A Hot Idea

After visiting The Grand Canyon and Southern Utah I was tired and ready to go home to Hermosa Beach, but I had told myself for weeks that I was going to stop by Death Valley on the way back. I decided to skip Death Valley, and was on the highway back to go home, when I changed my mind again. I punched Death Valley National Park into my GPS and figured nothing too bad could happen. I was right. The worst part was setting up a tent in the dark, so life was pretty good. I knew very little about Death Valley before visiting. The most amazing thing I learned was that it is the largest National Park in the contiguous United States, measuring over twice the size of Delaware. Plus if you add the stretches of desolation, run down towns, and abandonment surrounding the park, it’s amazing how massive the area is. All just about 200 miles from Los Angeles! Oh, and on average, it’s the hottest place in the world.

You can see more photos and outtakes from this road trip on my Facebook page by clicking here

A Hot Idea

Abandonment and shanty towns started in Nevada before I got into the park

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A Hot Idea

After camping, watched the sun rise at the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes - gonna be a hot day!

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A Hot Idea

This is in the United States? I wouldn't believe you if I hadn't been there myself

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A Hot Idea

It is like there are dunes within the dunes

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A Grand Adventure

When I first invited my friend Matt to meet me in Las Vegas and go to the Grand Canyon, I thought we’d be leaving Las Vegas around 3 or 4 PM, get a campground or cheap motel around 10 PM, and stroll to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon for sunrise at our leisure. (The North Rim is the less popular, more out of the way place. But from what I’ve heard, more beautiful) Turns out Matt had to come in around 9:30, and we only had a few days, so I made the executive decision that we would drive towards the Grand Canyon immediately, and figure it all out later. Our plans to see the sunrise were almost foiled by the need for gas, but we did find a place in the middle of nowhere that left the gas pumps on overnight while the store was closed. As we got within a few hours of the park, there were more deer than you could ever imagine hanging out by the road, and it became unsafe, so we pulled over for a while. Matt caught some shuteye on the ground (definitely legal in a National Forest, which we were in). I couldn’t sleep so I took some night photos. Matt eventually got up, we got in my car, and headed the last hour or so to the Canyon and checked out the first hour or two of sun. Then we embarked on an offroading adventure in my Jeep to Point Sublime, which took 2 hours to go 16 miles. It was all worth it when we got a 300 degree view of the canyon. Pictures can’t do Point Sublime justice, so put it on your list and see for yourself someday.

You can see more photos and outtakes from this road trip on my Facebook page by clicking here

A Grand Adventure

The drive through the night was a sight to behold in and of itself

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A Grand Adventure

Some of the very first rays of light start to light up the canyon

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A Grand Adventure

The rim had a lot more plant life than I expected

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A Grand Adventure

Even getting to Point Sublime provided some spectacular sights

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A Grand Adventure

Thanks to Matt Van Damm for this photo of me shooting the shot above

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Southern Utah Slot Canyon

For the second year in a row, my hopes of doing something really cool in Zion National Park were foiled. This time, it was because my attempt to go there with my friend Matt was on a Saturday, and there were way too many people there for me to enjoy it thoroughly. So, we headed to an outdoor outfitter and asked for a suggestion outside the park, and were directed to a slot canyon north of the park, near Kanarraville. It ended up being a good suggestion. We had a good hike for a couple hours, and saw some interesting stuff we’d never seen before.

You can see more photos and outtakes from this road trip on my Facebook page by clicking here

Southern Utah Slot Canyon

The patterns in the hard dirt captured my attention.

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Southern Utah Slot Canyon

The patterns in the rock wall were even more intriguing

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Southern Utah Slot Canyon

This tarantula was certainly a surprise - cute in its own way

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Southern Utah Slot Canyon

While exploring an outcropping, I loved how little chutes of light crept in

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