I wanted to get up to Canyonlands (35 min SW) to photograph Mesa Arch at sunrise. So many cool posters exist of it, and it looks beautiful. Fortunately I have friends there, and Jess invited me to come up and she’d get a back-country permit allowing us to camp in the wild. Oooooh!
A 1.8-mile hike, packing tent and sleeping gear and water and cameras, ended at the precipice. The mesa abruptly ends at Murphy Point, and maybe 1500 feet below is the NEXT mesa, onto which we could look in awe. One lone path led out to the very point, and we found a suitable place to pitch our tent, throw our stuff in, and find a location on the egde for sitting and marveling.
And marvel we did. We estimated that one could see 50 miles in three compass directions from Murphy Point, and then we estimated that there might be less than a dozen human beings “down there.” There was just enough breeze to keep the mosquitoes and gnats off of us, but there was not a bird song, not a cricket, not a ANYTHING. It was QUIET. It was SILENT. It was spectacular. It was vastness. It was indescribable. Photographs can’t even begin to capture it. We sat on the rim and watched the sun set, lighting up layer after farther layer as it descended. We watched the shadows creep in and cover everything. We watched the 3/4 moon traverse the few clouds. An hour on that rim, for me, does more than about any hour anywhere doing anything.
We slept well; a morning planet was so bright, I could see it through the tent wall. Sunrise was every bit as exquisite. We broke camp by 0550 as Jess had to work early and we needed to hike out. As you look at my photos, remember that the REAL scene is eight times as beautiful. Or maybe eighty.