Dave Randolph Photography: Blog https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog en-us (C) Dave Randolph Photography randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:28:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:28:00 GMT https://www.drandolphphoto.com/img/s/v-12/u448223100-o51121891-50.jpg Dave Randolph Photography: Blog https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog 120 94 End of park tour with Arches and Canyonlands NP's 4/23 - 4/26 https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/end-of-park-tour-with-arches-and-canyonlands-nps-4/23---4/26 This will be my final installment of images and the last blog entry.  I sincerely hope that all those that have been following my adventure have enjoyed it as much as I have.  This has been a trip of a lifetime and I owe it all to my wonderful son, Steve.  Without his help in so many ways, not least being the loan of his truck, this trip would not have ever happened.  Here are several images from Canyonlands and Arches National Parks.  I will label these images with what they are of and where they were taken.

False Kiva Canyonlands NP

Path to False Kiva - a LOT  of climbing but had to have the shot!


On the way to False Kiva on the Alcove Springs trail, Canyonlands NP

Grumpy local resident who was a bit camera shy.  Found on the Rim Trail off of Grand View Point Overlook Canyonlands NP

Rim Trail Canyonlands NP

Another local denizen at the trailhead to Sand Dunes Arch Canyonlands NP

Upheaval Dome Canyonlands NP

Buck Canyon Overlook Canyonlands NP (I think)

Lone tree Canyonlands NP

Green River Overlook Canyonlands NP

Local lounge lizard Canyonlands NP

Rim Trail off Grand View Point Overlook Canyonlands NP

A hungry beggar Canyonlands NP

Touching scene on the Rim Trail Canyonlands NP

They just kept jumping in front of my camera.  Interesting thing is I never had the right lens for these shots when I needed it but had to make do with what I was carrying.

Balanced Rock Arches NP

Eye of the Whale Arch Arches NP (required a 4WD road trip to get to this one)

Sunset taken off main road Arches NP

Near Fiery Furnace formations Arches NP

Broken Arch Arches NP

Skyline Arch Arches NP

Courthouse Towers Arches NP

Fiery Furnace Arches NP

Cache Valley near sunset Arches NP

North and South Window Arches in Windows area Arches NP

Sun worshiper in North Window Arch Arches NP

Turret Arch in Windows Area Arches NP

Starburst in South Window Arch Arches NP

Turret Arch with the shadow of North Window Arch Arches NP

Double Arch in the Windows Area Arches NP

Sand Dune Arch Arches NP

Landscape Arch in the Devil's Garden Area Arches NP

Devil's Garden Arches NP

Tunnel Arch in the Devil's Garden area Arches NP

Pine Tree Arch in the evil's Garden area Arches NP

Skyline Arch Arches NP

Broken Arch Arches NP

Desert flowers found alongside the main road Arches NP

Along the Park Avenue trail Arches NP

Dry riverbed art along the Park Avenue trail Arches NP

Critter tracks Arches NP

Farewell Utah national parks.  It was a great ride!

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/end-of-park-tour-with-arches-and-canyonlands-nps-4/23---4/26 Fri, 27 Apr 2018 02:05:48 GMT
Arches and Canyonland NP's Sunrise to Sunset https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/arches-and-canyonland-nps For those that are still following my blog, you might have noticed that I have cut back on my submissions.  Seems like I was working really hard for just a handful of dedicated followers.  For those I submit these four images as a teaser to these incredible parks.  I will post several more at the end of the week.

This is Mesa Arch in Canyonlands NP at sunrise this morning.

This is what it looked like behind the scenes.

Delicate Arch (same one that is on Utah license plates)

And a nice sunset in Arches NP

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/arches-and-canyonland-nps Mon, 23 Apr 2018 03:36:23 GMT
04/19 Capitol Reef NP Day 4 Sunrise and then one last hike https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/19-capitol-reef-np-day-4-sunrise-and-then-one-last-hike Woke up early enough  to get into the park for the sunrise.  Did not turn out to be much of an event but since I was there I went ahead and took some photos.  Here are a couple more.

Next I drove up the scenic drive to the very end and navigated a 2.5 mile long dirt road to come to the trailhead for my hike.  This time I hiked to Capitol Rocks, the rocks the park was named after.  Seems these rocks reminded the early pioneers of the domes to capitol buildings.  Along the route were some petroglyphs that were too dim to even photograph.  There was a section known as the pioneer register but what I would classify as pioneer graffiti (there is a photo of this) and finally the tanks.  These are depressions in the rocks that fill with water, but there has not been rain here for sometime so the tanks are empty.  Here are some photos from the hike.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/19-capitol-reef-np-day-4-sunrise-and-then-one-last-hike Thu, 19 Apr 2018 21:00:47 GMT
04/18 Capitol Reef NP Day 3 Hickman Bridge and Chimney Rock Loop https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/17-capitol-reef-np-day-3-hickman-bridge-and-chimney-rock-loop Today started with my water supply frozen once again.  Managed to get breakfast taken care of and that all important cup of coffee.  Decided to do some hiking today and started with a hike up to Hickman Bridge.  This is a natural bridge and was only about a mile in.  Of course that meant a mile back out again as well so lets call it two miles round trip.  If you see any clouds in the sky they were man made.  I included one image to show all the jet contrails.  These would dissipate into wispy clouds and eventually just haze.  Here are some images from that hike.

