Out in the red rock desert of Utah, the land is so different from home that it feels like we're on a different planet.
Our first campsite was below a vast slickrock plateau that led downhill to several canyons. I took this photo when Shyla and I were at our furthest point from camp during a ride that wove in and out of canyons and then across this field of rock. Our camp was to the right of the furthest right rock formation in the photo. It was about a 10 minute downhill ride from there.
red spotted toad on the rocks near our camp. Shyla accidentally dislodged him with her paw, and he landed, unharmed, in a bed of cottonwood leaves. It was nighttime so I illuminated him with my head lamp to get a photo.
The view from our campsite is another example of how alien the red rock world looks compared to our mountain home. This photo was shortly after the sun rose behind my camera. You can see the shadow of the mesa to our left on the rock formation on the other side of the canyon.
Like clockwork, at noon every day, our campsite would be shaded as the sun went behind the corner of rock to the left in the photo. After that brief shady period, our campsite had about another 3 hours of sun before it fell into shade for the night.
At night, these landforms looked almost spooky. I loved watching the stars over them. A minor meteor shower (Leonid) was sending shooting stars through our atmosphere, and I was lucky enough to capture one during a 14 minute time lapse series of photos of the stars.