Cathedral Gorge, Nevada

I never knew this gem was only an hour or two north of Vegas.  Such a cool spot with little caves and slot canyons that wind their way in a maze of passages into the eroded cliffs.  The walls narrow to inches wide at places, but extend vertically for 100’s of feet.  I even found a little owl that had burrowed a nest into the soft walls.  If you’re ever not doing so hot at the tables, change your luck and visit this spot!

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The Flyover States

Normally when doing the cross country thing, I like to do those 2000 miles in the middle as fast as my truck will take me, a blurred coffee binged stretch that couldn’t end soon enough.  But on this last pass, I took some time, and found some fun things when I actually got off the interstate…

Arkansas is Awesome!

Wanted to share some pics from a stop over in Arkansas on my last cross country tour.  A huge thanks to the Chappell’s for taking me in, Cynthia for making me feel right at home down south and Charles for showing me some great spots and hikes in the Buffalo River Valley.  Can’t wait to see ya’ll again soon!
Some old farming buildings long since abandoned in the Buffalo River Valley.  
Blanchard Springs, in the Ozarks region, as fresh as it gets!
Getting a shower Arkansas style at Hemmed-in Hollow.  At 209 ft., its the tallest waterfall between the Rockies and Appalachia.
Floating down the Buffalo.
Catching a sweet storm over the rolling hills of the Ozarks.  

Colorado Ghost Towns and Abandoned Mines

I spent a few weeks driving around the Rockies in Colorado and finding all sorts of great places long abandoned and slowly returning to the earth. 
St. Elmo, a wonderful preserved little ghost town in the heart of the Sawatch Range, and the jumping off point to a number of old mining sites way up in the mountains.  
Along Colorado’s Scenic Alpine loop lies the ghost town of Animas Fork, an amazingly well preserved ghost town that has stood dormant since this mill closed more than 100 years ago.  
The bones of an old church jut out of a forest along Hwy 25 in eastern Colorado, the only remains of an old mining town which once thrived there.

Escalante Part Two

Part Two of my new favorite place on the planet, Escalante Grand-Staircase, with a few from Capitol Reef sprinkled in.  
The desert floor was filled with tiny purple wildflowers, I lit them up at night, using a purple gel to make them glow a bit more.
Temple of the Sun and the Moon in Capitol Reef, catching the first light of day.
Finding beautiful in the smallest details…
A dying leave seeps oils into a puddle in Coyote Gulch.

An old granary hidden in a cliff face. 

A magnificent grove of hoodoo in the backcountry, 10 mi. north of Big Water.
A cool dwelling just off the road south of Page, AZ.
The barn at the Gilford Homestead in Fruita, Capitol Reef NP.
Some more old structures and antiques around the homestead.
A few more from Zebra Canyon.  Was quite a squeeze!
Looking down on Hamblin Arch in the Coyote Gulch. 
Day breaking on the Temples, Capitol Reef.
Clouds cut sharp shadows across the Devil’s Backbone.
So often it feels like all you see in the desert is browns and green for days, so nice to get a splash of an unexpected color.  

Escalante Grand-Staircase Wilderness Adventure

Coyote Gulch is a truly awe inspiring place.  The alcove and cliff walls rise up and span what seem an impossible height.  For scale, on the image below, see those tiny black dots on far right shoreline? Those are hikers.  To get here, I scrambled down a 700ft. sandstone wall, of course with my giant pack I wasn’t able to scramble back out so it was a nice 18 mi. hike out of the gulch and through the desert to find my home base.
A view from Alstrom Point, a 180 degree stitched panorama looking out towards Lake Powell in the distance.
Zebra Canyon, for obvious reasons.
This magnificent hoodoo is with a patch of others, probably a 10 mi. hike up a wash just north of Big Water.
Just some random fantastic slot canyon.
A few more with the vantage from Alstrom Point.
This isn’t a mirror image, its a 180 degree pano stitch of 14 wide angle shots, I’m inside a giant arch looking out onto the meandering river in Coyote Gulch.

These strange formations are called Moqui Marbles.  I read the Wiki on how they were formed and its fascinating, and I won’t butcher it by summarizing so just look for yourself. My favorite factoid was that they resemble very closely formations found on Mars which are aptly called Martian blueberries.  
A storm rolling in over Lake Powell, a welcome sight on the 100+ degree day…

Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!
And just a few more random amazing canyon lands in the Escalante area…. 
See the little camp site down in middle? Go to the Gulch!!!!

Bonneville Salt Flats

Two hours west of Salt Lake City lies Bonneville salt flats.  I have visited this area numerous times, though until this trip I’d always found a just a dry lake bed as far as the eye could see (which is beautiful in its own right)  Though this time, I guess because I was a little closer to winter, a inch of water floated slowly along the surface, creating mirror that stretched to the horizon.  I spent 3 days watching the light change over the fantastic scene.  

Death Valley and Desert Adventures

A view from Dante’s Peak overlooking Death Valley

Cloud shadows move across the Alvord Playa

Cracked earth in the Badwater Basin

Dawn breaking on the horizon

Lone grove of fan palms in Joshua Tree

A line in the sand

Route 190 as it heads up the mountain pass

Soft light paints dunes in the Badwater Basin

Wildrose charcoal kilns

Moonlight creeping into the kiln

Where the salt meets earth

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A trail in the salt flat

Cali Coastline

Wandering along the Cali coastline, from San Diego to San Francisco, with a few slipped in from a venture in Oregon.  
Scripps Pier in La Jolla

Solitary stairway, Socal

Perfect morning to catch some waves, Ecola State Park, Oregon

Cormorants roosting for the evening, La Jolla

In for the night, La Jolla Cove

Couldn’t decide which version of this image I liked better, the orange glow of sodium streetlamps or the more neutral feel of my speed light.  La Jolla Cove

Patterns in the sand, San Diego

Ocean fog rolling in, Southern Oregon

Misty morning at Ecola State Park, Oregon

Dolphins playing in the wake on the way to Santa Cruz

Sea Lions soaking in the sun

Scripps Pier, La Jolla

A few from the La Jolla potholes

A good night’s rest