After finishing that hike I drove over to Chimney Rock.  You may remember a photo of it from yesterday.  Anyway, I ate an early lunch there and then hit the trail.  This trail is a 3.6 mile loop trail.  Have to admit I was not sure I would make the full hike, but I did.  I was pretty pooped at the end I will tell you.  Here are some images from that hike as well.  At the end I have included a couple of critter images.

BTW, if you ask me a question in your comments you will have to come back to the blog for my answer.  I will try to be better about answering questions.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/17-capitol-reef-np-day-3-hickman-bridge-and-chimney-rock-loop Wed, 18 Apr 2018 22:46:35 GMT
04-17 Capitol Reef NP Day 2 Brrrrrrrr https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04-17-capitol-reef-np-day-2-brrrrrrrr Woke up several times during the night because the wind was rocking my trailer.  When I finally decided to get up around 0630 the picture above is what I saw.  But that's not all, my water hose was frozen so I couldn't even make a cup of coffee.  That building to the back right in the photo is the restrooms/showers, so I walked over there and got a cup of water to make some coffee.  After a couple of sips I was feeling better so I began working on the frozen hose with a hair dryer.  I know, I know, where's the photo, right?  Anyway, I did get that problem resolved.  Here are a few shots from just out side my trailer.

Yes, the below photo is more snow on its way.

So, I have decided to sit this one out today since the weather reports predict better weather over the next two days.  Think I will find a hardware store to get some pipe insulation for the water main tonight.  I did want to show you what it looked like about a half hour after I took the above photos.  If it gets better I may venture out some around midday and will update the blog.

OK, I did get out today.Went to panorama point and did a few panoramas (not included).  Then I proceeded to the Scenic Drive and took many photos because it was scenic.  I did take a side trip down the Grand Wash and hiked the 1.8 mile (one way) trail to Cassidy Arch.  Here are some images from today's outing.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04-17-capitol-reef-np-day-2-brrrrrrrr Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:21:28 GMT
04/16 Capitol Reef Day 1 Getting there and getting acquainted https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/16-capitol-reef-day-1-getting-there-and-getting-acquainted Was only about a 100 mile drive from Bryce Canyon NP to Capitol Reef NP so I left late in order to get into Torrey, UT in time to check in.  Turns out I did not need to do that because apparently it was built into my GPS to delay me.  I ended up in the park and the GPS said "You are here."  Had to use Google Maps to get here.  Anyway, it was a windy uphill drive here and did I mention beautiful.  I stopped several times along the way to take in the views.  Here is some of what I saw.

Here is a full panorama of the overlook which the photo above is part of.

  Once I got to the campground and set up I headed into the park.  Did a couple small hikes and stopped a couple of places along the way.  The wind has been howling here all day since I arrived.  Gonna be fun sleeping tonite!  Here are a few images I took on my getting acquainted tour of the park.  Tomorrow I start early and really do some exploring.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/16-capitol-reef-day-1-getting-there-and-getting-acquainted Tue, 17 Apr 2018 02:42:44 GMT
04/15 Bryce Canyon Day 4 More night skies, Queen Anne and Bryce Point https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/15-bryce-canyon-day-4-more-night-skies-queen-anne-and-bryce-point Today started again at a very early hour in hopes of catching some more dark sky shots.  Turns out that the clouds decided they wanted to play too.  The intro shot is the Milky Way shot down the Navajo Trail.  The next couple of shots were also done on that trail, but notice the clouds in the star trail photo.  That is Thor's Hammer formation in silhouette.

Climbed back up the steep slope of the trail to the top and drove to Sunrise Point for the sunrise.  Figured it might be a good one with the clouds to reflect the light.  Was not disappointed.  I was the second one at the observation point, but far from the last.  Probably 50 people when all was said and done.  Here are a couple shots I took with my phone.

Here is the same scene as the above photo about 5 minutes later.  Timing is everything in early morning and late evening photography.

And here is the sunrise taken with the big camera using a 5 exposure stop sequence and then merged into the final image in Lightroom.

Next on my agenda was to hike the Queens Garden Trail in search of the Queen.  I had missed it the last time I was on that trail.  Turns out she is at the very end of the Queens Garden Trail and I had cut over to the Navajo Trail before I got to the end.  Anyway, here is the formation the trail was named after.

I continued on the Navajo Trail again and here are a few things I saw along the way.

My final stop in Bryce Canyon NP was to drive up to Bryce Point and take in the view.  This is very close to Inspiration Point where I took my first early morning shots in the wind and snow. Here is what I saw today.

