The Fire Wave–Valley of Fire State Park

16 03 2015

Valley of Fire State Park is about 45 minutes drive north of Las Vegas. IMO, it’s the more interesting of the two :) Tucked away ,about a 30 minute walk from a parking lot, is "The Fire Wave" It’s not "THE WAVE", but it’s a little wave of colour that beckons to photographers.. "COME – shoot me!"

We hurried in to the location to beat the impending sunset and potential downpour, only to get a few shots in PRE downpour and then some really fun shots of a temporary waterfall and water flowing through the Fire Wave. What a crazy outing.

1. The Gathering storm.
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Flowing Colours
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Flash "creek" running through the FireWave
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Waterfall from the FireWave
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Brilliant colours as the sun sets.
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Valley of Fire – The FireWave
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

More photos available in the Flickr Set:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157650920767417

Comments and Critiques are always welcome.

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White Pocket–in the Vermillion Cliffs

16 03 2015

The White Pocket Wilderness is a little geological area on the Paria Plateau in the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument. The area feels a bit like the earth ruptured and out came red lava from under a white crust – of course it’s all sandstone so it’s NOT actually the case but it DOES feel that way.

1. Twisted Guardians
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Twisted Beauty of White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Ruptured Cross-bedding
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Twisted Beauty of White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Surreal
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Twisted Beauty of White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Reflected Beauty
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Twisted Beauty of White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. The Sea Turtle
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The Turtle
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. A Perfect Hexagon
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Hexagon!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

There are other interesting photos in the Flickr set for those that are interested:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157649047044503/

Comments and Critique always welcome!





Coyote Buttes South

15 03 2015

When planning our trip to the canyons of the Southwest, we had planned to hit Bryce, Zion, Monument Valley, Arches, Antelope Canyon but I hadn’t really heard much about the Vermillion Cliffs. Once I started doing some looking, I found there was a VERY popular place called "The WAVE". The Wave resides in Coyote Buttes NORTH permit area. Only 10 permits per day are issued ahead of time on the Internet and 10 are issued the day before at the BLM office in Kanab. VERY tough to get into due to the popularity (I think the Internet bookings were solid until October when we looked in Early Feb). Someone on Flickr mentioned that the Coyote Buttes SOUTH may not have "The WAVE" but still had some really cool and probably more varied scenery than the North. Plus, less people try to get in, so the 20 permits that are available daily via the Internet can be easier to get. We checked online and 2 permits were available for ONE of the days of our time in the area… At $5/person we snatched them up!

We learned next that the roads into the area are "dubious" in good weather and downright "scary" when the weather is wet and that we’d be wise to hire a guide. $175/person later we were hooked up with one of the oldest outfits in the area, Paria Outpost and Outfitters.. a decision that I am super glad we took. Well, without much more babbling… here are some pictures from the FIRST half of the day spent at Coyote Buttes South. Another post will have the second half of the day, which we spent at "White Pocket"

1. Southern "Wave"
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Precarious Balance of the "Control Tower" or "Dali’s Tower"
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Welcome to another world
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Line painters stop for nothing
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Fragile Beauty – Millimetre thick fins of rock in the falling snow
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Amazing patterns
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

There are so many amazing structures and patterns… More at the Flickr set:
https://flic.kr/s/aHsk8BfW8X

Comments and Critique always welcome!





Lower Antelope Canyon

11 03 2015

Stop #3 on our Canyons and Cool Places trip was Lower Antelope Canyon – quite possibly the most photographed slot canyon in the world. I felt it was important to do my part to document it as well.  We used a company that is located right at the lower canyon, called “Lower Antelope Canyon Tours” :)We took the “Photographers’ Tour” which meant that we were able to spend 2 hours in the canyon with tripods!  Our guide, a Navajo woman named Quintana was wonderful and patient.  She even let us run overtime a bit Winking smile  The tour was $50USD which was $22 more than the regular tour. Worth EVERY penny!

1.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6.
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Lower Antelope Canyon – Wow!
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Many more (it can get a bit dizzying to look at) at:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157650891312870

Comments and Critique always welcome!





US Southwest–National Parks and Monuments

6 03 2015

Still have about 1000 pics to filter through, but I thought I’d share some quick highlights…

Bryce Canyon
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Bryce Canyon National Park
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Zion Sunrise
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Zion National Park
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr
Antelope – not enough ways to say "Wow!"
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Lower Antelope Canyon
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Horesehoe Bend by starlight
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Horseshoe Bend with Stars
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

White Pocket
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White Pocket
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

Coyote Buttes South
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Coyote Buttes South
by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

No Grand Canyon pics due to serious SNOW… All whiteout :(

The "Canyons Sampler" is here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157648783150083

Each stop will have its own album that I’ll post later though. Thank you all for the advice. If anyone wants any more details of the trip (the what and the where etc) just let me know!

Cheers!





Red Rock Canyon, NV – 2011

13 02 2015

Just outside of Las Vegas (probably where the mob buried their problems) There is Red Rock Canyon.  We didn’t get out an hike, just had time for a drive around the loop and the sunset.  It turned out to be a pretty little place….  I can’t believe that it’s been 4 years since we’ve been and that long since I took the pictures – Finally got around to editing them!  FINALLY!  Figured I had to do it before my trip to Bryce/Zion/Antelope at the end of this month Winking smile

1. Canyon and cacti

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

2. Can you find the climber? Bigger rocks than you think!

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

3. Arch in the making

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

4. Sunset

Red Rocks Canyon National Conservation Area by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

5. Stripes

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

6. Canyon walls at Sunset

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area by DragonSpeed, on Flickr

The whole set can be found at
https://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157650347018248

Comments and feedback always welcomed!





2012-11-08 Banteay Srei and Banteay Samre

12 11 2012

The itinerary for today, thankfully only included two temples and a bit of driving to get to them.

On our way to get to the first, Banteay Srei, we stopped at a little village where the local people were making palm sugar. It was very interesting to see how similar the process was to the way we make maple sugar in Canada. The molds for the sugar, however were made from palm leaves not little maple leaf shaped tins.

The resulting discs look a lot like dried scallops (strangely) and the texture is identical to that of our maple sugar.  The taste was not of plain sugar but a bit different.  It was quite good!

Banteay Srei was our first stop.  The temple is a lovely, one level (Thank God – no stairs) temple.  The core foundation stones were made from lava rock as were most other temples but the sandstone in this one was all ORANGE/RED, resulting in a lovely coloured temple.

The carvings were very ornate and the depictions of Vishnu going into battle as well as various other Hindi tales were emblazoned on the various piedements.

One particular door frame held an extra surprise for us

That’s right!  A leopard gecko with a head about the size of a lemon was hiding in a crack between the wall and the door frame.  It was an amazing addition of natural beauty to this man-made marvel.

Even Muk Muk and Boxer Duck enjoyed the beauty of this unique temple

Our next stop was Banteay Samre.  This seems to be the poor step-child of the “Angkor Wat Temples”  It was nearly deserted when we arrived. That meant we were able to spend a little more time enjoying the amazing things that the temple had to offer.

The two temples were just enough for our last full day of temple watching.  We were beginning to get a bit “Templed Out”  We headed home after lunch at a countryside restaurant, enjoying views like this on the way home:

A lovely way to end the day’s outing.

We came back to our hotel to find the usual, lovely water flower arrangement, reminding you of the more delicate things than rocks and stones.

To enjoy the whole set of pictures from today, please visit the flickr set at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/sets/72157631989183097/

Our entire Cambodian trip is in the collection at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dragonspeed/collections/72157631926458473/

Take your time, enjoy the pictures and get lost in a world that time left behind.








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