Posts Tagged ‘arches’

“Earth Laughs in Flowers.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson


Just one of the many spectacular skylines at Zion National Park. — Photo by Pat Bean


Take Time to Stop and Smell the Flowers

Indian paintbrush growing out of a rock wall. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Indian paintbrush growing out of a rock wall. — Photo by Pat Bean

Having spent many hours in each, although Zion hogged the majority of those hours, I dare to say you won’t find anywhere else in the world that has such a concentrated landscape of awesomeness.

It’s mostly redrock country, with rugged mountain peaks, natural bridges, hoodoos, rivers that roar in early spring and hum softly in late summer and sights that simply take your breath away.

While I’ve found beauty in every state, this is truly a landscape you should not miss. And don’t forget to smell the flowers while you’re at it.

Bean’s Pat: http://tinyurl.com/cfbvevs 30 Ways to Improve Yourself. I’m a sucker for these kind of tips, and these are all practical and doable.  



Read Full Post »

The view through Mesa Arch -- Photo by Pat Bean

A close up view through Mesa Arch -- Photo by Pat Bean

“I see my path, but I don’t know where it leads. Not knowing where I’m going is what inspires me to travel it.” — Rosalia de Castro

Travels With Maggie

The trail to Mesa Arch seems too short and too gentle for the magnificent reward it gives hikers. Midway in the half-mile loop is a window to the La Salle Mountains 35 miles away, and a view of the Colorado River 1,000 feet below.

Although you may have never hiked the trail, you’ve probably unknowingly seen the arch, which stands on a ridge edge in the Island in the Sky section of Canyonlands National Park. It is a favorite subject for photographers and is a common image found in outdoor magazines, like National Geographic Adventure, and on post cards and T-shirts.

A view of the La Salle Mountains over the top of Mesa Arch. -- Photo by Pat Bean

All the guide books say the best time to hike this half-mile trail is sunrise, and photos I’ve seen of it in this light are magnificent. Sadly, I’ve never seen it at this time of day, and my photographs lack the brilliance of the morning sunrise. Even so, it was a view I would not have wanted to miss.

Actually, there were many other views I wouldn’t have wanted to miss in this Southern Utah Park, especially the Island in the Sky section, which is so aptly named. Sticking up over 1,000 feet from the terrain below, this sandstone mesa offers 360-degree views of the terrain below.

In addition to the Mesa Arch Trail, there are plenty of  not-so-short and not-so-gentle hikes for the more adventurous. I’ve done a few, all with scenic beauty around every turn. I hope you have, or will, walk some of those paths. You should have plenty of energy left to do so after you visit Mesa Arch.

Read Full Post »

Downtown Moab with its red-rock backdrop. -- Photo by Pat Bean

“Every crag and gnarled tree and lonely valley has its own strange and graceful legend attached to it.” — Douglas Hyde

Travels With Maggie

 Images of the humpbacked flute player, known as Kokopelli – sometimes depicted with an exaggerated pecker – is a common sight around Moab. You can find evidence of this southwest Indian fertility deity all around the city’s arch, cave and red-rock landscape. And he’s been around for over 3,000 years.

Kokopelli petroglyph

I was fortunate that in the 1990s a Moab native led me on a hike to see an ancient Kokopelli image that had been carved in stone. Because of vandalism, the location of some of the more precious of these historical links to the past are now not divulged to the general public. I thought at the time that it was a horrid shame that the destructive action of a few were depriving so many respectful viewers of the past from access.

Archeological evidence of Kokopelli was first found on similar petroglyphs across the southwest, and historians place the flute player’s beginnings to the Pueblo and Aztec Indian eras. In some of these myths, the hump on his back is said to be babies that he delivers to young women. In this, he’s shares a common goal with our own culture’s baby-delivering stork.

In Moab today, however, Kokopelli is often seen as an advertising gimmick. Both a local lodge and art gallery

The Moab Diner's version of Kokopelli. -- Photo by Pat Bean

 plagiarize his name and image. You can also take a Kokopelli hot air balloon ride or a Kokopelli bicycle tour on the Kokopelli Trail that continues into Colorado.

My thoughts about Kokopelli began this morning at breakfast at the Moab

Modern day Kokopelli

 Diner, which if you ever visit this fascinating city you should not miss. It has the best breakfast in town. This small restaurant is also known for its backward clock, which baffles tourists until they realize what’s different.

As I ate my sausage and eggs and studied a map for my day’s drive, my eyes were caught by another difference. The neon wall hanging of Kokopelli was a chicken. I, of course, had to go get my camera and take a picture. It’s these little kinds of oddities that add spice to my travels.

Read Full Post »