11 April 2009

CANYONS OF THE ANCIENTS

HAPPY EASTER INTREPID READERS!

Easter always makes me think of lots of color and have I got lots of color for you in this issue.

The weather has continued to be very fickle. I had planned on moving over to Durango on Thursday but the weather looked very iffy so I re-upped in Cortez until Monday. And, as I got to thinking about it I decided to skip Durango altogether because break-up is just getting started and we wouldn't be able to take any of the beautiful hikes we love so much. So, the weather gods willing, we will head for Green River. We might stop at Moab if we can find a slot.

As my mother used to say "It's an ill wind that blows no good". My decision to postpone going to Durango turned out to be a windfall of good fortune. Thursday we piled into Shadow and took off with no destination in mind. The weather looked better in the west so we took off in that direction.

Driving along I saw a sign for Hovenweep National Monument. We actually visited there whilst we were in Blanding, Utah. I will show it to you at a later date. Anyway, we headed toward Hovenweep. Tooling along out of the corner of my eye I see this sign....


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There was nothing on the road about it so you could easily drive right on by. Well, as I mentioned to my pal "ggersh" at Silicon Investor, I hit the Mother Lode.

This is without a doubt the best hike we've had in six months and would make into the top five all time great hikes for us.


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To say that the scenery is breathtaking would not do the place justice. But on Thursday, never imagining in my wildest dreams I would find such a place I did not have my hiking gear with me. The main hike is in Sand Canyon and it's twelve miles round trip. So we just wandered in a ways and made plans to return Friday and do the full Monty.


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Friday morning we packed up our gear and headed back to the Canyons. This time prepared for whatever we might encounter hike. Hiking solo has certain risks associated with it so I always go prepared to spend a night or two if need be.



I put this photo in here because it's a nice photo and I couldn't help but comment on Koty. People often tell me how much they enjoy my photos of him and wonder how I get him in such lovely poses. Well, all I can tell you is, it's quite by accident. What I usually get is a cold shoulder. He absolutely hates to have his picture taken. The minute he catches on that's what I'm trying to do this is the body language I get. what a berk!


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What makes this place so special is not only the incredible beauty but the fact there are almost no people and you can just wander amongst the ruins at your leisure. It's truly amazing. You can sit and dream about a time gone by, imagining what life was like for these primitive people, wondering where they came from and where they went. For me the canyon had a spiritual aura about it. I found myself with goose bumps on several occasions. It's difficult to put into words but I think I felt their ghosts.


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The trail follows along a shelf halfway between the top and the bottom of the canyon so you really get up close and personal not only with the ruins but with the beautifully sculpted rock formations. A landscaper could not create anything as beautiful as what Mother Nature does all on her own. Huge boulders, flung randomly, look placed. Cedars, bent and twisted by hundreds of years of wind, appear to be the word of an Edward Scissorhands.


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At one place I stopped to ponder the fate of the Anasazi I was lost in my imaginings when suddenly this incredible roar came blasting up the canyon. It sounded like a fighter jet kicking on it's after burners. I was so surprised I nearly fell off my perch. What it was, was the wind. The ancient undoubtedly thought the wind god was speaking and in no uncertain terms.


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Speaking of falling off my perch. One of the few hikers (I saw maybe three all day) came along with two dogs whilst I was taking the above. I was squatting down to get a different angle and when this fellow showed up with his dogs off leash. When I hike with Koty his leash is attached to my ski-joring belt so I can take pictures without having to hold on to him. I call it "hands free dog walking". The fellow calls ahead asking if Koty would eat his dogs. I answered no but that I would no doubt end up on my butt as Koty jumped for joy, which is exactly what happened. It's the strangest thing. If you look at that soil it looks hard and crusted but it's actually as soft as velvet. So, no damage to the derriere but I was covered in a fine red dust!

The most difficult part about this post was choosing images to include. Sand Canyon is a treasure trove of beauty. I'll bet I could hike this canyon a thousand times and each time find some gem I'd never seen before.

If I get the chance I will definitely be coming back here. We also had a great shoot up Echo Basin but that will have to wait until another time. Funny thing is, Cortez was never on my flight plan. I landed here because of the weather. What great luck this bad weather!

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

PS: I am frequently told about people having trouble signing up for e-mail notification. I maintain my own notification list to be sure people who want it get notified. If you would like to be on that list please send your e-mail address to kotybear2002@msn.com

PPS: If you choose to view the high res image you can put your cursor in the right hand corner and blow the image up to nearly original size.

1 comment:

Michelle (artscapes) said...

Kinsey - What a powerful description of your experience! The pictures are wonderful, but that image in my mind of the jet plane - WOW!