Nel's New Day

July 4, 2013

Celebrate Beauty on July 4

In early May, my photographer Ann Hubard traveled from Portland to Utah with her partner, taking more than 2,000 photographs along their trip which also dipped down into Arizona. These photographs show how remarkable that part of our country is, thanks to presidents who go back to Theodore Roosevelt who set up the national park system.

[Disclaimer: some people have said that her photographs that I post cannot be viewed. If not, I’m very sorry because they are truly magnificent!]

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These petroglyphs carved into Newspaper Rock in Utah were done hundreds and hundreds of years ago by Anasazi, or Puebloans as they are now called, and later relatives.  They differ from pictographs which are drawn. This photo was taken on a back road into the Needles Section of Canyonlands National Park that also has other amazing scenes such as  chocolate cliffs.

SW16Canyon de Chelly National Monument was established over 80 years go within the Navajo Reservation in northeastern Arizona. It is the only national park service land that is managed by a Native American Tribe. My favorite part of this is the white horse that shows how truly high the cliffs are. Photographer Ansel Adams took many famous pictures in this area.

SW17Ann said that their Navajo guide called these cow pie formations. But everyone could probably recognize that!

One of the many cliff dwellings, in Canyon de Chelly, the one below is called the White House Ruin because of the white on the ceiling. Only one trail is available to access this ancient dwelling without a Navajo Guide. The trail down to the ruin at the bottom descends 700 feet from the rim, but the necessary switchbacks make the trip about miles for the round trip. People can also go there with a guide in an all terrain vehicle.

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SW21Spider Rock in Canyon de Chelly is a famous source of photography, particularly beautiful at sunset especially with the thunderstorm brewing in the background.  According to Navajo legend, Spider Woman lives on the top of  the 800-foot-tall Spider Rock after she saved the Navajo people.

Bryce Canyon (below) is unique in the number of these hoodoos, fantastically-shaped pillars of rock created by water erosion. The names comes from the hoodoo definition of casting a spell. Paiutes explained the colorful hoodoos as “Legend People” who were turned to stone by Coyote. The first photo is at sunrise–to quote the photographer, “freezing ass cold but so beautiful.” She added, “Only me and the hoodoos this morning.” Fairyland Canyon, one mile north of the National Park entrance station, allows visitors an “eye-to-eye” view of hoodoos.

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The Ruby Mountains, just east of Elko (NV), provide a wonderful shot with the snowcapped mountains and the crazy lenticular clouds.

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Please think of these beautiful places on the day that we celebrate our independence and support ways to save them.

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