15 April 2009


Well, lucky for us, the weather did hold and we set out for Moab. We knew we could get a place in Green River but hoped for the best and a place in Moab, which is significantly closer to the parks.

We arrived in Moab and much to our delight we found a slot. But, believe me there were not a lot of them to be had. But, one was all we needed.

As soon as we got settled in we took a drive up along the Colorado River. The river wasn't too scenic as it looked like chocolate milk. It still looks like Easter week in Moab. The place is jumping and jiving. Jeeps and other off road vehicles are everywhere. If you don't have your own there are lots of place that will rent them to you.

Yesterday we got up bright and early and headed to Arches National Park. The photos I am displaying are all of Arches. At the moment, the wind is blowing a gale again and the sky looks like chocolate milk. So, I'm having time to go through yesterday's shoot.

I really love the rock formations, like the above. No human sculptor could create anything more beautiful IMO.

I must admit I was in awe of this park. There were so many beautiful things to shoot I was somewhat overwhelmed. Also, the park was amazingly full of tourists. I'm sure I made plenty of folks annoyed as I dawdled along. Why people want to go sixty in a scenic park is beyond me. It's like zoom, zoom been there done that! I think you would have to spend days in there in order to drink it all in. It is truly a magnificent place.

Koty wasn't a very happy camper. As usual he couldn't get out except to go potty. Most of the best arches are on trails and because Koty can't go I'm not leaving him in the car. Anyway, so far haven't seen any photos of arches that send me any place but I figured I'd better include one in here for good orders sake.

We spent the entire day in the park. So, there is not a lot of story to go with this. Just me stopping every two minutes. My bigest complaint is that you can only pull over where they have made space for it. And, I must admit they missed so much photographic good stuff. I was going nuts.

Apparently, other folks may have seen some of the same things because apparently they had been pulling on to the shoulder wherever the mood struck them. The park people have gone around and made a big gouge in the shoulder to discourage stoppers. But, boy you need to be careful. Until you catch on it's very difficult to see the trenches. We darned near fell in one and it would have high centered poor little Shadow for sure.

We made it without misadventures and sure wish we could be out there right now. But, Clementine is rocking and rolling in this wind and if you venture out you get grit in your teeth. I reckon we are going to be stuck in here for the day.

Hope you enjoy this sampling. I'm getting a little lazy so I didn't put the "High Res" thingy under each image. It's a pain in the patookie. So, for those interested in seeing the larger high res photos just go to my LANDSCAPES GALLERY and you'll find them all there.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

11 April 2009



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....


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.

07 April 2009


Well, h-o-w-d-y! We sure didn't miss winter altogether. Snowed all day Saturday and was 17 Monday morning. Koty, thinks it's just great! I surely do wonder how people live in these RV's in the winter, in this climate. As far as insulation goes they are not much better than a tent. The propane bills must be eye poppers. I do notice a lot more people taking up full time residence in these RV parks. I reckon you can buy a used 5th wheel for next to nothing and rent, in this park, for example is $500/mo plus your propane. Fairly, reasonable.


Sunday, on the other hand, was just beautiful. It was sunny and with the new fallen snow simply gorgeous. We couldn't wait to jump in Shadow and check it out. The above photo was taken from Mancos looking back at Mesa Verde.


This image is of the Mancos Valley. I don't know about you but I just think this landscape is stunning. At this time of year the snow doesn't last very long so one has to go get it whilst the getting is good.


From Mancos we took the road heading north to Dolores and found Summit Lake. A small but very picturesque lake as you can see in the above.


Along that same road we found this red barn. I love to take photos of barns. This one, in the snow, seemed particularly handsome.

Monday we skeedaddled over to Durango to see our CPA. We lived in Durango at one time and found Margaret whilst there. We couldn't bear to lose her. Besides, what a good excuse to return. We still really enjoy the place a lot.


On the way over to Durango I spied this beaver lodge out the corner of my eye. At first I just thought it was a lodge but then when I put my telephoto on it I saw, to my surprise, a Canada Goose sitting on top! If you look close you can just make it out. When we returned later that afternoon she was still sitting there. Maybe she decided to take a room at the lodge?


After our meeting we took a stroll along the Animas River. It brought back many memories as we used to take this walk at least once a week when we lived there. The town has built a really nice blacktop path that everyone can enjoy. The Animas, along this section is a catch and release Gold Medal River. We saw several fly fisherman plying their art. It is truly an elegant sport. We also saw this mallard couple sun bathing in the middle of the river. It was truly a magnificent afternoon.

It never ceases to amaze me how quickly the weather can change in the mountains and we've certainly seen that demonstrated in spades lately. There is a saying, in the Rockies "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes." I don't care what Rocky mountain town your in, from Colorado to Montana, you'll here that saying. And, everyone one thinks they invented it. :)

©Kinsey Barnard Photography

PS: I frequently get complaints 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.

03 April 2009


We are now in Cortez, Colorado. The weather man was calling for stormy weather starting last night. But, nothing happened. So, this morning, we headed out first thing to survey the landscape. Good thing we did because this afternoon the wind is blowing a gale and you can't see two feet in front of you from the blowing dust. The sky is literally brown.

I am going nuts trying to keep my equipment clean. It seem as though we haven't been out of wind and dust since we arrived in Monument Valley a couple of weeks ago. Clementine (the RV) is nowhere near air tight so as we sit, bobbing and weaving, the dust just seeps. And, poor Shadow (the little tow car) well I think it is safe to say I could grow potatoes in her. The back roads in this part of the country are mostly dirt and gravel. And, it seems every time I get out of the car to try for a photo a pickup comes along going fifty and, oh well. And, of course, you can add to all that the non-stop shedding of Koty Bear.

Boy, I love being back in cowboy country. Cowboys and country folk seem to be the last of what this country was once about, consideration, self reliance and integrity. The fellow in the above image is Kyle. I know this because he told me so.

I was driving down a back road and noticed a couple of cowboys saddling up. Using my telephoto I snapped a few shots out the car window. I moved on down the road where I took the photo of the yearling and foal. Whilst I was photographing the horses along comes this pickup pulling a horse trailer. It pulls up behind my car and stops. A cowboy gets out and walks up with his hand out to introduce himself and his son. He just wanted to say hello and wondered what I was up to. By the time we were done he had invited me to come visit his ranch any time I was by that way again. Only in the country.

I'll bet five guys stopped to ask if I was having any problems and could they help. They most likely don't see too many dizzy dames from Montana wandering around out there.

What an incredible landscape. There is an old saying and it fits me to a tee "You can take the girl out of the country but you can't take the country out of the girl." When I look at rolling pastures with cattle and horses in them I actually tear up and choke up. It's so, so very beautiful to me. Can you see the beauty that I feel? Maybe not. :) These are really tiny pictures but they are the largest this program will allow.

There are a lot of old buildings out in this countryside. For some reason the above scene seemed like something old so I decided to take it black and white. It could just as easily be a picture taken in 1909 as opposed to 2009. Isn't digital amazing? Press a couple of buttons and you can move from color to black and white in an instant.

I'm hoping to find more of these old relics. But, the weather is going to have to get around to my side. Gads, it has been a caution. Wind, dust storms and blizzards. Crikey! It's spring! Someone ought to tell Mother Nature!

The mountain in the background is "Sleeping Ute". Much of the land around here is Ute Reservation. If you look at the mountain from just the right angle it really does look like an Indian lying in the desert with hands clasped over his chest and you can even see his feet pointing up. Maybe I'll get a good shot of it before I go. If I do I'll post it.

Well, that was how we spent our morning and it really was a treat.

©Kinsey Barnard Photography