Tag Archives: fall

Photo of the Week: Cohab Canyon

This photo of riotous color is from a hike I did in Cohab Canyon, located in the always stunning Capitol Reef, with friends at the very beginning of October. October just became my new favorite month here. I adore the colors, the crisp air, and the lingering warmth in the days. Ahhh…. (I try to ignore the fact that it heralds the approach of winter.)

Cohab Canyon is a relatively easy trail, but accessing it requires some uphill hiking that might tax some. If you have iffy knees, think carefully before tackling this one. I like to start on the Fruita side–the trailhead is well-marked along the Scenic Drive, immediately south of the large barn right by the Gifford House. The switchbacks here offer great views all the way.

When you get into the canyon itself, the rock formations are bedazzling to  the eye, as are their colors. Tangerine, cream, gold, tan, brick red, and more…it’s a photographer’s paradise, especially on a bluebird day. I was pretty thrilled on this day because the lighting conditions and flower display were about perfect.

This trail meets up with the Frying Pan Trail, which leads to Cassidy Arch. You’ll be backtracking unless you have a car drop at the Grand Wash parking area, or alternatively at the other Cohab Canyon trailhead on Highway 24, just across from the popular Hickman Bridge trailhead.

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a natural high: drunk on the beauty of the red rocks

Oh, it is so spectacularly beautiful this morning in Torrey. The sky is a crisp blue, the sun is uncovered, there’s a light breeze rustling the changing leaves of the nearly-bare aspen trees, and the red cliffs are just begging to be explored and climbed.

Hmm, I’ve mentioned before that I live in paradise, no? This is a sublime time (ooh, bad rhyme! Ha.) of year to visit. The nights are definitely chilly, but damn, the daytime is so perfect for tramping around the desert. Think of the treasures you might stumble across in your wanderings! Pottery shards (yeah, don’t take those), dinosaur bones (um, don’t take those either), petrified wood (okay, you’re allowed to take a small amount of that, but you’d best check in with the Bureau of Land Management office for specifics), possible sightings of bald eagles, golden eagles, bighorn sheep, quick-moving lizards, rabbits darting and leaping everywhere.

Dang. I need to get out and explore today myself! Me and the Pip pup. He’ll love a good adventure.

Now, here’s something I missed from last month. Wild horses are definitely considered iconic in the American West…but they’re also hideously overpopulated and not being adopted due to recent economic concerns. In fact, some people have taken to dumping domestic horses out on the range…Yeah, that’s what you do with a domestic animal you can no longer care for. Been going on for a while, too, sadly enough. Anyway, Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar has apparently launched an idea to make sustaining the wild horse herds, well, more sustainable. Will it work? Let’s see. This is a whole other discussion for another post. And will I be able to go on and on about it! (You can start by reading more here; please note that these are someone else’s thoughts, but any thoughtful addition to the conversation makes it more well-rounded.)

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ahh, fall mornings at 7,000 feet

Fall has been descending on Wayne County in fits and starts this year. The colors appeared on the aspen trees up on the mountain—ooh, aah. Very pretty, of course. But one could still view them while hiking in shorts and a tank top. Nighttime temps dropped a bit, of course, but days were still gorgeous. Then we had our wild winter storm a week and a half ago, in which the wind went crazy as it is wont to do here, it snowed, the clouds scudded through the unforgiving sky, and the wind made that eerie, hair-raising moaning sound when it forced its way through the cracks around one’s doors and windows.

Then the temps shot right back up, the wind left, I lounged by the river in shorts in a tank top and was rendered almost comatose by the drowsing sunlight. The sky was crystalline blue, the rocks were glowing red, the air was blessedly still. Loved it.

Then yesterday the freaking wind again. I’m very serious about the WC wind (locals sometimes call it Wind County). It can be horrendous, ridiculous, a howling fiend that knocks over enormous trash cans, rips your car door out of your hands when you open it, and brings flashing images of Kansas and Toto and a little girl in a blue checked dress on her way to the land of those kind of creepy munchkins. I stayed inside.

This morning, my little atomic radio clock read 65.8 degrees F at about 8am. When I stepped outside the house, it definitely felt quite a bit chillier. (Although, thank goodness, no wind.) So I put my trusty little clock outside and left it for about a half hour or so. When I returned to check, it read 35.8 degrees F.

I quickly retreated indoors again. Hooray for warm houses and coffee! Pippin quite agrees, as he is flopped out on his favorite blue chair right now:

Aahh, fall. I must say that 35.8 degrees outside bodes well for my writing this morning. That said, I’m back to it.

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