Sorry this took a bit longer to post.  Ran into some computer issues last night and had to clear them up this morning.  It is off to Capitol Reef NP today.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/15-bryce-canyon-day-4-more-night-skies-queen-anne-and-bryce-point Mon, 16 Apr 2018 14:01:22 GMT
04/14 Bryce Canyon Day 3 Night Photography and Fairyland https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/14-bryce-canyon-day-3-night-photography-and-fairyland Got up very early this morning to get into the park for night sky photography.  Looked out the trailer door and the stars were amazing.  Got into the park just before 4AM and headed straight into the canyon.  Met a fellow photographer on the way and we shared some time before he took off on his own while I worked on my star trails photos.  This takes a bit more time because I take anywhere from 10-20 images at 30 seconds per image and then combine them later on the computer.  I was also taking some Milky Way shots and I am very pleased with the results.  See for yourself.

After finishing up with night photography I went to Sunrise Point and caught what proved to be a rather bland sunrise. Have not even processed the images yet. I then strapped on the big lens and went hunting for critters.  I especially wanted to get some shots of the Bluebirds here.  They are quite elusive.  Here are a couple of shots of them.

At this point I was pooped so headed back to the trailer for lunch and a nap.  That done, I headed back into the park to an area called Fairyland.  The rest of the photos are from that area.  This is about an 8 mile trail so I only allowed myself an hour hike before turning around. 

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/14-bryce-canyon-day-3-night-photography-and-fairyland Sun, 15 Apr 2018 03:18:36 GMT
04/13 (Friday the 13th!) Bryce Canyon Day 2 Hiking the trails https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/13-bryce-canyon-day-2-hiking-the-trails So, had plans to get up early and head into the park for some night sky photography.  However this time I decided to look at the sky before I drove into the park this time.  Well, what to my surprise, I could see the Milky Way from the door of my trailer!  So I grabbed the tripod and camera and took some shots.  This is more like the Milky Way shots I am used to and not that feeble looking thing I saw in Zion NP.  Tomorrow I will try in the park to get both Milky Way as well as star trails.  Will be another early morning, but that is what I had plans for originally anyway.  It was so very cold and windy in Bryce Canyon today.  I attempted to take some sunrise shots but it was so overcast over the canyon that they were not so good.  Here is what it looked like from Inspiration Point at sunrise this morning.

It was so snowy and windy that is was very unpleasant to be outside.  However, I did not let this stop me.  I headed down into the canyon on the Queen's Garden trail and continued from that trail to the Navajo trail.  The sights were so breathtaking I know my photography did not do it justice.  I even headed down the main road through the canyon to the end and headed back towards the entrance stopping at every turnout along the way.  The very end of this road comes to an overlook called Rainbow Point.  The winds were so strong at that point I felt is was going to blow the camera right out of my hands!  I have been through hurricanes that had less force.  I am hoping the winds will die down some overnight, but as I sit writing this the trailer is rocking from the force of these winds.  Anyway, enjoy the photos from today.

The below formation is called Thor's Hammer.

The below formation is called Natural Bridge even though it is really an arch.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/13-bryce-canyon-day-2-hiking-the-trails Fri, 13 Apr 2018 23:11:41 GMT
04/12 Bryce Canyon Day 1 Adventures Galore https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/12-bryce-canyon-day-1-adventures-galore

Started the day off by getting up at 3 AM to get in some more night sky photos.  Drove into Zion NP, hiked to where I wanted to take my photos and looked up.  The stars were no where near as spectacular as they were two nights ago.  Watching for a while revealed there were clouds partially obscuring the stars.  So I hiked back to the truck, drove back to the campground and went back to bed.  The wind was pretty strong so was not able to get a sound sleep, but I did sleep some.  Since I couldn't check in until 2 PM at my next stop, I kinda just took my time getting the camper ready to travel.  Took off around 10:30AM.  When I turned off I-15 to Hwy 20 it was raining lightly.  As I continued on Hwy 20 it began to snow and the further I went the harder it snowed!  Finally I dropped to the other side of that mountain and the snow stopped.  Here are a few shots on the way to the campground.  Seems I had to go all the way to Utah to find the Dixie Forest.  Notice the snow on the trailer that had not melted yet.  Yep, it's cold here.

Got to the campground and checked in, set up and headed into Bryce Canyon.  This is the place I have been looking forward to the most on this trip.  On the way I stopped at a small turnoff to a remote part of the park called Moss Cave.  I hiked the 4/10 of a mile in to the cave and sure enough there was moss growing off the walls.  Here are a few photos from that side trip.

I once again got on the road to Bryce Canyon NP (main part) and once I got there I pulled up to the trail leading to sunrise point.  What a spectacular, breathtaking view.  No matter where you looked  you saw eye candy.  A photographer's dream.  This was just an initial get acquainted trip to decide what I want to do first.  I hiked between sunrise and sunset points, about 1/2 mile between them.  During that time it began to snow and the wind began to howl.  The snow did not come down in flakes but little snowballs!  I kid you not.  Anyway, I was hoping to explore the viewpoints and set my priorities for the next 3 days, but the snow became a blizzard and you could hardly see anything (AND IT WAS COLD).  Here are some photos from the park I was able to take.  The really hazy two were looking out from Inspiration Point.  I hope to do sunrise there tomorrow.  Notice how bundled up I was.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/12-bryce-canyon-day-1-adventures-galore Fri, 13 Apr 2018 02:34:21 GMT
04/11 Zion NP Day 6 Critters https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/11-zion-np-final-day-critters

