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Blog for Victoria Bennett Beyer Photography

The photography blog of Victoria Bennett Beyer, featuring travel photographs from road trips across America and botanical photography of plants, flowers and leaves.

Filtering by Tag: rock formations

Goblin Valley

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Goblin Valley State Park in Utah was one of the most unexpected delights of our trip so far.  It was a scheduled stop, but no photos I had seen of it prepared me for how delightful it would be.  From a parking lot and picnic area, you can look down on the rock formations, or 'goblins.'  I had no idea you could walk among them.  You descend to the valley by a short walk, and suddenly you are immersed in a labyrinth of rocks, many as tall as you.  I dallied behind my husband, daughter, and father-in-law, to shoot these photos from above.  I imagined I would catch up to them after a little hustle, but once I descended, they were nowhere to be seen.  I wandered for an hour looking for them among the rocks, but never did find them.  You might think you'd get lost, but really, the parking lot on the hill above is an excellent landmark and easy to see so you can orient yourself simply by looking up.  In that way, it was a very safe but totally immersive sort of wander, through what felt like an alien landscape.  It was more fun than I can describe. 

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Canyonlands National Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Canyonlands National Park was next on our itinerary.  It is comprised of three sections, all adjacent but each accessed by a different road, several hours apart.  The closest was Island in the Sky, which is the most visited.  There are amazing views just across from the visitor's center, and at several overlooks.  It's amazing you can walk right to the edge (and off the edge if you aren't careful).  It was really beautiful.

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The next day we decided to drive over to the next section over, called The Needles, after the pointy rock formations found there.  We stopped at the Visitor's Center, as we always do, and were well rewarded.  My daughter has been doing the Junior Ranger booklets at each national park to earn a badge.  I think that perhaps not too many children come through The Needles Visitor's Center, because the rangers there took so much time with her, and were the first ones to offer her the loaner backpack full of cool things like binoculars and plant id guides.  She was happy as a clam using all those goodies as we drove to the end of the road.  There is literally a barricade so you know to stop, and perched atop was a raven.  

Dead Horse Point State Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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Despite its less than attractive name, Dead Horse Point State Park in Utah has off-the-charts views.  We camped at both the campgrounds (for lack of a four-day block at either) and I am really glad we did.  It allowed me to get some sunrise shots.

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The story goes that wild horses were rounded up on the point.  The best ones were taken, leaving the rest corralled, in view of the Colorado River below but without access to any water, so they died.

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You know who's not going to go without?  The ravens.  They kept watch over the dumpsters and we were warned to make sure what we deposited was entirely under the lid or the ravens would liberate it.  I also had the pleasure of seeing several desert cottontail rabbits and one jack rabbit.  I would have gotten a photo, but, don't you know, he was too fast for me.

Arches National Park

Victoria Beyer

Seven Weeks Across America

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It was hot, hot, hot during our time at Arches National Park.  Those temps were breaking 100 degrees, so we kept our hiking to the mornings.  We did two hikes - the one to Delicate Arch being the most well-known.  I was very proud of our peanut for making it.  It was not an easy hike, and even in the morning it was still hot.  But it was so worth it.  It was magnificent to see in person, particularly because it was surrounded by a huge natural amphitheater.  Despite the dozens of people who were sharing the space, there was plenty of room to take a seat and soak it all in.  

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Our other hike took us to Landscape, Navajo, and Double O arches.  I would highly recommend this hike - it was truly fun to scramble over boulders, walk on top of fin rock formations and clamber up and through some arches.

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There are so many arches to see, you sort of have to pick and choose what you spend your time visiting.  I particularly enjoyed Double Arch.  You really have to walk down the path to appreciate how very cool it is.