Monday, December 2, 2019

Dead Horse Point

"If I can put one touch of rosy sunset into the life of any man or woman, I shall feel that I have worked with God." -Gilbert K. Chesterton

When my husband suggested that we call it quits on our day at Arches National Park and we wearily climbed into the car, little did I know he had one more major trick up his sleeve.

"Let's go watch the sunset at Dead Horse Point."


From the vantage point of Dead Horse Point, the canyons of southeast Utah unleash a masterful panorama, and far below, the Colorado River makes a gorgeous hairpin turn through the rocks.  The scenery is gorgeous at any time of day, but at sunset, the deepening colors and rich purple shadows create an unbelievable, otherworldly vista.

^ I'd been here once before. Yes, you guessed it, that legendary honeymoon trip included a stop here. But that was many years ago, when this park was pretty much unknown, and Instagram geo tags were not on anyone's radar. Now, on a sunny September evening, the folks were out in full force and we enjoyed the scene with a crowd. 

^ Looking back across the desert toward the east, over the heads of the arches and beyond to La Sal Mountains, we were graced with the sight of not one but two rainbows. 

^ This was the view from our vantage point at the main viewing area. I took dozens of shots here, trying to capture the flicking changes of light on the water, of shadows in the canyons, of light playing across the rocks. None of them really do justice to what I saw with my own eye, which is often the way with photographs. But I kept trying just the same. 

^ To the left/west, along the edge of the mesa, were a series of hiking trails and easily scramble-able rocks. My daughters set off on an exploration while my shoulder and I decided to stay put. 

^ The immensity of the view is better captured with a few humans in the frame. I thank these two for unknowingly improving my photo.

^ And while clearly less mysterious and shadowy, the eastern side of the canyon also put on quite a sunset show. 

^ Speaking of sunset shows, Gracie never met a golden hour that didn't light her fur to finest effect. 

^See what I mean? She's purely radiant. 

^ My daughters took their turn down near the edge of the mesa. They sat quietly, watching as the sun sunk lower and lower toward the horizon. 

^ Then, just as we thought she would drift along the edge of the sky forever, the sun slipped beyond our view and was gone. Golden light lingered in the sky as we walked back to our car and drove toward the cheeseburgers and soft beds awaiting us in town.

And that was the end of a perfectly splendid day. 

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Road Trip 2019: read all about it.

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