Well, I was supposed to get up at 2AM for another round of night sky photography and my alarm did not go off.  Got up about 5:45 AM instead.  I quickly threw together some gear and ran out to the park.  Was on the Watchman Trail and stopped to take a photo.  Darn! No memory card in the camera and I also forgot my strap with extra memory and batteries in the trailer.  So, when I did see the feeble sunrise it was up to my phone to get it.  That's it above.  So, needless to say, the day did not start out all that great.  I went back to the campground and fetched the additional gear I needed and went back to the park.  I decided to try and get some critter shots so grabbed my 70-200mm (AKA heavy) lens as well as the 24-105mm for any wide angle shots.  I went all the way to the top of the canyon and took the riverside trail where I had seen all the rock squirrels before.  Think I would see one?  NOPE!  However, I did see some other critters and these I present below.  Not sure I am going to go back in the park again today so am going to make this the final entry of the day.  There are two photos below that I do want to bring your attention to.  One is a bit fuzzy because it is a small portion of the photo that follows.  I have placed an arrow on the full photo showing the section I have blown up.  See the people?  This is atop Angel's Landing, a hike I will never make.  It is probably the most strenuous hike in the canyon being 5.4 miles round trip and an elevation change of about 1500 feet.  The image I took was at a high magnification of 200mm.  Hopefully this gives you an idea of how high that really is. 

Young Blacktail Buck

Tom Turkey

Spotted Towhee

Jenny Wren

Unknown species of yellow flower

Part of the Angel's Landing trail

Angel's Landing

I think this guy was taking my picture while I was taking his!

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/11-zion-np-final-day-critters Wed, 11 Apr 2018 19:43:00 GMT
04/10 Zion NP Day 5 East side, Hidden Canyon and Sunset https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/10-zion-np-day-4-east-side-and-hidden-canyon Got up this morning early and decided to do laundry without all the competition.  Nobody but me there.  Anyway, after laundry and breakfast it was back to the east side of the park to capture some images since I seem to have lost the others I took.  It was a beautiful morning and I was able to just take my time and explore a bit.  The big mesa in the first image below is called Checkerboard Mesa.  Pretty cool, huh?  The rest are just some examples of what this part of the park looks like.

After that I headed back into the canyon to do a very strenuous hike to a place called Hidden Canyon.  This is hiking up a very steep grade to a height of 850 ft.  Doesn't sound like much, but I was a huffin' and a puffin'. Part of the climb required holding onto chains to ensure you didn't fall off the cliff.  I tried to capture this in a couple of the images below. The second image shows Weeping Rock which I hiked to a couple of days ago.

This final image is of the sunset tonight.  Wasn't all that great, but I would love to wake up to this view any day.  That is the Watchman Tower in the background and the Virgin River winding its way towards it.  This is an absolute iconic scene in Zion NP so I was accompanied by several photographers of all kinds.  Even some from France that I was able to help out a bit.  First image is from phone, second from real camera.

Tomorrow is my last day here in Zion NP.  I plan on hiking the very first trail I hiked to the Watchman to capture some night shots and stay until sunrise to catch that as well.  Not sure what I will do after that but I do need to buy a permit to take my RV through the tunnel towards Bryce Canyon on Thursday.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/10-zion-np-day-4-east-side-and-hidden-canyon Wed, 11 Apr 2018 03:48:34 GMT
04/09 Zion NP Day 4 Night Skies and other things https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/09-zion-np-day-4-night-skies-and-other-things Was up very early this morning, 2 AM, to catch some night skies.  I used two cameras.  One to catch star trails (several images stacked together to show the rotation of the stars) and another to catch the Milky Way.  I took several series.  The above image is one of star trails and the one below is of the Milky Way (wasn't a very spectacular display this morning).

I left from taking night shots to go to what is known as the Canyon Overlook.  This is a mile long climb across mountain ledges in the dark. (I can hear my wife cringing now.)  Actually I had a headlamp and the  trail was pretty well marked.  I got to the top in time for sunrise which was not all that spectacular.  What is good for night sky shots (clear skies) is not good for sunrise/sunset shots.  Here are some shots from that journey which included a trip along the road to the east entrance to Zion NP.

