Sunday, May 29, 2011

Adam’s Canyon – Round 2 – Springtime


I have already blogged about Adam’s Canyon, when I hiked up there last September. I wanted to return during high run off so I did. Due to being a repeat I will try to keep this post short.

We are having a rather wet spring this year, and weekend days with sunshine are very few and far between so I am trying to take advantage when I get the opportunity. Landis had to work today, so this was a solo hike. After looking up the directions I headed out, and well I need a navigator. I don’t take my eyes from the road when in motion, and the turn out, as I remembered is not easy to find. So I turned out onto the wrong street, pulled over to check the map, recalibrated and kept going 3 times. Sigh. Not very familiar with the area.


To the right of the random reservoir is the parking area. As you can see this was a rather popular destination today. My car is not pictured, as I had to park a little bit down the street.


It is the end of May and even the respectively shorter mountains of Layton still have snow on them. This is crazyness!

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But very, very pretty. Even before I got to the stream, I knew the water level was higher, I could hear the difference.


Definitely a lot more water than Last Year.


This section of of the trail was washed out.

The water was so high this year that I was forced to get wet crossing to the other side before the falls. You cannot see them unless you do. During low flow last year, the water was low enough that we managed to cross using stepping stones with no worries. Not this time. Both shoes filled with water, and soaked up to the shins. However, it was not as slick as I feared it would be, and the water was spread out enough I didn’t think I would be knocked over, nor feared for my cameras safety (let alone my own)


I am rather proud of this shot. This is an EXTREEMLY hard to photograph waterfall. Note the main falls are in direct sunlight, and everything just below it is shadowed by the canyon.


As you can see in this shot of a trio of girls crossing the stream. Note the main waterfall is a bit washed out, or over-exposed. While I am here, Take a look at last years photo, from as far as I can tell at almost the exact same spot.


This, and many upcoming images brought to you courtesy of my Neutral Density .09 filter. I could not have gotten the desired “smoky effect” on this waterfall without it. It is in full sun. The ND Filter darkens my shot for me, allowing me to leave the shutter open a little longer to get the desired smoky effect, without being washed out. YAY for fun little toys.


This one is good but it also shows how frustrating it is to shoot this waterfall, and get the lower cascades at the same time.


So sometimes you have to completely re-think your shot.


This one is just to show how big the falls really are. (note the couple to the left just under the shade line)

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Just playing with the ND Filter. I am really impressed by what it can actually do.


Pretty view, showing what I believe will be a short lived low Great Salt Lake. We had a very wet year last year, and an abnormally wet year this year. I believe the lake level will rise significantly.

Copy of Valley Stitch

And a nice panoramic of the valley.

Again, this trail is rather popular, and is generally easy, with some tough parts, but the waterfall at the end make it worthwhile. It is approximately 3.5 miles round trip. I will give it a nice even 9 squirrels.

squirrels 9

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Spiral Jetty

Ever since I heard about The Spiral Jetty I have wanted to go see it. When I heard the Great Salt Lake’s water levels had lowered enough that it was again traversable I really wanted to go. When I discovered that we are near 200% snow pack I started freaking out and was dead set and determined to go in fear that it would submerge this year.

After about an hour drive from Salt Lake to the Golden Spike National Historical Site you can continue about 30 or so miles down a well maintained dirt road to get to the Jetty. While at the Golden Spike I asked the ranger if they had a map, he said no, asked if I had directions I said yes. He then went on to say yes the road is well maintained, but if you have a flat, or have 2 “some people just have bad luck”, the cell service is shoddy at best, and IF you do get service it’s 500 bucks to be towed out. Almost scared me away from the trip. Almost.

After a little confusion due to google maps (wow you guys need some help) and turning around 3 times, we managed to figure out where we needed to go and headed down the dirt road, me having a slight panic attack all the way until almost half way down. That was until we passed a car smaller than mine heading the other way. “If that car can make it, so can mine.” It took us about an hour. to get there.


