Feb 8 2013

Another Week at the Monument

Monday – Sunday, January 14-20, 2013

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

Over the past week I’ve spent a few days photographing the Colorado National Monument again. I stopped by after work a few days, caught a sunrise another day, and drove through the entire park after a morning spent along Rifle Creek. Basically, whenever I had a little free time, I was there. I actually spent a few days concentrating on one small arch that I photographed in a few different kinds of light. It’s amazing how different things can look based on the time of day and the weather.

One evening I caught the Earth’s shadow over Red Canyon.


Red Canyon by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Another evening the Grand Mesa lit up at sunset.


Pink Mesa by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A small tree growing out of the sandstone.


Sandstone Tree by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Continue reading


Jan 7 2013

Christmas in Arches 2012

Saturday & Sunday, December 15-16, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

Each year Amanda and I take a trip to Arches National Park around Christmas time. It’s become kind of a tradition for us. This year we planned the trip two weekends before Christmas because of Amanda’s work schedule closer to the holiday. Some years we only go down for a day trip, but this year we got a hotel room in Moab and spent the full weekend.

On Saturday morning we left bring at early from Grand Junction so that we could make it to the park for sunrise. Unfortunately, the sky was very overcast this morning, so there wasn’t a sunrise. Instead, we decided to stop and hike the Park Avenue trail when we arrived. It’s been a few years since I hiked this short trail, but Amanda had not hiked it before. We started at the bottom and hiked to the top before returning the same way. It was pretty cold and windy out, plus we got rained on a few times, but we did have the trail to ourselves.

Looking back at The Organ from the slickrock wash this overcast morning.


Organ View by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

The Organ with Balanced Rock on the horizon.


Organ & Balance by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Next up we stopped at the Courthouse Wash bridge and hiked up to Ring Arch. Neither of us had been here before, so it was nice to visit a new arch this trip.


Ring Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Continue reading


Dec 7 2012

Upper Antelope Canyon

Veterans Day | Monday, November 12, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

After spending a great weekend exploring The Paria Plateau it was time to start our drive back home. Before we left I thought it might be a good idea to finally check out Upper Antelope Canyon. I’ve seen plenty of photos from this well-known location but have always avoided it because of the large crowds of people that visit. I was hoping that since this was the “off season” it wouldn’t be too busy. Was I wrong! There were quite a few different groups of people in there. I was expecting there to be other people in the slot canyon, so I had prepared myself for it and wasn’t too bothered by it. I just planned to take most of my photos looking up out of the slot where other people wouldn’t get in the shot. However, what really frustrated the hell out of me was that many of these people were taking pictures with their point and shoot cameras that used a red focus-assist light that ruined most of my shots. Upper Antelope Canyon may be one of the most beautiful slot canyons in the world, but I highly doubt that I will ever be returning. It’s just not worth it to me.

Here’s a few of the photos I was able to get while I was in the slot canyon.


Enter by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Light Stripe by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Upper Antelope by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Chamber by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Swoosh by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Antelope Passage by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr


Up by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

As I was leaving the canyon, this section of sandstone caught my eye. I liked the way the light and shadows interacted here.


Sandstone & Shadows by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Continue reading


Dec 2 2012

The Paria Plateau

Saturday & Sunday, November 10-11, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

For a little over a year now I’ve been pretty obsessed with exploring and photographing the unusual and spectacular sandstone formations of The Paria Plateau. I’ve been to Coyote Buttes North five times, Coyote Buttes South two times, and the White Pocket three times and have come back with some nice images and had a lot of fun. There is just so much to see up there I could probably spend a lifetime exploring the area and not see it all. Unfortunately, I feel it’s time for me to take a little break from this area so I can concentrate on exploring some other areas on the Colorado Plateau for a while. This will probably be my last trip report from The Paria Plateau for a little while. Don’t get me wrong, I might head back down there once or twice next year, but I certainly won’t be driving down six or seven times like I’ve done this past year.