After this trip I went back to the campground for lunch and a nap.  Headed back into the park and hopped a shuttle all the way to the northernmost stop where the narrows are.  There is also a nice riverside trail that I walked all the way to the narrows and back.  Here are a few images from that walk.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/09-zion-np-day-4-night-skies-and-other-things Tue, 10 Apr 2018 02:04:50 GMT
04/08 Zion NP Day 3 Hiking the Canyon https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/08-zion-np-day-3-hiking-the-canyon Started the day out early to catch the sunrise at Temple and Towers.  This is supposed to be the best sunrise photo spot in the park.  The way the towering formations are lit up is pretty neat.  No clouds this morning so not much of a light show like yesterday.  From here I hopped on a shuttle and rode to the Court of the Patriarchs.  Apparently these were named after Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  While I was there I saw one of the local residents but he simply showed me his backside and strode away.  I hopped back on the shuttle and went further north into the canyon and walked a steep climb to what has been named Weaping Rock.  Seems that water continually seeps through these rock structures and drips off the walls.  The photo kinda gives you a feel for what it looked like.  From here I hopped onto the shuttle once again and rode to the last stop of the canyon shuttle.  Here is where the narrows are (famous Zion hike) but they were closed due to the rains last night.  However there is a river walk that I started on but got too cold so headed back onto the shuttle and rode back to the trailhead leading to the Emerald Pools.  Yesterday I had hiked this trail to only the lower pools but today I went onward to the middle and upper pools.  Some of these photos show that part of my hike.  At the end of this hike I hopped back onto the shuttle once more and rode to the top of a trail named Pa'Rus.  This is a paved trail that follows the Virgin River.  I walked about half this trail to where I had parked the truck.  Went back to the campground from here and had lunch and then a nap.  Went back into the park around 5 PM to finish the Pa'Rus trail hike and to scope out good shooting locations for my night sky photography tomorrow morning early (about 2AM).  Am packed and ready to go in the early morning so I will sign off for today and hopefully have some awesome shots for tomorrow.  Thanks to those that are following my journey, especially to the three that are taking the time to leave me comments and encouragement.  You da best!  Now for the photos.

Met this guy near the visitor's center...

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/08-zion-np-day-3-hiking-the-canyon Mon, 09 Apr 2018 03:03:53 GMT
04/07 Zion NP Day 2 Watchman and Lower Emerald Pool https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/07-zion-np-day-2-watchman-and-lower-emerald-poo-l Not sure I still have anyone following my journey, but I'm going to blog as if I do.Today started out quite early due to construction going on.  Seems they have to get their work done at night since it is the main road to the south entrance.  I am only about 1/2 mile from the gate here in the campground, so I will just have to deal with 0300 wakeups I guess.  Anyway, I took advantage of that time and got into the park early enough for sunrise as the above photo attests to.  This scene unfolded as I was hiking the Watchman Trail.  What a beautiful trek it was too.  The following photos should give you some idea of what I saw.   The really tall pointy rock is what they call the Watchman.

To me, this looked like the best seat in the house this morning...

From here I went back to the visitor's center.  Talked to a ranger about the need for a pass to get back to the Watchman at night.  Turns out that I don't need a pass to get into the southern part of the canyon, which the Watchman is part of.  Great news if the weather holds up.  I then hopped on the park shuttle to get to deeper parts of the canyon.  I got off at the Grottos stop and then hiked a couple of trails to take me through some awesome canyon views as well as an area called the Emerald Pools.  There are three sets of pools, but I only walked to the lower pools.  This brought me close to another shuttle stop so I hopped back on and headed back to the campground for lunch and a nap due to my very early morning start.  Nap was a bit longer than planned so decided to wait until early morning to head out to get some star shots.  Right now it is raining (something rather rare in the desert) so that may not happen either.  Below are a couple of shots looking down the canyon.

Tomorrow it is back to the canyon to take a couple more hikes.  Almost doubled my step goal on today's hikes.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/07-zion-np-day-2-watchman-and-lower-emerald-poo-l Sun, 08 Apr 2018 01:00:35 GMT
04/06 Zion NP Day 1 https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/06-zion-np-day-1 Today has been a long day and therefore my blog this evening will be short and sweet.  Arrive in the Zion Campground around 3 PM Utah time and got set up.  If you look at the image of the truck and trailer you will see that the ground is wet behind the trailer.  Seems the sprinkler for the tree between the sites was leaking and pooled in the site I was given.  Kinda sums up my day.  Anyway, only 3 images tonight.  The first was taken in the park and the other two from the campground.

Until tomorrow...

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/06-zion-np-day-1 Sat, 07 Apr 2018 02:30:47 GMT
04/05 Page, AZ Day 3 Monument Valley https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/05-page-az-day-3-monument-valley Today started very early.  Since I was going to be in both AZ and UT I wanted to be able to deal with the two different times.  UT is on daylight savings and AZ does not go to DST except in the Navajo Nation areas.  Of course that does not apply to Antelope Canyon.  They have decided to keep in step with Page, AZ.  Therefore, yesterday I did not experience a time shift but did somewhat today.  Confused yet?  I sure am!  Anyway, early this morning the skies were pretty overcast so I did not immediately go into Monument Valley but continued on the highway another 21 miles to the little town of Mexican Hat.  This image should tell you how it got its name.  This formation is just northeast of town.

As I was up that way the skies looked like they might cooperate so I headed to Monument Valley.  The first 5 images were taken on the way out to Mexican Hat.  Notice the difference in the skies with the other images from the valley.  After paying my $20 entrance fee I headed onto what they have called the Valley Road.  This takes you past all the iconic formations you are familiar with from the John Wayne movies.  There is even a John Ford point named after the producer of all those John Wayne movies.  At this point there is usually a Navajo who sits on his horse with the formations in the distance.  As I was approaching the point to negotiate a photo opportunity the guy was riding off the point.  When I told him what I wanted to do and offered him $5 to pose he told me that the signs were wrong and I would have to pay $20.  Well that didn't happen! Anyway, it was a wonderful day in the valley and here are some images so you can get the flavor of what I was seeing and photographing.  I will be going to bed tonight with a smile on my face I think.  The last image is of Horseshoe Bend at sunset.  The phone did not do the scene justice, but still the sunset was less than spectacular.