Here is an idea of the condition of the road.

We arrive. I did the same thing I did at the Echo Cemetery. Before the car was fully stopped I was practically hopping out. We found it, we made it, it is even more amazing than I thought it would be!


I really like the first image I took. It really helps to give you an idea of the massive size of this thing. 1500 x 15 feet. Huh I thought it was wider than that. I read somewhere that if you uncurled it, it would be twice as long 3000 feet.

It is an earthwork sculpture constructed by artist Robert Smithson back in 1970. Unfortunately he did it during a drought, with record low lake levels. It submerged a few years later, and remained so for 3 decades. It came back in 2004, then again in 2010. See it while you can folks! Because I really think it will re-submerge this year.


This is definitely my new favorite piece of art, and the only one that I have scrambled all over hehe.

We managed to find a semblance of a trail down to the Jetty and I managed to find something to occupy my time as we waited for the other visitors to return to the shore.

Copy of jetty sitch 1


Art-Inception. People have added slowly smaller and smaller copies of the Jetty to the left of it.



Starting the Spiral


It almost looks like a tropical beach




Copy of jetty stich 2

I really, really enjoy the coloring.


Landis decided to play with the salt foam we found on the edge. Gross.






Here I am at the center of The Spiral.

Copy of jetty unspiraled

I call this “Jetty Un-Spiraled” as I was in the center and spun around 360 and then stitched them together. Didn’t quite turn out the way I thought it would, but still cool.

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The water level is still bit on the low side, or a bit too much sediment has flowed in. I am pretty sure this section is supposed to be water.


A family with children had shown up at this point so we started heading back. While we were all the way out here I figured we may as well get a hike in, and get a cool higher up view of the jetty. So I decided we should hike up the side of the hill here.


It is really weird here. The entire hill side is littered with these rocks, as if they just rained down from the sky one day. Very similar to Antelope Island. I should do some research it would seem to me that there was a volcanic eruption that caused this odd phenomenon.


After hiking up a little bit we noticed we were being swarmed by insects. They were driving us absolutely bonkers. I had hoped they were just brine flies. But, no. As the next day or two I now have probably at least 30 mosquito bites. grr. I recommend some Off or some other bug repellent for this trail.



We hiked up to what I am sure is the Lake Bonneville shoreline here as it flattened out, then went up again. (for non native Utahan's most of Utah was submerged by a pre-historic lake. Most places in the Wasatch Front you can observe 2 distinct shorelines ringing the mountain sides. Its kind of cool actually.)




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Here we are with the jetty in the background. I actually brought my tri-pod this trip, but left in in the car. So I had to use a rock. Not a bad result if I do say so myself.


After rounding a large boulder I spotted a rabbit! Of course he hopped away before I got him, but I did manage to track him under these boulders. (just right and slightly below center) I would have liked a better shot, but I felt bad that I chased him this long. Poor thing, just wants to do rabbit things doesn’t need a crazy person with a camera interfering with his life.


I should start directing car shoots haha!


Here is the snake Landis almost stepped on. I saw it and froze fearing it was a rattle snake. After a few moments I realized there was no rattle, and actually it looks like a gopher snake. Still I wasn’t willing to test that theory and gave it as much room as it needed.


If you cant tell from the amount of images I posted, I REALLY enjoyed this. I was fully inspired and I swear I took a photo every 2 feet or so! This is by far the coolest piece of artwork anybody has ever done!



A couple pretty shots from the drive back.


I really liked this vintage sign I saw on the way in. Somehow I managed to spot it on the way out and get a quick shot out the back window.

I really, REALLY enjoyed this adventure. Even though it was quite the drive, and nerve-raking drive down a dirt road, it is still one of the most fascinating mad made objects I have even gone to.

Even with the drive, the scary dirt road, and the bugs I would rate this trail with a perfect 10 out of 10 Squirrels.

squirrels 10

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