After ogling the views of The Needles and the Lockhart Basin area from Needles Overlook, I drove north up across the mesa called Hatch Point. Canyonlands off to the west, the snowy La Sal Mountains to the east.
Hatch Point is a sagebrush mesa where I’ve often seen pronghorn (“antelope”). I wasn’t disappointed this time, either. And in this location I was once again lucky enough to have the La Sal Mountains as a spectacular background. But they weren’t going to let me get anywhere close to them, even with a long lens.
At one point there is a sign pointing to the Wine Glass, a fantastical formation in one of the sandstone cliffs. Erosion is the process whereby the landscape weathers. Meaning it’s continually in a state of falling apart. It’s amazing how lovely things get by falling apart.
The Anticline Overlook looks down onto a paradox. One where the mighty Colorado River carved through the massive cliffs of the Moab Rim, instead of flowing around it. Of course there is a geological explanation for it! Or you can just forget about that and appreciate the sublime scenery. Especially on a late winter’s day with a storm front mixing sunshine, shadows, and advancing snow squalls from the north.
I found my campsite for the night. It’s right on the rim of the Point, a priceless view, and free. None of your business as to exactly where it is!
I had a bite to eat while watching the snow squalls come at me and around me.
Then it was sunset time. The dark clouds with the sunset spilling through made for a dramatic view of the cliffs and canyons.
Part of my plan for this trip had been to be in place for a shot of the rising Full Moon over the La Sal Mountains to the east. I was in place, all right. I knew from the weather forecast that I was probably going to get shut out by the incoming storm. Sometimes you get lucky.
At sunset the clouds lifted just enough from the valley for the just-set sun to reflect on the lower slopes of the La Sals as alpenglow. No moonrise? No problem! It had been such a spectacular day.
Photo location: Canyon Rims Recreation Area, San Juan County, Utah.
Copyright 2016 Stephen J. Krieg