On the final morning of my four-day desert retreat, I drove up to the Island in the Sky District of Canyonlands National Park. I had to make my way carefully, since several inches of fresh snow had fallen on the winding park roads the night before.
When I got to the access road leading to Green River Overlook, I saw that my tire tracks were the very first of the day. Noticing a large barrel labeled "Salt" and not wanting to get stuck on the steep hill, I parked at the campground and hiked down to the overlook. What a view! I was the first person to happen upon the fresh-made beauty that day - tinted in red, white, blue and pink, hints of which can be seen in these photos. I'd been to this overlook a dozen times before, but never in the snow, which provided an additional layer of loveliness to the canyons, buttes and mesas composing the landscape laid out below.
After about fifteen minutes or so, a Park Ranger arrived in his pickup. He ran up onto a rock overlooking the canyon-country splendor. "Wow!" he exclaimed; "This is amazing! I've got to run back to the truck to get my camera!" After taking a few pictures, we enjoyed the vista together in silence. It was nice to see that this ranger could make time to sit and appreciate the beauty of the setting even though he was "on the job." Then, turning to leave, he said simply: "Enjoy the light! You'll probably have the entire park to yourself!"
And for the next several hours, he was absolutely correct :)
Photos: Canyonlands National Park, UT, November 30, 2015
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Stephen Hatch, M.A. is a spiritual teacher and photographer from Fort Collins, Colorado. His approach is contemplative, inter-spiritual, and Earth-based.