Tomorrow I head for my second national park of seven for this trip.  Zion NP is in Utah as are 4 other parks I will be visiting.  Only 154 miles to go so I can make a later start since I can't check into the RV park until noon.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/05-page-az-day-3-monument-valley Fri, 06 Apr 2018 04:54:33 GMT
04/04 Page, AZ Day 2 Slot Canyons https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/04-page-az-day-2-slot-canyons

Was up early this morning to get to the Adventurous Antelope Canyon Tours location for my 4 canyon tour.  There were only two of us for the four canyon tour so we pretty much had our way at the Owl Canyon and our last canyon called Sheeps Head.  We were joined by about 8 other photographers for the Rattlesnake Canyon and the most famous of them all, Upper Antelope Canyon found us topping off at 12 photographers.  Upper Antelope Canyon is where everyone seems to go and it was a mess of people.  The neat thing was our guides would hold up everyone else and us photogs would get about 2-3 minutes to get our image without all the people in it.  One of the following photos shows a small group of people as we started.  It got much worse.  Our last canyon, Sheeps Head, was way off the beaten path and we had to 4-wheel it up to that one.  However, it was just Wayne and I plus the guide so we never had to worry about people stepping into our shot.  So, all-in-all it was a very fun day of photography and climbing through some pretty awesome canyons.  Was going to go back to Horseshoe Bend for sunset shots but the cloud cover told me a mile long round trip was not in the cards tonight.  Will be up bright and early to strike out to Monument Valley.  It is less than a 2 hour drive and I really look forward to going there.  Here are the pics from today.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/04-page-az-day-2-slot-canyons Thu, 05 Apr 2018 01:51:44 GMT
04/03 Page, AZ Day 1 https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/03-page-az-day-1 Today was kind of an easy day.  Took off from Holbrook, AZ headed for Page, AZ.  Total of 219 miles was all.  It may have been a small drive milage wise, but the views were out of this world.  I did manage to stop and capture a few images along the way. Here is one of them.  Lots of these roadside stands along US-89.

Checked in at Wahweap RV Resort around 1 PM and set up camp for three days. The campground is located withing the Glen Canyon/Lake Powell National Recreation Area so I had to use my senior pass just to get to the campground.  The campground charges $2.00 to shower and that is for 15 minutes maximum.  Decided to try out the shower in the trailer.  Works great but a bit cramped.  Better than walking down to their showers and spending $2.00 to do the same thing. Here are a few images from the drive to the campground. In one of them you can see the Glen Canyon Dam in the upper right corner which I have to drive over.

Once set up I headed over to Horseshoe Bend.  Here are a couple from there.  The first one shows the exodus of people to and from the river overlook. Look very closely and you will see that they stretch all the way back to the little shelter on the hill.  The walk is about .5 miles from the parking lot (other side of the hill) to the bend.

Tomorrow is an early morning and an all day canyon tour.  I will be touring 4 canyons in the Antelope Canyon area including lower Antelope Canyon which is the most famous.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/03-page-az-day-1 Wed, 04 Apr 2018 02:05:44 GMT
04/02 Petrified Forest Day 2 https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/02-petrified-forest-day-2

So, got up early this morning in anticipation of a full day in my first national park of this trip.  Was fixing breakfast when my wife called and had a nice chat with her while she was travelling to church to count all the haul from Easter sunday.  Fixed myself a couple breakfast burritos in my little cooker and here I am sitting down to enjoy the feast.

The park opened at 8AM and I wanted to be one of the first there.  I got to the south entrance to the park at 8:01AM.  I immediately headed to where all the petrified logs were and here are a few from the long logs, the Crystal Forest and Jasper Forest.

Across from the Jasper Forest is the Agate Bridge.  Here is a shot of the bridge which is really a petrified tree trunk across a small wash and reinforced with concrete so it doesn't collapse.  Pretty cool.

From the Agate Bridge I traveled on the main road until I found the feeder road to the Blue Mesa.  This is like the badlands of the Petrified Forest.  There is a mile long trail through this mesa which I decided to walk.  I took a bunch of photos of this with my DSLR, but here are a couple I took with my phone.  If you look closely at the third image you will be able to see the paved path through the mesa.

From the Blue Mesa I continued on the road until I got to the Teepees.  I did not take any photos of this area with my phone!  So here is an image from my real camera.

Next was a stop at newspaper rock.  This was an area containing a big jumble of large rocks and some of them had petroglyphs on them (ancient graffiti).  They were too far away to get with my phone, but I put on my big lens and got some with the big camera.  Here is an example.

