Sunday, December 5, 2010

Inspired and Breathless in Utah

 While I don't have to travel to find subjects to paint I must say our western U.S. holds my heart and takes my breath away. Until recently I have to say that of all the National Parks, Teton and parts of Yellowstone have  been my number one favorites.  That was before I experienced Zion  in the snow.  This beautiful magical wild place gave me an experience that I will hold dear to my heart for the rest of my life.  Beyond its ageless heights of limestone and sandstone, amazing in their own right, the beauty of the Virgin River canyon was compounded with unexpected snow.  Hiking the canyon last Sunday morning, in blizzard like conditions, I felt a personal joy for the richness of all that nature can offer.

Side pools collect water from the heights and feed the river. The water shows teal green and red color in contrast to the white snow.

A monolith near the entrance guards the canyon.

Wind and the Virgin River created the canyon over millions of years. Seasonal run-off and flash flooding carves out the soft rock.

Other special experiences on this trip included Thanksgiving with my daughter Renee and her family in their home, hiking and playing with grandkids in 18" of snow at Snow Basin in the Wasatch Mountains near Salt Lake and gallery hopping in Park City, Utah's ski capitol.

At Bryce Canyon I stopped to help a Chinese family  with their camera so they could all be in the picture.  They in turn did the same for us.  In spite of the language barrier, after much gesturing, smiling, and bowing, we all went away happy. Later, with the exception of a lone Steller's Jay for company, we picnicked in the 27 degree weather.  What fun!

Steller's Jay waiting to clean up any crumbs that escaped our mouths.

Left to Right: Renee, Ian, Roger and Maddie. The black-headed gnome is...Me!

No comments: