Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Spring Break in the West, 2017

A pause from the routine during Spring Break.  I planned a trip into the Four Corners area that had several components.  First, the long slant across Texas and into New Mexico, first night at Santa Rosa, 625 miles out.

The Santa Rosa Grill in front of the La Quinta.

 Cholla in the desert

I"ve loved these signs for years, but you have to take time and be willing to work off the interstate.

   Stopped in Albuquerque to see a terrific photo show at the UNM Museum of Art.  Then on to Malpais National Monument and El Morrow National Monument to investigate artist-in-residence opportunities.  Finally, that night, I was at Shiprock.

   The next morning, with a Navajo guide I wanted to try and get up to a higher vantage point to photograph the evening shadow.

 We went right up the rock, past some favorite places.

My guide got leg cramps and we had to turn back just as things were getting interesting.

The only shot of me coming off the rock by my guide.  Now I'm kicking myself for not being more aggressive, leaving him in the shade and going up another couple of pitches.  A lot of time, effort and money to get this far, and still came up short.  I think I could free-climb most of it now, trail a rope and rappel off.  Should have explored more, but was worried about rescuing guide at this point.

That afternoon I chased dots in the desert.  Shot off the top of my 4-runner.  Film shots are closer than this....it was moving quickly.

 Then shot a nearly perfect moonrise.
The next morning I got up and worked around the rock.

Checked with old friends.

Lightning man.

  That afternoon I broke it off and headed up into Utah, settling at the Recapture Lodge in Bluff.

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