Posts Tagged ‘United States’

Canyonlands National Park

Monday, August 13th, 2018

canyonlands-national-park

When our family arrived at the top of one of the overlooks at Canyonlands National Park in Utah, we could see an immense canyon with bizarre red outcroppings jutting out of the ground. The summer heat penetrated our skin as we took in the beautiful panorama.

canyonlands

Canyonlands is a desert area, with flat-topped outcroppings that are striped with layers of sedimentary rock. The layers in the distance look purple and blue, making me want to paint the scene with oil paints on canvas. Or maybe a watercolor would bring out the soft hues in the rocks. I didn’t have any art supplies on hand, but we snapped over a hundred pictures. These were my favorites:

canyon

If you ever wondered what a butte looked like, here is a gorgeous picture of one. It seems strange that erosion wouldn’t have flattened the structure by now, since the surrounding area is so much lower. It looks unreal.

canyonlands-tops

This is an area known as “The Needles,” because the rocks jut up in needle-like structures, standing up like an army in the middle of an empty battlefield.

canyon-edge

The edge of the cliff reminds me of cartoons of Wile E Coyote, who chased Roadrunner through deserts like this, only to find himself falling off the cliff–often with an anvil rather than a parachute.

I liked how the tree grew near the edge, allowing people to sit in the shade to enjoy the view.

sitting-on-rock

Here I am sitting on a rock in the sun, from a different vantage point. (I would be paying for it later through a bright red suntan.) I slid the red dirt between my fingers and marveled at how different it was from the stark white sand we saw at White Sands National Park earlier in the week.

canyon-alan

My husband Alan is pictured here in front of a super interesting formation called “Island in the Sky.” From up above in a helicopter, you would see a blob like an amoeba carved into the ground like a ginormous cookie cutter. A river runs through the area.

canyonlands-tree

Gnarly trees like this one grow in this desert area, giving a small amount of shade from the intense heat.

canyonlands-plants

Most of the plants are lower to the ground, and they are sparser the further down the canyon you go–except for the river area, where you will find strips of green along the water.

canyon-view

You’ve really got to see this in person to get the full magnitude of the giant-ness of everything. Looking down from different angles at the beautiful rock formations is truly a breathtaking experience!

Making Sand Angels (White Sands National Park)

Monday, August 6th, 2018

making-sand-angels

I laughed when I saw my son making sand angels when we visited White Sands National Park in New Mexico. We were on our way to Canyonlands National Park, so we only spent about an hour playing in the sand, which was ultra fine and starkly white.

We took off our shoes and left footprints in the sand. The wind made ripples that made the sand look other-worldly. I felt like I was walking on the moon.

footprints-in-white-sand

My oldest son lay down and flapped his arms up and down in the sand to create a sand angel. He must have felt like the white sand resembled snow. Apparently the sand is made of white gypsum. This national park is the largest deposit of gypsum sand in the world.

sand-angel

Not very much grows in this sand; it’s kind of like a desert. In fact, there are lizards and other desert animals hiding in the dry shrubs.

white-sands-park

It definitely looks like another world. It’s silent except for the wind blowing on the sand.

white-sands-couple

Here’s a picture with my husband at White Sands National Park.

grass-tuft-in-white-sand

Here is a weird shrub on an outcropping. It looks like an enormous chia pet.

white-sand

You can see how bizzare this place looks. Its unusual white sand makes it a unique place to visit, and my kids loved it!

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