Canyonlands

Not knowing how to start this blog post reflects my mindset quite accurately. After almost 60 days on the road, always on the go, hunting for that one image at every location, left me quite tired and drained. The beginning of our time in Canyonlands National Park did nothing in mending this feeling: we had planned on spending three nights in the backcountry, driving the White Rim Road, an off-roading scenic drive around the Island in the Sky district of Canyonlands. On the second day, however, we realised that our fuel would not be enough to make the entire drive, so we had to turn around. Disappointed, tired and exhausted, we managed to get a campsite in Moab, the town right next to Canyonlands and Arches National Park.

The first light hits the walls of the canyons next to the White Rim Road.

The first light hits the walls of the canyons next to the White Rim Road.

Once again, our improvising skills were needed, and we managed to get a few visits to the Island in the Sky district in to get some shots. We witnessed a spectacular sunset, with rain traveling through the canyons towards us, only to leave us drenched, marvelling at the double rainbow that followed.

The colours slowly fade away as the sun dips behind the horizon, illuminating the distant rain.

The colours slowly fade away as the sun dips behind the horizon, illuminating the distant rain.

Given our tired state of mind, we decided to take it easy, relax a lot and not try to push any shoots, but enjoy the landscape, the thunderstorms and the lightning in the desert. In addition to that, we scraped our plan to shoot Arches National Park, and simply visited it instead. With the park being closed from 7 pm to 7 am, it was inaccessible for sunrise and sunsets anyways and an entire section was closed entirely for road work maintenance.

The sun paints a stunning image by illuminating the rain in the canyons of Canyonlands.

The sun paints a stunning image by illuminating the rain in the canyons of Canyonlands.

Where there is light, there is dark - the last rays of sun kissing the cliff face in the canyon.

Where there is light, there is dark - the last rays of sun kissing the cliff face in the canyon.

Despite all the closures, being tired, changing of plans and evading lightning, I still managed to capture the available mood in a few images.

I've been waiting for a long time to capture an image like this - the sun setting behind the walls of the canyon.

I've been waiting for a long time to capture an image like this - the sun setting behind the walls of the canyon.

The post-sunset storm raging in the distance, bringing in some much needed rain.

The post-sunset storm raging in the distance, bringing in some much needed rain.

Not having fully recovered after our time in this area, Derek and I decided we’d need a solid two days of relaxing – so we got ourselves a hotel with a pool, so we could just chill for a bit, and not worry about getting that one shot, before we’d be heading out to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison and the Great Sanddunes to wrap up our road trip.

Until then,
David