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Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A red rock canyon

When I'd never visited the desert, many years ago, I thought of it as a hot and dusty wasteland. When I first passed through Utah many years ago, I found out exactly how wrong I was. In the photo below, K gazed at the slickrock reef that marked the start of the San Rafael Swell.
During our recent trip, we spent time in awesome red rock canyons of the San Rafael Swell. Our first stop was Black Dragon Canyon, a deep canyon that cuts through the rock plateau of the swell.
Most of the rock canyon walls are made of sandstone, and some of it glows red making me feel like I'm on Mars. The water that periodically rushes through the canyons shapes the rock walls into smooth wavelike forms. K stood in the shade under one of the waves.
The scale of the canyons is hard to fathom. These canyons are alleys carved into the red rock by surging water and wailing winds. In the photo below, K is trotting up an canyon that periodically has a river coursing through it when an intense rainstorm dumps water at the top of the canyon.
K seemed to love being down in the canyons, following the scents of the many animals who walk through the canyons and enjoying the cool air that rests on the floor of the canyons.
Following the labyrinth of canyons kept reminding me of what a small speck we are in the history of the Earth. The drama and heartbreak of our lives have seemed huge and overwhelming recently... but many people have walked the peaks and valleys of life before us, some creating rock art depicting their life experiences.
These drawings bring heart and humanity to the history of the world that can be read into the the rock canyons. I wonder whether the people who drew the rock art so long ago also gazed at the skies over the canyons at night.
And, I wonder how many watched all the stars in the sky rotate around the north star in the darkness of the deep desert at the mouth of Black Dragon Canyon.
We felt so grateful that K was healthy enough to playfully enjoy the desert with us. I think that she was grateful too. Look at her smile!


  1. wow it's beautiful! I'm so glad K IS STAYING STRONG

  2. I am so happy for all of you that K is there with you and doing so well. Everytime I view your photos I feel like I am looking through a "Look" magazine. We used to get them when I was growing up and they had beautiful photos like yours. Amazing, I can't say it enough. What a nice trip.

    Anne and Sasha

  3. One of your best posts.

  4. Fabulous photos and lovely to see K so happy :-)

  5. K does look really happy! What a great trip for you all to have shared. Such beauty must have been so good for heart and soul

  6. Is this the same place you have been before in Utah or do you find new areas to cover. Its mapped and named, and sooo beautiful. I love the cave drawings more than anything.

    Glad you all had a good time together.

    Jo, Stella and Zkhat

  7. Totally spectacular and so lovely to see K enjoying herself so much!

  8. Playbows to you too, K! You sure have the most beautiful spot on earth to play!

    Love ya lots,

  9. Those canyons are amazing - as usual, you captured it beautifully. Looks like K loved it too. I was looking at the stars last night from my back yard, I have always loved star gazing. Welcome home :):)

  10. Them is some beautiful rocks...and mum is likes you in da fact hers at onetime time thought it was just a dusty rocks and stuffs.
    NNOws what youw as thinkin' was purty profound bouts peoples "walkin' da peaks before us"...very cool.

    K looks like her is havin' a blast!

    PS: mum really has no idea what her is doin withs dis new camera cuz it be so way different than her old one. Her is s l o w l y learnin it.

  11. Wow, what a gorgeous place. I am going down to Arizona in the next week or so and I am hoping to see terrain like that.



  12. Truly, what an amazing experience to be trecking through those beautiful canyons. Your pictures are incredible as always and I feel like we are right there with you. We are all blessed to share time with you and K! Thanks for having us on your journey.

    Lily Belle

  13. Playbows right back at ya K. And you are so right about the desert KB. Living here I never thought of it as a dusty dry place (although it can be at times). But there is so much beauty and life here. I'm glad you found a place that allowed dogs. MOM has gone to a few places that would not allow me to come. What's up with that?

  14. We just love exploring Red Rock!

    Stop on by for a visit

  15. It's great to see K enjoying herself on your trip. Thanks for sharing those beautiful pictures and thoughts.


  16. Beautiful...K, the scenery, the can feel the love you have together. My wish is for many, many more beautiful days. Thank you for allowing us to tag along and join you! Stay strong, K! Sending you lots of Husky hugs!

  17. I'm so glad you got to go on the trip. K looks thrilled! I LOVE that last picture of her. It's definitely one of my all time favorites of her.

  18. Fantastic photos capturing so much truth and spirit. You can't help but feel caught in the timeless flow of the cycle of life.

    When momma first went to the desert (Nevada) she was a naive midwesterner who insiasted on taking a snake bite kit, an old fashioned canteen, and a flare!

    Snow is good, especially if it helps protect your area from the fires. Be safe but not so safe that you lose the enjoyment of the incredible "now" you have been given.

  19. Absolutely amazing scenery!
    Fabulous shots as always..the last one of K bowing is stunning.

    Big Nose Pokes
    The Thugletsx

  20. What great are amazing. What landscape you have and can share it with us. I really would like to go there. K looks great!!

  21. lovely to see your rusty orange photographs. loved your night skies!

  22. You were in one of our favorite parts of the world again, and we were just a bit east of you. These photos are incredible. Made my eyes well up with tears, though, when you compared the valleys and canyons to the heartbreak you have suffered.

  23. They are indeed magical places. It makes you feel connected to those who were there so long before you. So great to see K doing this well.

  24. Playbows back from us, too. K looks on top of the world. And what interesting petroglyphs. It looks ancient; how has it stood up to the friction of the water and blowing sand? Looks like a long-necked horse on the left, a human figure in a long robe, and a dog reaching its front paws up. So is it 'only' a hundred or so years old, instead of five thousand years old? Who made it?

    So happy to see you enjoying every minute together.

    Jed & Abby

  25. We enjoy your world so much! Thank you for sharing the beauty and the peacefulness!

  26. What a spectacular place - thanks for sharing your photos, it makes us feel like we have been on holiday.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  27. Fabulous photos of the Swell. Glad you could take a camping break.

  28. What a grand smile K is showing us all. The sandstone pix look like you and her, really...what a wonderful moment in your lives!

  29. K looks great among the red rocks! And that art looks like someone walking a dog to me.

  30. Gorgeous pics! K looks awesome.

    (I'm Angel Abby's Mom on Tripawds.)


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