January 12 to January 18
(Home to Moab, Utah)
Click on the photo for each day to view that day's photos.
Day 1 - January 12, 2024
Of course I picked the coldest day of the year, perhaps the decade to head out on the road. -39 C when we left Three Hills, AB to head to Great Falls, MT. Surprisingly, the roads were fine. We saw lots of steam rising from the Bow River as we passed Calgary, then drove uneventfully to Great Falls. It's no warmer here! -35 C tonight. We arrived in time to go and view both falls and some very cold Canada Geese, before having pizza for dinner. Tomorrow, weather and roads permitting, we are off to Pinedale, WY. The road passes through Jackson Hole and the Grand Tetons so fingers crossed.
Day 2 - January 13, 2024
It was a bitterly cold night in Great falls and when we arose, it was -37 C. Fortunately, the car started and we were on the way again. Today we drove through three states, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. In the cold, we saw a unique cloud caused by an industrial plant of some kind, a lovely rural church built in 1881, a herd of Pronghorn Antelope, passed by Yellowstone National Park, over the Snake River, and the Grand Tetons, through Jackson Hole before arriving at Pinedale, Wyoming... Tomorrow, it's on to Moab, UT.
Day 3 - January 14, 2024
That was a loooong day! It was only -15 C when we left Pinedale, WY. But that was the good news. We drove for a couple hours on snow covered roads heading to Moab when we came to a road block. Road closed. So we had to take a detour which took us through Salt lake City. The snow covered roads became ice, then slush, then rain and eventually bare and dry. But, instead of a 7 hour drive, it was a long 10 hours.
Now the good news. When we arrived here, it was 10 C. I got out of the car and it felt like summer after the weather we have been through. We only got a few shots along the way, and then I took some of our home for the next 5 days. Really, really nice.
Tomorrow we start to explore the area. Canyonlands and Arches National Park and Deadhorse State Park. I have wanted to come to this part of the world for a long time so I hope the weather holds.
Day 4 - January 15, 2024
After 3 long days of driving through some challenging conditions, we got off to a late start this morning. But that didn't stop us from having a great day. First stop was a bridge over the Colorado River, then off to Deadhorse Point State Park which hosts some incredible views. FYI, when faced with this astounding beauty, no photograph can do it justice.
Next, Canyonlands National Park and more spectacular views. Everywhere you look, it takes your breath away. I took many more photos than the ones here but there is still 43 on this day. And 3 more days to go in this place.
Day 5 - January 16, 2024
Today has been a busy one. Up at 4:30 am to try to get a spot at the Mesa Arch for sunrise. After a 45 minute drive, a 10 minute hike in the dark, and being there an hour before sunrise in -9 C temperatures, I find another 7 or 8 photographers already there. So, it was tough to get the shot I wanted. And several more. It is difficult because there is only about a 60 second window when the sun is at the horizon and another 60 seconds when it is at the bottom of the arch to get "the shot". And there are a dozen or more photographers (by this time) scrambling for position(s). But, I managed. After that and the hike back out to the car, I drove along the rim of the park to get more shots of Canyonlands National Park.
In the afternoon, we were off to Arches National Park. Spectacular! Spires, arches, colours, snow covered mountains in the distance, and surprisingly, not many people. In the summer, you must make a reservation to get into the park. As it was later in the day and getting later as we drove, the colours of the rocks just got deeper and more vibrant as the sun got lower in the sky. It's a tough call but I think if I could only see one of the two parks, it would be Arches. But both are breathtaking.
Day 6 - January 17, 2024
A "take it slow and easy" day today. We spent most of the day in the condo, doing laundry etc. But later in the afternoon we decided to take a quick (a couple hours) drive to Bedrock, Colorado. It is pretty much a ghost town, with a closed store ("serving outlaws since 1881"), a school bus stop and all the "modern" conveniences. An unidentified eagle, a few scenery shots, a stop at the Utah sign (no Colorado sign to be found) and then home.