Saturday, April 10, 2010

Road Trip Planning

The one major problem with planning a vacation in the Colorado Plateau area of the western United States is there is absolutely too much to see! And the map above leaves out  Arches National Park because it is not on the Colorado River but above it.

The first road trip that my sister and I took to Utah we just sampled several of the parks but this year we have decided to focus on the parts of Arches we did not do justice after the broken camera. And Canyonlands National Park which we just barely took in.

"We glide along through a strange, weird, grand region.
The landscape everywhere, away from the river, is of rock."

—Explorer John Wesley Powell, 1869.

Canyonlands National Park protects and preserves an immense, wild, desert wilderness at the heart of the Colorado Plateau. Sculpted mainly by water, including by the Green and Colorado rivers, this wilderness contains hundreds of colorful canyons, mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires. Prior to the park’s establishment in 1964, prehistoric Native Americans, cowboys, river explorers, and uranium prospectors were the few who dared to enter this rugged country.

Canyonlands National Park remains exceptionally wild. The roads are mostly unpaved, the trails mostly primitive, and its rivers are free flowing. Throughout its 527 square miles roam desert bighorn sheep, coyotes, foxes, deer, and bobcats. The rivers are the only major water source in the midst of the dry expanse, and attract a variety of wildlife, including migratory birds that find shelter in the riverside cottonwoods, tamarisks, and willows. From the NPCA site.

Our intention is to take in some of the wilder sections of this huge park like the Maze and the Needles District.I am after new "mesas, buttes, fins, arches, and spires" to photograph and ultimately paint. And we are all after the silence, and the pitch black nights with billions of stars, and a new vista around every bend of slick rock trails.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds a like a wonderful road trip you have planned, Jacqui. As well as catching up with your sister and sharing the fun, I am sure you will get lots of inspiration for your painting!


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