After work on Friday, Amanda and I started our drive south down to Page once again. There were some pretty good storms moving through the area which slowed us down a little and gave us some very strong winds to drive through. We eventually made it to our hotel, just a little later than I had anticipated. We quickly got to bed so I could be up bright and early for the sunrise on Saturday morning.

Since I had no plans to get up super early and hike into Coyote Buttes North before sunrise, I decided to head over to Horseshoe Bend for the sunrise while Amanda slept in a little later at the hotel. I had the place to myself for the sunrise which was a pleasant experience. About 20 minutes before the actual sunrise there was a nice glow that lit up the sandstone.


Horseshoe Bend Dawn by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

My shadow on the golden sandstone as the sun rises behind me.


Long Shadow by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I just love warm morning light on sandstone, which there is no shortage of here.


Sandstone Sunrise by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

After returning to the hotel, Amanda and I had some breakfast and then drove over to the Wire Pass trailhead so we could start our hike to Coyote Buttes North and The Wave. This would be my fifth visit to the area and Amanda’s third. It was actually just one week over a year since we first visited The Wave together. It was pretty cold out and the wind was blowing pretty good, but it was turning out to be a great day for photography with plenty of clouds moving through the sky and constantly changing light, which are some of my favorite conditions!

As usual, we first hiked to The Wave to get a few photos before the shadows would get in the way. I actually climbed up above The Wave first for this shot.


Above The Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A typical Wave photo.


Lovely Lines by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look.


Lines & Curves by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Amanda took this photo of me before we moved on.


Cold Day at The Wave by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Climbing up to the top of Top Rock I stopped for a quick photo of this formation that reminds me of a barber’s pole.


Barber Pole by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

My next destination was the intriguing sand dune alcove. I had spotted this alcove from above back in February, but didn’t have time to visit it then. I was looking forward to an in-depth visit and wasn’t disappointed! Here’s a view of the sand dune from inside the alcove.


Sand Dune Alcove by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

If you look closely at the top of the dune, you can see sand blowing off the top of it. It was very windy in this alcove, and it’s no surprise that a dune has formed in here. The stripe in the sandstone behind the dune is pretty cool, too.


Wind by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

I spent some time inside the alcove photographing the interesting lines and shapes found here, and the reflected light created some nice warm colors. I just had to wait a few times when the sun went behind some clouds. Here’s a few of the abstract images I created inside.


Concurrent by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Continue reading


Nov 12 2012

Rock Art & Fall Colors

Moab Area Rock Art XXI
Saturday, October 20, 2012

The Original Trip Report on ADVENTR.CO

This weekend, even right after my week-long trip, I was ready to get out hiking and exploring again. I figured that since I hadn’t been down to Moab for a while it might be a good time to get back for a day trip. Last year I spent some time exploring Mill Creek Canyon and wanted to get back to continue my search for rock art.

Before driving into Moab, I stopped at La Boca Arch to catch the sunrise. Here’s the arch in the soft dawn light before the sun came up.


La Boca Arch Dawn by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Early morning light striking the arch.


La Boca Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A closer look at the underside of La Boca Arch.


Under the Arch by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Light bouncing around inside the arch viewed from above.


Hole of Light by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

When the sun was up, I continued on to Moab. I met up with Marty and then we drove over to Mill Creek Canyon so we could start our hike.

I didn’t spend much time taking photos of the colorful cottonwood trees along the creek this trip, but the colors were very nice.


Green to Gold by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Shortly after starting our hike we visited on of my favorite petroglyph figures in the area.


Hello – Goodbye by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

A few more backlit cottonwood trees as we hiked further into the canyon.


Backlight by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr

Soon we came across one of the highest concentration of petroglyphs I have ever come across. Some of these I visited last year, but we hiked even further this time and found a whole lot more.


Squiggly Man by IntrepidXJ, on Flickr
Continue reading