30 days in the desert
Finally~! Installed in our apartment in Montreal, and unpacked enough to post a few sketches from the cross-country trip.
We came across Utah; spending a few days each in Zion, Bryce and Arches. I had high hopes of painting every day – but honestly, this terrain is challenging. Combining the high humidity (summer storms every day) with sweltering heat, and the intense detail of the landscape – I had a difficult time with it.
The view from the top of the canyon at Zion:
There’s a well maintained walk up Zion Canyon over a series of bridges, balconies and short stairs that abruptly opens up to this vista. This was our first big stop on the trip – a great introduction to Utah. I recommend traveling south to north – the state starts out impressive, and just keeps getting weirder and wilder as you go though the park system.
The Delicate Arch:
This is probably the most photographed feature at Arches national park. A short but steep hike up a blasted wasteland, followed by a cliff hugging 200 meters of sandstone ledges with a 100 foot drop next to your toes, gets you up to this unique formation. There’s a cute little sign at the start of the trail that essentially says “don’t care what you think – you don’t have enough water’.
At the end there I was climbing a steep sandstone ledge, in the rain, with gritty dust blowing in my teeth (how that happens in the rain I’m not sure), it’s crazy hot, the lightning is hitting too close for comfort, I’m not sure If I should turn back. Then suddenly you’re around a bend in the path, and this natural amphitheater is spread out before you, with this bizarre rock formation perched on the edge. I ended up doing an initial sketch with my block jammed under a rock to keep the rain off, just hoping I wasn’t going to be struck by lightning. Turned out we lived, and stuck it out long enough for an impressive sunset.
I wish I’d come away from Utah with more sketches. So much to see here. Yet another place I need to re-visit.
So here’s some of Laurels photography to give you an idea of what’s out there: