Famed writer, ecologist and naturalist Terry Tempest Williams eloquently captured Valley of the Gods landscape’s sweeping grandeur thusly: “It is a landscape so startling, so fragile and enduring. At once, it can bring one to their knees in humility and awe.” It does more than that. It leaves the body numb, purges it and refills it all at once with a new Life so clean and pure, and real. I had an interesting short conversation with a Friend that does not see the point of coming here… only because the window of opportunity for photography is a short one in the mornings and evenings trying to avoid the daytime harsh sunlight. I cannot even elaborate on that notion, only thinking and trying to get the message across as “is that all there is?”. How true and sincere can one’s photography be when one’s senses does not or cannot experience a space without necessarily that finger on the shutter. What else is there to say when someone is so far from the realization as to what such a arena as this can do to a soul.
I have spend the last hour on the web trying to find the names of the Monuments surrounding us. To no avail. There use to be a give away map at the start of the 17 mile loop, but it is now empty. Come to think of it, maybe there is one up on the board… I might have to indulge myself for another ride and take a photo of it. Actually I will probably draw the map and redo the loop stopping at every Monument in sequence. A sound project for the next day or so.
I was a bit thrown off at first arriving here. I think we had stayed in one place a bit too long, and now, for more reasons than one we are both excited about being here. It is quiet, maybe a dozen cars going by throughout the day, some dual sport motorcyclists stopped by also and we chatted for a while. Chatting is universal! It was their first time here as I gave them tips toward their planned routes. We even had the “Cass” family stop by for a bit with their three dogs. Who are the “Cass’s”? He, Randall, was doing a search on Moki Dugway, just a few miles from here, and this site came up in the search, so did our SPOT location. They decided to stop by and say hello… an they did. I know, it is a bit strange, a bit too high tech, but a nice way to meet pleasant people.
Yesterday we took a ride to Monument Valley, where near by Goulding shelters the Medical Health Center, a top notch facility that took care of my ear infection and sore throat. Not quite gone yet, but I am feeling at least half human now as I am sure the other half will show up shortly. I was lucky to be around here as getting sick while living on the road sometimes logistically becomes difficult.
The weather has been great, mid eighty’s during the day, a nice breeze, sweater in the evening and it is about to all change in the next day or so. Mainly winds, up to 40mph projected… The better news, coincidence, is the arrival of the balloons tomorrow as it was last year when camping here. With the hope that the forecast is wrong, it will be some great opportunities to take some pictures.
Quote – “Warriors frozen in time is how Navajo legends are said to describe the eerie, red rock spires in Valley of the Gods in Utah. In fact, the rocks forming this stark landscape are much older than the Navajo. This rocky valley lies at the base of Cedar Mesa, and the rocks were deposited by the invasion of a shallow sea about 250 million years ago. Over time, the water retreated, and the ancient sandstones and shales gradually turned red or purple as the iron in the rocks mixed with oxygen to form rust.
Space Imaging’s IKONOS satellite acquired this image of Valley of the Gods on May 9, 2004. In this image, the desert landscape appears in varying shades of cream, beige, rust, brown, and gray. Stair-stepped rock formations and towering pinnacles characterize this valley. Valley of the Gods is a “pint-sized” version of its larger and better-known cousin, Monument Valley, which is about 65 kilometers (40 miles) away.”
We are out chasing some balloons soon… till next time…
Twenty nine months of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun. Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order prints, all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload them on the Galleries.
Maybe your reading the Blog is worth $1 a month…
Ara & Spirit