Saturday, November 18, 2017

May 28, part 4 -- heading back to Kanab


Here is a link to the interactive expedition map.

Driving back toward Kanab.

Approaching the Glen Canyon dam and "Lake" Powell (which we looked at earlier on May 28th).

We went across that bridge to get to Horseshoe Bend, and to the slot canyons.  Note our shadows at the bottom of the next image....  :-)

This is a different view point than the one we looked across from earlier that day.  This one is better for showing the dam and the bridge together.

Closer crop of the above, taken from fairly near the center of the above image.  Somehow I think that tacking the wall together is a very temporary fix. 

One thing about this landscape -- if you pay attention, you really get a sense of how temporary humans are.  We may take most of life-as-we-know-it with us, as humanity departs the planet, but the planet will survive, and will nurture other life in the future.  I hope none will be as careless and destructive as we are......

Speaking of deep time, and long-gone life on this planet.......  This was outside the visitors' center at the dam.

Dino footprints.

The sign reads "The imprints were made by a one-ton twenty-foot-long meat-eating dinosaur.  The slab of limestone [previous image] came from a nearby side canyon.  When Dilophosaurus tracked through the silt, 170 million years ago, this was a different landscape.  Shallow streams meandered across a marshy plain.  Throughout Glen Canyon, the red-orange layer of Kayenta sandstone appears -- a lost world turned into stone, then river-cut and weathered into view."

Huge amount of water, where there should be much less.

We used the bathrooms and bought postcards in the visitors' center, then headed on back to Kanab.

Definitely not in Michigan.

Boggled at how green it was, at the end of May.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

another reason to get a good night's sleep


Here's a TED talk elucidating a reason to get a good night's sleep:  the only time your brain gets cleaned of waste products (like amyloid beta....) is when you're asleep.

We heard about this in the sleep MOOC I listened to a week or so ago, so that's hearing about it twice from two different sources.......


May 28, part 3 -- Rattlesnake Canyon


Here is a link to the interactive expedition map.

We added an extra canyon to the basic tour.  Rattlesnake is less accessible than Antelope, requiring some clambering over rock and ascension of a ladder at the end of the canyon.  We hoped this (and the extra $$$) would mean it was less crowded.  It was, but everything is relative.  It was still crowded.  Just not jammed........

Flowers outside the canyon.

Closer crop of the above -- note the tiny flower at right.  Two different plants, both with white flowers, growing next to each other.

Heading into Rattlesnake.

Closer crop of the right edge of the above.  Rainbow sun flare.

Rattlesnake was more open than Antelope.  Looking out the side.

We had to go under one archway -- not sure if this is the one....  You can see the footprints are continuous under this one, so maybe it was.

Zig-zag, zig-zag.

There were places in Rattlesnake where you had to squeeze through.

A rock closeup.

The end.  Note nuke plant on horizon.....

As I climbed up that ladder, I wondered how we were going to get back down.  As it turned out, we walked back to the beginning on top rather than down in.

Walking back to the ... road? driveway?  That plant-lined crack, with all the footprints beside it, is the canyon.  Note, also, the interesting rock on the other side of the crack.

Stepping a little closer to the canyon....

These slot canyons were amazing.  So different from anything one would see in Michigan.  I am very glad to have had the chance to see them!

Here is a link to the next post about the Grand Canyon trip.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

May 28, part 2 -- Horseshoe Bend, and Antelope Canyon


Here is a link to the interactive expedition map.

The original impetus for this trip was info about visiting the Grand Canyon (and environs) in a book called something like 99 Great Road Trips in the USA.  The book suggested heavily that people visit the Grand Canyon's north rim, as the south rim is overrun with zillions of tourists.  So my two criteria for the trip were that we visit the north rim of the Grand Canyon, and that we stay in the park.  The rest of this trip was built around those two requirements.

The slot canyons we were to visit on May 28 were on the south side of the Grand Canyon.  We had seen many excellent images of Horseshoe Bend online, and it wasn't too far from Antelope Canyon, so we decided to visit Horseshoe Bend as part of  our activity on the 28th.

I took no images of what it was like to hunt for parking along the road near Horseshoe Bend (presumably because the large parking lot was full).  I took no images of the trash I picked up along the road as we worked our way toward the parking lot.  Nor of the trash I picked up in the parking lot.  Nor of the hundreds of vehicles.   Nor of the CROWDS..................

Here is a Bowdlerized view of what it's like near Horseshoe Bend.

I bet these dandelionesque flowers may be the same as the yellow flowers on the left edge of the above.

It is a long way from the parking lot to a place where you can see Horseshoe Bend.  You climb up from the parking lot to a ridge, and then it's a long hot way from that ridge to the edge of the canyon.

The above is about half of Horseshoe Bend.  The rest of the horseshoe is to the left, and there was no way to capture the whole loop without also capturing the hordes of noisy intrusive littering tourists.

A bit of reality. 

We are standing right near the rim of the canyon, looking back the way we came.  The highest part of the ridge on the horizon (in the next shot) is where we came up from the parking lot.

This is a closer crop of the upper left of the above.  People, people, everywhere.  Dropping trash everywhere they go.  I hate them.

Turning the other way.  No people down there, thank goodness.  Not to say we've had no affect on the river -- I bet it wasn't slow and green like this before it was dammed..............

On the way back to the car.  We walked on a broad sandy path.

This is a closer crop of a spot near the middle of the previous image.  Bird....

We eventually got back to the car.  We left Horseshoe Bend with a sigh of relief.  We stopped in Page, AZ, and picnicked in a nice big park.

Then we headed for our appointment to see slot canyons.

The slot canyons were MOBBED.  JAMMED.  That holiday-weekend thing, in spades.  While we are glad that the first-nations people who own this land were making a lot of money, we were not thrilled to be sardines, hustled in and out of the canyons.

Approaching Antelope Canyon.

These pics are deceptively empty of hordes of tourists.

Luckily for people who DO NOT want their pictures full of littering strangers, the canyons are tall.  If you look up, rather than straight ahead, you can take interesting and informative pics.  Without persons.

In my limited experience, slot canyons tend to be open at the top at least as much as they are closed.  The open-to-the-sky aspect kept me from feeling claustrophobic.

The rock was mostly red.  Layers of varying mostly-red sandstone (I believe).

It was pretty dark, in parts of Antelope Canyon.  I have lightened these pics so we can see some detail in the dark areas, which means the color needs to be taken with a grain (or more!) of salt.

I have read, in books about painting, that the color of an object's shadows are on the opposite side of the color wheel from the color of the original object.  Blue is opposite orange, and purple is opposite yellow.  I wonder if this is why these images have so much blue/purple.....

In addition to pondering purple (which I do not remember seeing when I looked at all of this), note in the next image the way wings of rock stick out from the side walls.  Walking through these slot canyons was a zig-zag path. 

Layers and layers and layers of sandstone.  Built up over unimaginable spans of time.  Then carved into sinuous shapes by flowing water, over more unfathomable spans of time........

Life in precarious places.

As I almost always do, I worked hard to take very few pics of people.  Here's one..... This is what it was actually like, at ground level........

Which is why I looked up, so I could capture humanity-free images.

A few palate-cleansers.....

Here's a link to the next post about the Grand Canyon trip.