Where Will The Rainbow Lead You?

The Perfect Ending To A Great Day In Bryce Canyon

A perfect end to a perfect day in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah

Where, indeed, will that rainbow’s end find you?  I’m hoping for more photographic adventure (ok, and maybe gainful employment, too, once I get to central Washington).

I’ve been staying in Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, for the past couple of days.  Every afternoon, sometimes starting as early as 12 noon, the monsoon rains would drift through, either where I was, or far off into the distance.  For this photo, the rain had just left the Bryce Canyon Lodge area and I knew there would be some great stormclouds in the distant scenery.  So, I hotfooted it to the Rim Trail in the Sunset Point area and sure enough, there was a combination of sun and stormclouds and, to my delight, a beautlful rainbow, as well.

Heading out of Bryce Canyon today and on to Park City, UT, where I will finally get to meet face-to-face, the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of the National Parks Traveler, Kurt Repanshek.  I’ve been contributing articles and photos to the Traveler since 2012, but we’ve only ever communicated via email (mainly) and telephone (sporadically).

After spending the day in Park City, it’s on to Jackson WY and then to Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks, where I will spend time wandering and photographing before arriving at the end point in central Washington.

See you up the road!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

Note:  This was written yesterday but it turns out the spotty internet at Bryce Canyon Lodge was just not strong enough to upload everything.  So, a day late with this post.

 

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Filed under Bryce Canyon National Park, National Parks, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel, Utah, weather

Distant Storm Clouds And Forest Fires On The North Rim

Storm Clouds Forest Fires And Late Afternoon Over The North Rim

After my visit to Petrified Forest National Park, in eastern Arizona, I drove west and then north to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, where I stayed for a couple of days.  During that time, small forest fires broke out and distant thunderstorms showed up (it’s the summer monsoon season in the West and Southwest).  I could see all of this from a small overlook perched just below the Grand Canyon Lodge.

I happened to overhear a visitor mention that he really liked the North Rim better than the  South Rim because they could do so much more on the North Rim.  I thought about that for a moment, and decided that he was correct.  Granted, there are more stoppable view areas and more services and infrastructure at the South Rim.  This, of course, means more people and more tour buses.  However, for do-able trails that don’t require hiking waaaaay down into the canyon and then waaaay back up, I’d say the North Rim wins.  In terms of beauty and great photography, both areas tie for that position, I think.

The North Rim is 1,000 feet higher in elevation than the South Rim, and it’s far more forested, sitting on the Kaibab Plateau.  If you visit, then be on the lookout for a small bison herd that comes through the park along Hwy 67, and see if you can spot the beautiful and unusual Kaibab squirrel.  I was lucky enough to see both, but only lucky enough to photograph the bison herd.

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Arizona, Grand Canyon National Park, National Parks, North Rim, Photography, Seasons, summer, Travel

Photographs That Teach Both Photographer And Viewer

Sandstone Cross Beds

Being on the move means I don’t always have access to internet, decent or otherwise.  This past Tuesday, July 24th, the National Parks Traveler published my latest Photography in The National Parks column.  To read the column, click on the photo above.

 

 

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Filed under Arches National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Geology, National Parks, National Parks Traveler, Photography, Zion National Park

Looking Out Over Blue Mesa Trail

Looking Over Blue Mesa Trail

Looking over Blue Mesa Trail, Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
 
I spent the day in the park, yesterday. It was a dry heat (grin). This place is pretty amazing. Oh, there are no mountains or rivers or streams, and I saw very little wildlife (a dear, a bunny, and a raven). The the geology is really cool. I mean, think about it a moment: this place, once a swampy area with tall, thick trees and dinosaurs, is now a semi-arid (felt totally arid, to me) land with the petrified (agatized) remains of fallen trees. The conditions at the time had to be just right in order to petrify the swaths of logs you can see from your car window and from the hiking trails.
 