The last area that I did not get to last night was the Puerco Pueblo.  This is an ancient ruins from about 1300 AD when native indians inhabited the banks of the Puerco River.  There were also some petroglyphs here which I will include an image of.  A quick note about these petroglyphs.  Several years ago Julie and I made a wonderful trip to one of the most beautiful areas in our country, Sedona, AZ.  We visited the Petrified Forest NP as a side trip and during that visit you were able to climb right down to these petroglyphs.  Now they have a railing up to prevent you doing that.  Guess there have been past problems with vandals.  Anyway, here are the images.

Tomorrow I am back on the road traveling 210 miles to Page, AZ.  Stay tuned for more fun!

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/02-petrified-forest-day-2 Tue, 03 Apr 2018 00:51:48 GMT
04/01/2018 Holbrook KOA Petrified Forest NP https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/01/2018-holbrook-koa-petrified-forest-np Happy Easter!  Started my day out by going to a Catholic church for Easter services.  There wasn't an Episcopal church anywhere near.  Tell you how far into the boonies I am?  Anyway, the priest sang so far out of tune and was amplified so much that the congregation couldn't even sing the hymn!  His sermon message was quite generic, but I am still glad I took the time out to attend.  On my way to Holbrook, AZ I decided to take a small detour to El Morro National Monument which was still in New Mexico. El Morro was a huge attraction to early settlers and explorers of this area due to the fact that there was fresh water there.  People from all walks of life traveled to this rocky area and left their marks (ancient graffiti?) on the walls of the outcropping as can be seen in the photos I have attached.  Many visitors were hispanic so several of the engravings are in spanish.  Also the indian tribes that settled this area left their marks in petroglyphs.  There is a trail that leads to the top of this rocky formation and I must say the views from up top were breath taking.  Also met a fellow Navy retiree while hiking around and he has decided to take 4 years out travelling in his RV.  He is one of the good guys because he had a Canon 5D strung over his shoulder. Here are several photos from that exploration.

After exploring this national monument I decided it was time to get the rig moving towards my final destination for the day, Holbrook, AZ.  This KOA campground is about 20 miles outside of Petrified Forest NP and that was the reason for picking this location.  This is the first of seven national parks planned for this trip.  I arrived here around 2:30 PM their time which was really 3:30 PM Mountain time.  Remember, Arizona for the most part does not observe daylight savings.  These flipflops in time are really screwing with my system.  Once I got the trailer set up for the night I struck out for the park.  Arrived at 4:25 PM to be told that I had 35 minutes before the gates were closed!  Seems the park is only open from 8AM to 5PM due to staff shortages.  So much for sunrise and sunset photos here.  Anyway, I did go into the park and made the best of what time I did have.  Got to about 5 overlooks and I have included some photos from that.  I entered from the north entrance which is the painted desert end of the park.  Tomorrow morning I will be at the south entrance at 8 AM sharp and stay the whole 9 hours the park is open before going back to the campground.  Here are a few images from this afternoon.

I would like to thank those of you that are following me on my dream journey and especially those taking the time to drop me a line. Keep them coming!

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/4/04/01/2018-holbrook-koa-petrified-forest-np Mon, 02 Apr 2018 02:04:13 GMT
03/31/2018 Grants/Cibola Sands, NM https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/03/31/2018-grants-nm 370 miles from Amarillo, TX to Grants, NM.  A short drive across the panhandle of Texas and on into New Mexico.  New Mexico seems to be a state that is completely uphill both ways.  At least it seems so when pulling a trailer behind you.  For the most part the trip was nice and easy drive if not long.  As I passed through Albuquerque I waved to my friends at AAMCO.  Felt a bit lazy so only waved using one finger.  Turns out I traversed another time zone into the Mountain time zone.  So gained another hour.  An interesting thing is that when I go into Arizona tomorrow it will be one hour gain again but I will still be in the Mountain time zone! Reason being that almost all of Arizona does not observe daylight savings time, so instead of springing forward earlier this month they stayed the same which is one hour earlier than areas that changed.  So I will gain an hour as I go into the Petrified Forest NP tomorrow!  Another interesting note about Arizona is coming up later.  While checking in I met the nicest lady and she told me about a neat overlook nearby that is great for sunset photos.  I will be heading out shortly to get me some photos and will delay this posting so I can add a couple of photos of that.  She also turned me onto a national monument name El Morro which is on my way to Holbrook, AZ tomorrow.


