steep Creek and The Gulch

Cliff Dwelling off of Steep Creek and The Gulch

 

Part of Cliff Dwelling.

Part of Cliff Dwelling.  Perhaps something used for food storage.

 

Cotton from cottonwood tree looking like a stream.

Cotton from cottonwood tree looking like a stream.

 

Geese landing, Horse Bench Reservoir

Geese landing at dawn, Horse Bench Reservoir

 

Road Runner

Road Runner

Go back to Utah 2016, Part 3.

 
 

Utah 2016, Part 3: Arches and other shapes

12 Jun
Grosvenor Arch, near Kodachrome State Park

Grosvenor Arch, near Kodachrome State Park

 

I can't remember

Unnamed arches in Willis Canyon

 

Shakespeare Arch in Kodachrome State Park

Shakespeare Arch in Kodachrome State Park

 

Sandstone in west Zion National Park

Sandstone in west Zion National Park

 

The Vortex

The Vortex

 

Close up of modern petroglyphs in the bottom of The Vortex

Close up of modern petroglyphs in the bottom of The Vortex.  Click for larger.

 

Eastern end of Long Canyon

Eastern end of Long Canyon

 

 

Design in standstone

Design in sandstone

 

Oak Leaf

Oak Leaf in Lick Wash

Go forward to Utah 2016, Part 4.

Go back to Utah 2016, Part 2.

 

 
 
 
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