After eating a very filling (and well-deserved) breakfast back at Bryce, we put our gear in the Jeep and headed out. We took Route 12 (a pretty drive) through Cannonville (we hid the Sigma gear) and then got on the gravel/dirt Cottonwood Road. Our first stop was Kodakchrome Basin State Park. Nice rocks, but it was the middle of the day and I didn't see anything that struck me as being a good photograph. We continued on and hung a left to go to Grosvenor Arch. As arches go, this is a mammoth one in terms of its location, on the top of a pretty big chunk of stone.
This is the view from the bottom looking straight up it.
This was a nice diversion. We continued on for a while, (past Cottonwood Narrows and the dreaded "Nikon Man") until I started seeing some flowers that I wanted to shoot. Rick pulled over and we got our first taste of exactly how much this desert area was blooming.
It was so beautiful, I let Domo get out and stretch. You'll see how nice and clean Domo is at this point of the trip. Let's just say that by the end he'll need a bath...
So, we drove a little farther. Rick had mentioned that he wanted to shoot catci at some point, and I saw one in bloom from the car. So again, we pulled over and hiked around for an hour shooting catcus. I had brought my reflector along, and that ended up to be a good thing—we used it a surprising amount on the trip.
Here's the 'generic' hot-pink catcus that was all over the place.
And here's the 'Claret-cup' catcus:
We got ourselves catcused-out eventually, and jumped back into the Jeep. We ended up at this really interesting overlook, so a little scramble up one of the hills gave me this nice view.
Farther on, we came across this interesting area:
And we eventually ended up back on 89 near the Paria Ranger station. Rick took me across the road to shoot an old house/windmill that he had shot before. It was a great drive, but the house had been taken down and a semi container was under the windmill, so it wrecked the shot… However, I did get to prove that I'm a Wisconsin photographer with this fine portrait.
I also snapped this in our travels.
And we finished at 'Ship Rock' to shoot a couple formations as the sun was setting.
All in all, this was a fantastic day, and the trip was really just getting started!