This time of year in Utah is perfection for me. The summer’s droves of visitors have gone home, the sun is warm and the air is cool. You can stepe 50 ft from the park’s road and hear nothing. The Hubby and I rolled into town late Saturday and decided Sunday would be our day to explore something completely new…for us. When you’ve been visiting the same National Park for years and hiked all the well know trails, some twice or three times it can be a challenge to find new…actually not just a challenge but an adventure. Venturing off the path and blazing our own trail is exactly what we did yesterday.
It began with what in my panicked mind seemed like a sheer face of slick rock, perpendicular to the earth! In reality it was a very steep climb that was passable using all fours in some spots. Lucky for all “slick rock” is a bit of a misnomer. When dry this textured rock really makes for great tracking. When wet though…watch out.
It took about 2 hours to climb a 1/2 mile stretch. My hands were chapped and prickly pear needles were stuck everywhere but when a shallow canyon cut amidst the rock gave way to this expansive view, it all in one small moment became very worth it.
My reward for the climb? …An iconic view and a warm spot of red rock to perch upon for a few hours of painting.
One red rock trait that always mesmerizes is the way the layers of silt and sand swirl in beautiful pattern. When painting landscapes out here I am always compelled to add graceful swooshes with my brush in an attempt to capture the way this rock surrounds.