“Play is the highest form of research.” Albert Einstein
Header Photo: Just an average hike on an average day in Red Canyon Country.



NOTE: Open post and then Single Click On first Post Photo to view an album in a more detailed, larger format...

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Exploring Zion's Uncharted, Less Trodden Backcountry


If I were a true artist and could dip a brush into my soul, I would paint Zion.

Utah's portion of the Colorado Plateau is a vast land born of oceans, sandy desert and violent uplifts. The western fringe of this plateau is Zion country, a colorful "core sample" collage that speaks of unfathomable time and energy. For those inclined to metaphysical explanations for "infinity" and other such incomprehensible concepts, it may well be the ultimate "piece" from the Ultimate Artist. 

One of the reasons I am so attached to Zion country, as well as the sweeping Escalante Grand Staircase, is that they remind me of my less-than-a- grain-of-sand "place" on a circum-global beach.



Sand is a remarkable substance in the hands of a gifted artist, be it intricate castles and sculptures on a beach, colorful flights of fancy created from a glowing bulge of gooey glass at the end of a long hollow tube, or Zion.



Imagine miles of rolling sandstone so smooth you could rollerblade...otherworldly hoo doos and arches and spires that, for the "moment," defy gravity's unrelenting tug. Imagine woolly-topped mountains guarded by invincible 2,000 foot walls of Navajo Sandstone—so unwrinkled there's hardly a finger hold, yet climbers inch their way up, undeterred and un-detoured. Imagine a scalpel of a river—old as time and Virgin pure—slicing yawning narrows through solid rock. Imagine a palette...ruddy ironized red for canyon walls, stained with long sable locks of desert varnish. Imagine pinks, lavenders and ochers yellow to red to dark chocolate brown glowing under low morning and evening sun.  



Formed under an ocean—near the equator if you can believe it—Zion is sedimentary in origin and blessed with an abundance of iron. And though we are busy people with little time to ponder our genesis, not to mention, Exodus, there remains today great seismic forces at work underfoot...mostly benign, but some, like Yellowstone's Super Volcano, potentially catastrophic. (Have a nice day.  😍) 



Have no fear: This post is not a longwinded "in-the-begining" till Now dissertation, nor is it a predictor of a volcanic smoke and ash apocalypse, as it is my belief that human demise will come by their own greedy hands. I am a subscriber to Shakespeare's, brevity is the sole of wit doctrine. If the "Devil is in the details," you won't find him here. 

This is big picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words stuff. Thus, a few "thousand words" on one of my favorite Utah landscapes... 

Note: Click on the photo below to view the entire album in a larger, more detailed format.

















































All this, on a single day hike...

Red Rocks Gang Cast: Gayle, Laurlee, Andre, Rose, Chris, and your's truly, Mark and Bobbie. 

24 comments:

  1. And in a part of Zion none of us had ever been before! Thanks for the good memories.

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    1. Thanks Gayle. We've barely scratched the surface... :)
      mark

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  2. We are heading back that way in March. Exploring the unknown areas of the east side is so much fun. And finding all the bighorn is my favorite treat:) Love all the photos of these beauties!! But first on my list for our return is finding the tripod rocks!!! We have been there twice and haven't found them. Our second visit brought within yards of them. I will find them!!

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    1. The prize goes to the persistent :)
      Or, you could just show up in November and follow us!
      mark

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    2. While we would love to join you, I know need to make this discovery on my own:) I WILL find them:)

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  3. What irony that I just sent Bobbie an email waxing nostalgic about "art and light" in Zion, then clicked over to read your opening line. I am taking a sketch pad to Many Pools next November, even if all I can draw is a dead limb...

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    1. Good!
      Only 999 more and you will be there! :)
      mark

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  4. Truly One of a Kind Landscape with comfortable temperatures and blue skies, can't ask for more than that.
    What a way to wrap up the old year and start a new year.
    Cheers to you both & all your friends.
    Keep'em coming

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    1. Thanks Doug...Hope Al came back with a year's worth of photos to edit :)
      My best to the Sonoma Boys of California.
      mark

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  5. Great words, but this time eve greater photos. I kept laughing thinking of Boonie raving about the "pretty postcards". You outdid yourself, but then again that isn't hard to do when Zion is the subject.

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    1. Ha! Boonie...he lives in another Universe :).
      thanks, enjoy your new digs.
      mark

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  6. Now THAT is an awesome day on the trail! Spectacular scenery and Bighorns!!!!! Mother Nature is perfection! I selfishly hope we don't kill the planet before my time is up.

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    1. Thanks Lisa.
      Too much greed...hard to compete with that.
      Hey to Hans,
      mark

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  7. Great photos. I just left there and I miss it already.

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    1. We connected some new "Dots." :)
      See ya down Tucson way...
      mark

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  8. putting the wordless to word, it takes a talent to do so!

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  9. Great photos. Took me back to our rolling around the 3 dimensional art form.

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    1. Yes...many things and places left unfinished this year :(

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  10. Thank you Mark for sharing your adventures, I look forward to every new post.

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  11. Thank you Marti...
    Your kind comment helps reignite the "fire," just as it's about to go out :)
    Cheers, and thanks for reading my drivel :))
    mark

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  12. You are a poet and a gifted photographer. Thank you so much for sharing these beautiful photos and thoughts. It brightened up my day at my desk, but increased the longing in my soul to be out there and 'get outta here'!

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    1. I've been there...where you are, behind a "desk."
      I hope you get outta there soon...and set your soul free.
      thanks Mary Jo,
      mark

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