Thursday, February 25, 2010

It's Big Out There

I've been to the Grand Canyon once, in 2006. And I made quite a few pictures (most not worth showing). Three of my favorites are shown above. A colleague recently visited and she was showing me her pictures today at work.


My first trip out west was in 1996 as my brother and I drove from Kansas City, Missouri to San Mateo, California (he was moving). We took our time and wandered, having no set agenda, along the Oregon Trail through Nebraska into Wyoming. Colorado was next (stopping at Steamboat Springs for couple of days at friends). Then Utah, stopping at Arches, Canyonlands, Bryce, and Zion national parks. We passed through Vegas on our way to California, visiting Death Valley and Lake Tahoe. And I was hooked.

It is just gorgeous out there.

And big. Everything is really big.

As we drove into Zion I spied a boulder which had fallen off a cliff face. As we got closer it got bigger. And bigger. And bigger. That boulder is bigger than my office building.

My brother in front of the "small" boulders at Monument Valley

I was out west again in 1998. And I worked in California for just over three years, 1999 - 2002 (I commuted from New Jersey; I'm down to ~26,000 frequent flyer miles, from a high of 900,000+). I spent a week with my brother in Moab, Utah hiking about Arches and Canyonlands in 2002. I drove from Spokane, Washington to back to New Jersey that year with my dad, visiting, among others, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Badlands national parks. My first visit to Yosemite was in 2003, my second in 2007. I visited Arizona in 2006, 2007, and 2008, wandering all about the state. 2008 also found me driving down the California coast from San Francisco to San Diego and later visiting Joshua Tree national park. In 2005 I was in Washington and Idaho.

Sunset in Saguaro National Park

2009 was the first year in in over a decade that I did not spend any time out west.

I did spend a week in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, but that was at a resort, not wandering about in the great outdoors. It's not the same.

I miss it. I miss wandering in the desert. Or the mountains. Or among the giant trees.

Spring snow in Yosemite


Ron a.k.a. Danudin said...

Damn Life! Getting in the way of the important things. If you need company when you go a wandering again, I'm for it, the Army assigned me to look after some logistics, on the Sou'Sou East of the Kimberleys once, Real inhospitable country (at first glance) they promised me company but I was Lucky, the company stayed clear. Best three weeks of my life. Never seen the sky completely blanketed by stars before (or Since) I want to go back too.

MevetS said...

Hey Ron your on! And I'd love to go walkabout in Australia some day.

Chesney said...

We did the Grand Canyon thing last summer and wow, what a sight! None of my pictures could capture the pure sense of awe you feel looking at what nature creates! Sounds like you have hit many of the national parks...we have been trying to get to one or two a year...and I am hoping to get to Yosemite this year!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Steve! Great series of photos!! Lovely shots and colors. I flew over the Grand Canyon, twice that I was able to view it from the air. It was magnificent with the bird's eye view. Great job.