Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Majestic Southern Utah

October has been a hectic month in my household.  You see, my beloved wife broke her ankle quite severely a few years back.  She has had multiple surgeries on it during the ensuing years, but nothing really helped with the pain and the arthritic joint that developed because of it.  The only real way to give her any lasting relief was to fuse her ankle joint together.  As this is a painful surgery and the recovery time before she can even put any weight on the ankle is on the order of months, we decided to take a trip to the southern part of our state to get away on vacation before she was cooped up and unable to go anywhere for basically the remainder of the year. 

My wonderful in-laws went with us and we spent several days meandering through some of our National Parks in southern Utah in what has to be some of the most magnificent and majestic scenery that God has ever created.  With that said, I thought I would veer away from politics briefly and share some of the pictures we took on our trip.

We started our trip by staying near Moab, UT at a beautiful resort on the Colorado River called the Red Cliffs Lodge. This is a picture looking at the cliffs at sunrise from just outside the front door of our room.

Using Red Cliffs Lodge as our home base for the first couple of days, we explored the surrounding areas starting with the beautiful Fischer Towers.

The next day we all ventured into Arches National Park to see some of the beautiful red rock formations and natural arches created by untold millenia of weather and erosion.

The above picture is of balanced rock.  If you look real closely you can see people at the base of the rock between it and the monolith to the right.  That gives you an idea of the size of this monster.  For some strange reason I am reminded of the roadrunner cartoons by these peculiar formations.

Below is a picture of just a few of the thousands of rock arches that give this beautiful park its name.

Below is a picture of Wall Street.  This one is far prettier than the one in New York City.

The following day we ventured towards Canyonlands National Park and stopped at a Utah State Park called Dead Horse Point along the way.  Dead Horse Point is a beautiful overlook that towers 2000 feet above the Colorado River below.  The point of the mesa from which we took this picture is accessed by a very narrow span that is no wider than the width of the road.  Legend has it that cowboys used to herd wild horses across this choke point onto the mesa and then built a fence at the narrow point to corral them in there.  At one point, the cowboys didn't get back to the horses in time and they died there due to thirst on this arid mesa overlooking the Colorado River below, hence the name of the park... so legend goes.

From there we took our leave and wandered to Capitol Reef National Park.  At one point within the park, etched into the side of the canyon walls are ancient Anasazi Indian petroglyphs which are still visible today.  Unfortunately there are signs of idiots that have carved their initials into the wall by these petroglyphs.  The foolishness and short-sightedness of some people never ceases to amaze me, especially in such beautiful places.

These days of Indian summer were warm and pleasant on our trip and all of nature seemed to be enjoying the sunshine before the first snows come to Utah.  My wife captured this picture of a Monarch butterfly that was flitting about the wild flowers near the petroglyphs.

From there we headed to one of my most favorite places on earth: Bryce Canyon National Park.  Nowhere else in all of my travels have I found scenery as unique and as mysteriously awesome in the truest definition of the word than at this park. 

In previous years on our journey to Bryce, my wife, youngest daughter, and I would hike down into the canyon amongst these sand stone "hoo doo" spires and be lost in wonder at the beauty of this canyon.  Unfortunately on this trip there would be no such hikes for us this time.

 On the way home, the clouds started to come in and my wife captured these cotton-ball clouds in the late afternoon as we ventured north towards home again.

 The trip was wonderful, all the more so because I spent it with people I loved.  And by the way, my wife's surgery was successful.  As she continues to heal, hopefully the beauty we all experienced will tide her over until she is up and walking on her own two feet once again. 


Jerry Critter said...

Beautiful pictures! Glad to hear that your wife's surgery was successful. I hope she has a speedy recovery.

T. Paine said...

Thank you Jerry. You are a gentleman and a scholar, sir!

jim marquis said...

Great photos, TP. Please tell your wife I hope she feels better soon.

T. Paine said...

Thank you very much, Jim. I will pass your well wishes along to her, my friend!

Dave Dubya said...

Healing thoughts and prayers to your wife, TP. I've been there with ankle issues. It will be worth the trouble once she's back on her feet.

Wonderful photos. The pictographs look like aliens.

T. Paine said...

Thanks for your kind sentiments Dave. Glad to hear that the surgery will be worthwhile when all is said and done.

As for the petroglyphs, I agree. It makes one wonder why the figures are drawn like that.

Just the Facts! said...

Mr. Paine,
Had my spine fused and screwed back together in April of this year. As much discomfort as I experienced, I could stand on my own two feet with in a few days with out any pain, I cant imagine what you wife will go through for months.
My prayers for her and you are that the DOC has a steady hand and good vision, for you to have loving patience as you care for her, and for your wife, complete, unfettered control of the TV changer!

P.S. That's what the weather is like in OCT?

T. Paine said...

JTF, I thank you for your wonderful prayers! :) As for your spine, that sounds excruciatingly painful. How are you getting along now? Has that limited your mobility much? My wife’s fear is that she will walk with a limp after she heals.

And yes, the weather in Utah is typically beautiful in October. It was in the 70’s when we were on this trip, but it would cool down at night quite a bit. It is my favorite time of year to visit southern Utah because the kids are back in school so things aren’t so crowded and it isn’t so bloody hot!

Just the Facts! said...

Pain was manageable, I have 98% use of my right leg again, so what ever discomfort I had was well worth it.
I can not comment on limp, but what I have learned is the physical therapy is very important to a full recovery.