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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Mountains back to the Desert

We spent a few days in the mountains of Southern Utah, waiting out a heat wave before returning to the desert. Finally, a big wind blew in along with cooler air. We were immediately on the move toward the San Rafael Swell.

It was another longish day of driving but we arrived at a familiar campsite in time for a sunset walk. The wind was still blowing as we started our walk.
As we climbed an abandoned trail on a mesa, the sun fell toward the horizon behind us. I captured our first shadowy family portrait of the trip.
It was a short walk that R participated in, and he wanted me to prove that he was there during this trip! (BTW, his paws and the rest of him seem to feel great now - so his sore paws and malaise during the trip were nothing serious).
As the sun dropped, Shyla gazed wide-eyed at the scene.
As the sun dropped, the wind stopped too! That made us very happy because our campsite was pretty exposed, and wind storms can rapidly become sand storms in the desert.
We had a relaxing and quiet evening in our campsite. I took photos of star trails over the mesas that I'll share with you later.

We awakened to the gorgeous colors of the desert. I think that part of what I love so much about the desert is how incredibly different it is than our mountain home.
This campsite has a great trail for Shyla and me to mountain bike so we headed out early, trying to beat the heat. She was a bit hot at the end but she was also very happy!
We stayed in that spot for only one night and headed out in the afternoon, hoping to secure our favorite campsite that is about 30 miles from Moab but still sometimes gets crowded.

After a shortish drive, we found that no one was in "our" campsite, one that we've dubbed "K's Rock" because we had a wonderful time with her in this spot last May. Yes, if you're counting, K has a lot of rocks named after her! R was ecstatic!
Although we call it a "rock", it's really a huge Wingate sandstone formation, very high and about 100 yards long. In this photo, you can barely see the Runner on the right peak, raising his arms to the heavens. It gives you a sense of the hugeness of everything in desert.
It turned out that there was a veritable garden of blooming plants at the base of K's Rock, which I'll show you in the near future. I've never seen anything like it in the desert before - a sandy floor covered in a carpet of flowers - purple, orange, red, and pink.

Yes, this Land is our land... and we are so lucky to live here.


  1. it is so easy to get dwarfed by the massive rocks, Shyla and R must have had a great time.A huge contrast to your mountains back home.The shades in the rocks are so varied and stunning. Greetings to all, Jean.

  2. Love R's expression.
    So glad you can all get away and enjoy the land from the desert to the mountains.

    xo Cinnamon

  3. I cannot even imagine seeing the beauty that you see. To stand there looking at each splendor must be the best feeling in the world. We love the photos of the Mesa, and the family portrait,,,, and we try to imagine what it would be like-- to have a campfire, and see the stars,, and share the time with those you hold close to your heart. Thank you for sharing these moments..

  4. K wanted to let you know she was there
    Benny & Lily

  5. We know exactly how you feel about being lucky to live in this part of the country. For us it is in reverse, every day we get to experience glorious desert sunrises and the changing colors of the cliffs and arroyos then we escape to the amazing mountains to the north and south for its rich lush smells and towering trees and splendid vistas.

  6. Oh so beautiful. I like how Shyla is leaning in the wind. And of course always love to see that cracker dog R. He is just so happy. MOM says that being in the desert can put things in perspective. I am not sure what she means but she smiles when she says it. Of course she says that also when we are backpacking and hiking far from everything.

  7. I am truly amazed - always - by your beautiful photos!

  8. Just gorgeous. Such spectacular landscapes.

    XXXOOO Daisy, Bella & Roxy

  9. WOW! Love the shadowy family portrait!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  10. We love the joy we can hear in your voice when you spend time in the desert with your family. Love the photos too as always.

  11. Beautiful!!

    We love the pic of R talking up to the sky. Perhaps he's sending a message of love up to the heavens.

    Lily Belle & Muffin

  12. What a gorgeous trip! I'm starting to think all we're ever going to see here is rain! *grumble*

  13. It's amazing how beautiful deserts and other allegedly desolate areas can be, isn't it? I love the mountains, but I also love the wide open spaces with the beautiful rocks that your photos capture so amazingly. It looks like you guys had a truly wonderful vacation!

  14. Fantastic photos! I love that picture of R and glad to hear he's doing well! What a beautiful place to be able to visit.

  15. I'll be in that area twice this summer - well, roughly. I'm excited to be able to travel to so many beautiful areas!


  16. Loved all the photos but the one with the Runner atop the rocks with arms outstretched is a favorite!

    Those Where's Waldo pictures are lots of fun to me!

    Cheers and hugs all around,


  17. Love the red coloring of the desert

    Stop on by for a visit

  18. You can really see the wind in that first photo!

  19. Love love love the Swell!! Makes me want to go there, TODAY!

  20. You have a great nature, would like to see it myself some day. Amazing Pictures you show, thanks for sharing this.

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  22. That last photo with the runner is incredible! So glad to hear R is doing well, and love seeing him so happy and exuberant. (I accidentally left a comment under my S.O.'s gmail account that I deleted. Didn't realize he had left his account logged in.)

    Susan and Wrigs


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