Yes, I’m still thinking desert. There are some roads one doesn’t want to travel except in the finest weather. Sadly, they are roads that offer the most stunning landscape views. And landscapes are often at their best in less-than-fine weather. What does one do?

Here are examples of two places I wouldn’t want to be if it had rained or snowed in the last couple weeks.

The first is on the way to Cathedral Valley in Capitol Reef National Park. It’s a long, dry, dusty, rough drive. Unless it’s wet and impassable. Then it’s a short drive, a lot of pulling, pushing, struggling, shoveling and cursing. But it’s well worth seeing this stunning bentonite landscape. The colors are striking, gray, grayer, grayest with a few accents of purple and red. I truly do like the colors down there, but the shapes of the land beg for a rendition in black-and-white, so I’ve done that for these two images.

Bentonite Wash, Cathedral Valley Road

Bentonite Wash, Cathedral Valley Road

The Capitol Reef area is just about my favorite place on Earth. The land is tortured and challenging. Last post I talked about my favorite landform, Factory Butte, which is not too far from the above area.

Going south from Capitol Reef, one can follow the Notom road. Dunno exactly what Notom is. Maybe a ghost town, an old settlement or just a name someone dropped on the way to somewhere else. Follow the Notom road for a while and you’ll come to a turnoff to the Burr Trail, one of the most spectacular pieces of road in the Utah desert. But before the Burr Trail, you’ll come across some more of that bentonite. Similar shapes, colors, etc., but a long, dusty drive away from the Cathedral Valley road. Here’s what that looks like:

Bentonite Hills Notom Road

Bentonite Hills Notom Road

Shapes, patterns, interesting ways to reflect light. That’s why the desert is so photogenic. About the only time photography is bad is when the sun is beating down mercilessly from a clear blue sky. Even then one can always find a photograph.

Hmmmmm, I wonder what the weather’s like down there? Wonder how the roads are? Getting an itchy gas-pedal foot.

More to follow,

Bob