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Posts Tagged ‘canyons’

Big Bend National Park Zone 3: The River (Day 121, Part 2)

November 17th, 2009 No comments

Best zone for last, I guess. Big Bend is so-named because it’s situated on a large bend on the Rio Grande. Clever naming, yes. Anyway — the river goes through a gorge and, um, I think I’m back to where I should start these posts with the second paragraph again.

Except that I don’t have any material for a second paragraph. Maybe it’s too early in the morning.

big-bend_santa-elena-roadThe gap in the cliff is Santa Elena canyon. And the cliff to the left of the gap is in Mexico.

big-bend_santa-elena-opening (1)The canyon’s gaping maw.

big-bend_santa-elena-canyonCanyon, river.

big-bend_santa-elena-canyon-visitorsIf they’re on their honeymoon, I don’t think it’s going well.

big-bend_santa-elena-wallThe walls, closing in.

big-bend_santa-elena-jungleThe canyon contains its own jungle!

big-bend_santa-elena-view-outOut the canyon and onto the flood plain. I think the river was low.

big-bend_santa-elena-ramps-downThe trail heading down from the cliffs’ giddy heights.

big-bend_santa-elena-riverbedThe river bed.

big-bend_santa-elena-touristsThe tourist hordes.

It’s sort of telling that this park only exists on the US side of the border. I went to a couple border parks on the north side of the country that both extended into Canada (Glacier-Waterton and Boundary Waters) and none that were on the Canadian border that didn’t.

OTOH, there were a lot more border patrol agents cruising around Big Bend.

I like rivers and canyons.

bkd


Cathedral Canyon Hike in 16 Photos (Day 112)

November 7th, 2009 2 comments

Because 16 is only one away from being a prime number.

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cathedral_canyon 9

cathedral_canyon 10

cathedral_canyon 11


cathedral_canyon 13

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cathedral_canyon 17

Really enjoyed the hike. You go off on a dirt road in the middle of a bunch of farms, hang a left on another dirt road, hike three-tenths to the unmarked trailhead, then hike a mile or so till you’re at the bottom of the canyon. Then you do whatever you want to. There’s no trail, so most of the hiking is in the river. I love hiking in rivers. There aren’t any other people around either. Love having no people around.

  • I probably hiked a total of seven miles — about half of those in the water.
  • When you get to the river, you can delay the inevitable for a little bit, but: you’re gonna get wet.
  • I never got wet above my waist.
  • I should’ve brought an extra pair of socks for the hike back — it worked out okay, I didn’t get trenchfoot.
  • Not a lot of animals here: a few schools of finger-length fish and a frog.
  • Supposedly there are also timber rattlers here, but alas, none were sighted.

Reminded me of Virgin River Narrows, what with the walking through the river and all. It’s not as dramatic, but whatever. The cliffs do rise up 100 feet or so above the river; the pictures don’t do the canyon justice, despite the quantity. Still: very pretty, very relaxing, highly highly recommended for anyone happening through southeastern Missouri.

bkd

Categories: south Tags: , , ,

The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Nearby Attractions (Day 43)

August 30th, 2009 No comments

Without a whole lot of time to explore the park, I decided I’d hit the Canyon area Friday, then the geysers on Saturday. As such, Friday:

yellowstone_lower-falls-sprayThere’s this stairway down to Lower (Yellowstone?) Falls that’s called Uncle Tom’s Trail. There are a lot of stairs there and a lot of overweight people who should maybe more-fully consider the trip back up the stairs before starting the trip down. Oh well. Also: rainbows.

yellowstone_lower-falls-viewpointLower Falls.

yellowstone_lower-falls-artists_pointSame waterfall, but this time with a “Grand Canyon” view. The canyon has interesting colors in it (not pictured).

yellowstone_grand-canyon-riverSee? Interesting colors.

yellowstone_hayden-valleyHayden Valley — sort of how you’d romantically envision all of Wyoming looking. I think it mostly doesn’t look like this, but maybe the government can fix that for us. Write your congressman (or congresswoman!).

  • Yellowstone is crowded.
  • I guess the good and bad thing about the place is that the most important sites are very accessible.
  • Actually, that seems mostly bad, since it’s hard to lose the sense that you’re not alone. Very hard.
  • Every photo ends up feeling trite since, well, anywhere you stand to take one there are five other people trying to do the same thing.
  • And then the trails don’t seem to take you anywhere you really need to go.
  • Plus, you have to buy intra-park regional trail guides ($0.50 each, but still — these are usually included on park maps).
  • But these trail guides really only talk about the often-paved little nature trails that run alongside the various parking lots.
  • In fact, some of the “trails” they include aren’t trails, they’re just parking lots.
  • And then if you ever do get onto a trail, the stuff in the guide doesn’t match up with the names of things on the signs at the trailhead.
  • Meh.

bkd

Driving Mt. Rainier

August 7th, 2009 1 comment

Wanted to post some more photos from the drive around Mt. Rainier. I think it’s the kind of place that should seem otherworldly if you’re not from here. Maybe someone can let me know.

hwy 164 mt- rainierFor instance, I’m pretty sure this view never happens in California. This is heading toward the mountain, driving between Auburn and Enumclaw.

mt- rainier national park roadThis is the road heading west toward the Paradise Lodge inside the park. Tree tunnels don’t happen much in Orange Countay (sic).

box canyon mt- rainierBox Canyon, a canyon with water in it.

rainier and reflection lakeView of Mt. Rainier from the side of the road, across Reflection Lake. With wildflowers.

bee and flower rainierHow bees do business.

narada falls rainierNarada Falls — I enjoy the photo for its complete lack of perspective.

nisqually river gulchNisqually River tributary wannabes.

bridge and lineMy attempt at a Chadley photo.

It’s a pretty cool drive. At some point I’ll make a list of my favorite stretches of road on the trip and this one’s got a good shot of being on there. Fierce competition.

bkd