Sunday, January 7, 2018

Snow on redrock

Almost exactly a year ago, I started working here at this park. During my first week, my supervisor sent me on a scavenger hunt to learn the major landmarks and basic natural history. I hiked all the trails and took pictures of common plants and tried to learn the names of each rock layer.

Now, a year later, I'm still finding new spots to explore. Maybe that's why I love this place so much. There is always something new and surprising. A treasure trove for the inexhaustibly curious.

Last night there was a dusting of snow, maybe an inch. It transformed familiar landscapes and made the redrock even more mesmerizing.
Foggy morning
I used to think that the desert was stark and devoid of life. But now I know you just need to know where and how to look.
What a story all these tracks in the snow tell! Not just cottontails, but foxes or coyotes, and perhaps a bobcat. I wish I could see all these animals.
Desert cottontail
I make a few turns and end up somewhere I've been before. It was my first week of work and my new coworker came along to explore too. It was then that I learned what wonderful people I got to work with. Which is what makes all the difference in the world.
That one place I've been before, a year ago. Snow has transformed it.
Now, some of those dear friends are scattered across the country and I miss them with all my heart.
Just one set of tracks here
Today, I follow washes and make a few turns that I've never made before.
Scrambling up to get some perspective
Canyon walls get steeper
Snow gets deeper
Rocks under snow make footing tricky
More tree friends
Approaching the end of the canyon
The canyon gets even more narrow and the boulders get bigger and then there is a bit of scrambling and then bushwhacking through the mahonia which whacks back with prickery leaves. Finally steep walls are all around. There is a drip drip drip at the pour-off high above. Below, an ice skating rink and a tower of fallen icicles.
I turn around and retrace my steps. The light has that soft, wintery feel that compliments the redrock especially well.
La Sals peaking through
Dance of shadows
I stop by the overlook to watch the La Sals start to glow. Tourists pull in, get out of the cars, take a few pictures, then leave. I want to stay here forever. This feels more like home than anywhere I've ever been.
I am grateful that I get to spend some more time here. Each day, every day, to be savored.


  1. That's so pretty with snow and the red rocks! It's always good when a wanderer finds a home! Of course, you can have more than one.

    1. I didn't think the redrocks could be any more beautiful, until I saw them decorated with the snow.

      Ha- it's true about having more than one home. I forget that it's OK.

  2. This post feels like a poem or a song. Being somewhere for a year makes it a bit of a home for a wanderer such as yourself however I happen to know many other places where you seem just as content. I like Mary's thought . . . a home for every season, mood or heart.

    1. The experience of walking through the snow amist the redrocks had a musical quality. I'm glad that came across.

      Haha you've know me long enough that I suppose you've heard me say this about a lot of places-- Montana, New Mexico, Arizona. Ah I do like the idea of having enough homes to fill all the needs. That certainly makes for a good life.

  3. Beautiful images and description. Burrrrr! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much for reading and commenting! Good to hear from you!

  4. We were among the photo tourists at scenic overlooks the other week while some past snowfall still lingered on the rim rock. What a great place to stay for a while if you are able! The wonderful photographs need to be seen large. Lots of beauty seen from the roads, but even more perspectives from your explorations off the tour routes. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Glad you got to make it out here after the big snow. Don't get me wrong, there is much to see from the roads. Sometimes I like to just hang out in parking lots or overlooks and gaze about. I never fail to see something new. Even if it's just to identify another landmark way off in the distance or put a name to a formation.

      Thanks for commenting!

  5. Late - just getting to saved URLs. Good stuff, all good. I like your bunny too, but I think the cupped archway is even nicer. Thank you.