Ranger Kathryn's Arches

March 29, 2010

Waning light at Courthouse Towers

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 10:32 pm
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Three Gossips & Sheep Rock

Full moon — the date on which moonrise and sunset times coincide most closely. I skipped supper and drove up the switchbacks to La Sal Mountain Viewpoint. Snuggled in blankets and hoping for an impressive moonrise, I sank into my camping chair and listened. And watched. And waited.

Looking north from La Sal Mountain Viewpoint

Five miles northward, the openings and misshapen walls of the Windows began to glow with a bronzed light. Behind me, the wondrous figures and walls of Courthouse Towers faded into silhouettes. The first bats, always Canyon Bats (formerly called Western Pipistrelles), began their nightly insect-hunting as a cloud bank snuffed out any ideas I had of moonrise over the La Sals.

At the base of a desert shrub

February 27, 2010

Less-than-good trail conditions

Filed under: 1 — Kathryn Colestock-Burke @ 9:28 am
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South Window at moonrise

Drove up to the Windows section; the arches run north-south and are therefore lovely at both sunrise and sunset. Having never experienced the desert in wet conditions, I must report that OSHA would not be happy. Trails are ice- and snow-covered, with intermittent muddy spots. (Note: “muddy” is different from Minnesota mud. This is red gritty mud.) Only Kathryn a fool would try climbing on icy slickrock.Turret Arch, the Windows section

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