The below images were taken at Sandstone Bluffs near Grants, NM.  Sunset was almost non-existent.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/03/31/2018-grants-nm Sun, 01 Apr 2018 02:36:54 GMT
3/30/2018 Amarillo, TX https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/3/30/2018-amarillo-tx Was a pretty uneventful day on the road and made it to Amarillo in very good time.  The winds upon my arrival were quite strong and continue to be as I write this.  Once I was checked in and set up, I headed over to Palo Duro Canyon State Park about a half hour away.  It was a gorgeous day here in the 70's despite the wind and I was overdressed expecting colder weather.  Had fun running up and down the canyon taking photos and doing a bit of hiking.  Left about a half hour before sunset since the skies did not look like it would be much of a show tonight.  By the time I arrived back at the campground it was just getting to be sunset and as I expected it was a bit lackluster tonight.  I have included a few shots that I took in the canyon.  I have to let you know that the pictures I will be posting in this blog will be from my iphone unless otherwise noted.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/3/30/2018-amarillo-tx Sat, 31 Mar 2018 02:26:15 GMT
3/29/2018 Yuma, TN to Sallisaw, OK https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/3/29/2018-yuma-tn-to-sallisaw-ok Well, I have to believe that TN was sad to see me go since it cried all the way across the western part of the state!  Arkansas was overcast all the way with the occasional sprinkling, but pretty much uneventful.  Did have to fill the tank  twice on the way through the state however.  The cost of gas so far has ranged from about $2.26/gal to $2.52/gal.  It takes a big bite out of the wallet when you are filling a 30 gal tank about every 200 miles!  Arrived in Sallisaw around 3:30 PM and set up the camper.  Did a run over to Walmart and a couple of hardware stores trying to find some hardware that has shaken loose inside the trailer.  Not a whole lot of luck, but made do with what I could find.  Should hold until I get home and can make the proper repairs.  Tomorrow it is on to Amarillo, TX where I hope to get out to a neat canyon near there.  Saw Cadillac Ranch my last time there so now want to see Palo Duro Canyon and hopefully if not overcast catch the sunset there.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/3/29/2018-yuma-tn-to-sallisaw-ok Fri, 30 Mar 2018 00:06:40 GMT
3/28/2018 Yuma, TN https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/3/28/2018-yuma-tn Traveled 388 miles today to arrive at Parkers Crossroads Campground in Yuma, TN.  Have to make a correction to yesterday's post.  I did not get to Memphis today but did go through Knoxville and Nashville.  That bat building really stands out in Nashville.  Pretty uneventful, but did go from eastern to central time zones.  All hooked up and truck gassed up for tomorrow and now to fix dinner, get a shower and relax for the night.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/3/28/2018-yuma-tn Wed, 28 Mar 2018 22:34:42 GMT
Rest before starting up again https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/rest-before-starting-up-again Spent a peaceful day doing sister-do list items.  Was able to get the entire list completed before having dinner with both my sisters this evening.  Tomorrow it is off to Yuma, TN.  This will entail a time zone change so can leave an hour later than usual and still get to my destination when I want.  Should be a leisurely drive down I-40 through Knoxville and Memphis on the way.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/rest-before-starting-up-again Wed, 28 Mar 2018 00:56:54 GMT
One day left to launch https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/one-day-left-to-launch So, have spent the last two days packing the truck and trailer.  Sure hope I don't exceed the highway weight limits!  I have a few more things to pack and then it is time to enjoy the "last supper" with my lovely wife for six weeks.  I will be on the road in the morning heading west.  Woo Hoo!  

Today is Palm Sunday.  The service this morning was quite nice and inspiring.  They handed out palm fronds, as usual, and I decided to take it with me as you can see in this photo.  Every morning before I head out I say a prayer and play a hymn.  This will serve as my reminder in case I forget (not likely).

Hooked up and ready to launch in the morning.  Look at that work horse my son has loaned me!  This is going to be the journey of my life.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/one-day-left-to-launch Sun, 25 Mar 2018 20:02:00 GMT
Preparation https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/preparation

So, I was sitting down at my computer the other day and put in all the stops I was going to make along the way out to Zion National Park which is my furthest point west.  Here is the map of my route.  I start the trip a  week from today and will arrive in Zion NP on April 1st.  On the way there I will be stopping in Kingsport, TN to visit with my sisters and handle whatever brother-do lists that have accumulated.  I then continue my journey west to Yuma, TN on the 28th of March.    Anyway, the link below is to the map that I plotted using Google Maps.  If you zoom in on the route you can see all the stops I will be making.  I will be updating this blog frequently as I travel.

Mapped route to Zion NP

I went down to Virginia Beach on the 15th to get my son's truck for towing my trailer.  It is ready to go and up to the job.  Unlike the vehicle I made my attempt with last year.  I truly hope I do not have to visit any AAMCO dealerships on this trip!  Got home with the truck and hooked up the trailer.  In the process I saw that the trailer tires were bald!  Glad I noticed it before I left.  Picked up two new tires and mounted them so the truck and trailer are running on new rubber all the way around.

Dewinterized the trailer today and checked that everything is working.  All systems are a go.  Have some packing to do and then it is on the road on Monday.  Getting pretty psyched now.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/3/preparation Tue, 20 Mar 2018 23:28:10 GMT
On the road again https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/2/on-the-road-again  

Starting on March 26, 2018 I will be heading out again to the southwest. I plan on being out there the entire month of April. Stay tuned for the trip which will include at least 7 national parks (Petrified Forest, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Capitol Reef, Arches, Canyonland and Mammoth Cave), Antelope Canyon (4 canyons), and Monument Valley. Should be a fun filled trip. Hope you will join me via this blog.

randave2001@hotmail.com (Dave Randolph Photography) https://www.drandolphphoto.com/blog/2018/2/on-the-road-again Sun, 18 Feb 2018 17:12:47 GMT