This image was captured at a view area overlooking the Blue Mesa trail and surrounding scenery. The rocks really *are* blue (and purple, mauve, beige and buff), with fallen logs, many longer than I am tall with a girth of 2-4 ft.
 
If you ever have the chance to visit this national park, you can see it in a day, although I always advocate maybe 1-1/2 to 2 days exploring. The first thing you should do when the park opens up at 7am is to hightail it out to the Blue Mesa Trail to hike it when it’s coolest and when the sunlight is angled just right.
 
Now, it’s on to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
 
Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

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Filed under Arizona, Geology, National Parks, Petrified Forest National Park, Photography, Travel

That Last Texas Sunrise

That Last Texas Sunrise

As I was driving west along Interstate 40, between Amarillo and Adrian, I saw all these cool wind farms.  The sun was rising behind me and I just couldn’t resist pulling over onto the shoulder in order to capture some images of the wind turbines and that sunrise.

At 7:20am on July 20th, I officially crossed the border out of Texas.  I whooped for joy then burst out crying.  My Texas departure and Pacific Northwest return have been 21 years in the making.  This is the beginning of an interesting adventure.

The sunrise was a nice send-off.

Wind Turbines And A West Texas Sunrise

Today, I’m heading into Petrified Forest National Park.  I arrived yesterday afternoon in the Painted Desert area, and after about 2 hours, decided the heat and driving was wearing me down enough that I needed to go on to the hotel down the road.  I’ll get back to the park early this morning while its “cooler.”

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Life, Photography, sunrise, Texas, Travel

The Open Road

Down The Basin Road

Twenty-one years ago, I moved from Washington State down to southeast Texas to be with my aging parents.  Found a job, found a nice (but old) apartment right next door to my parents, got really involved in photography and did a fair amount of traveling to see and photograph many neat things, thanks to the salary from that job.

I never really felt like Texas was home, though.  I was born in Montana; I’m a mountain gal.  I told Mom and Dad when I moved that I would never spend the rest of my life in Texas and ultimately, I would move back to the mountains.

In 2 days, I’ll be hitting the open road from southeast Texas *back* to Washington State.  I’m done with Texas.  And I’m pretty certain Texas is done with me; I am not a Texan.

My home is packed except for a few items that I’ll box up before the movers arrive.  I’ve scheduled all the disconnects.  I will have to return my ATT internet equipment (insert sad-face emoji).  I need to run a few other errands.  But, I’m ready!  My cameras are ready!  My car is ready – well, it should be ready after a tuneup, replacement of some things, new tires, and a new windshield (don’t ask, it’s one of those unforeseen things that happened the other day).

I have a road trip itinerary mapped that will take me almost 4 weeks to complete (provided nothing unforeseen occurs).  It will be like the 4-week vacations my family used to take in the camper every summer when I was a little girl.  I’m stopping at national parks I’ve never visited and a national park I have visited.  I’ll be seeing a couple of friends along the way, as well.  I’m calling this Becky’s Big Road Trip.

I’ll be taking you all along with me via my photos, so stay tuned.

The Road To The Desert

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A Red Poppy “Firework”

Poppy Red

Well, I have no patriotic images handy, so the bright red heart of this poppy will have to do, I guess.

I’ve been roaming the well-tended neighborhoods of Yakima around my sister’s home, marveling and photographing the beautiful flowers in bloom.  Eastern Washington is fantastic for the wealth of fruits, vegetables, and flowers that grow in that area.

I’ve been using only my point-and-shoot cameras for this trip, and this image was captured using the Olympus Tough TG-5.  I’m impressed with the camera but I sure wish it was more than just 12mp.  It is, however, relatively intuitive to use, which is great since a hard-copy owner manual is not included with the camera.

Happy 4th of July, folks!!

Copyright Rebecca L. Latson, all rights reserved.

 

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Filed under Equipment, flowers, Holidays, July 4th, Olympus Tough TG-5, Photography