On the way to our backpacking adventure in Utah's Cedar Mesa, Mike Scudday and I made a slight detour over to Chaco Culture National Historic Park. The park is located in northwestern New Mexico. We arrived there late in the afternoon on April 18. After a too-brief tour of some of the amazing Anasazi ruins in Chaco Canyon, we camped for the night in the park. Here are two photos of that evening's sunset, as viewed from the campground.
Wednesday, October 26, 2016
Mike Scudday and I hiked, camped, and backpacked on Cedar Mesa in southern Utah in April. On our first full day (April 20) in the area, we hiked down Kane Gulch to explore Junction Ruin. On our way back to Kane Gulch Ranger Station, some movement in the brush next to the trail caught my attention. It was a small rabbit, probably a desert cottontail (Sylvilagus audubonii). I only had time to squeeze off one quick shot with my camera before it disappeared.
Friday, October 21, 2016
Rio Chama - Aragon Rapid
Having a layover day at the Aragon Campsite on September 2 afforded us not only the opportunity to hike up to the canyon rim, but also to test our paddling skills in unloaded boats.
After Evy and Benz had made two practice runs through the rapid, they kindly offered to let me take Evy's place in the bow of their well-trained vessel. I jumped at the opportunity. But first I donned my dorky helmet, just in case. In the photo above, Benz and I have skirted a mostly-submerged boulder and are lining up for the meat of the rapid.
All hands on deck!
That's a smile, not a grimace.
As documented in these photos by Larry Grona, we emerged (mostly) unscathed. Actually, the hard part was the many times we carried our boats from the end of the rapid back up to where we launched.
Note: Click on any photo to switch to a full-screen slide show.
Thursday, October 20, 2016
Rio Chama - The Adventure Begins (Part II)
The Magnificent Ten pose for the camera before heading into the (not exactly) unknown wilderness on August 31. Will they ever be seen again?
Our first campsite, as viewed the next morning. We pitched our tents a short distance downstream from the hot springs, which provided a toasty respite after sunset the night before. Unfortunately, the fabled water nymphs did not make their appearance at the baths.
After breakfast, six of us (Evy is behind the camera) hiked up to the top of the canyon behind our camp. In the background, you can spot the river back upstream.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Nature isn't always peaceful.
While in Chicago in August for a nephew's wedding, Kathy and I visited the Art Institute of Chicago, the second largest art museum in the country. The painting above is Hogs Killing a Snake, a 1930 work by American artist John Steuart Curry.
Note: Click on the image for a larger view.
Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Thursday, October 6, 2016
Aragon Rapid Redux
On their third practice run together, Benz and Evy attacked the meat of the rapid directly. No more fancy spin moves above the rapid this time. They guided the canoe straight into the hole created by the angry currents.
Evy even caught a little air as they exited the hole unscathed. Bravo!
Note: Click on any photo to enlarge.
Wednesday, October 5, 2016
Our trip to Chicago for my nephew's wedding proved that, even in a large city, there are opportunities to observe wildlife.
We first met Sue, the largest, most complete (more than 90%), and best-preserved Tyrannosaurus rex ever found, at the wedding reception at the Field Museum in Chicago. Sue roamed North America about 67 million years ago, and was discovered in 1990 at the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in western South Dakota.
We returned to the museum the next day during daylight hours to get a better look at this imposing figure.
Because of its weight, the original skull is exhibited separately.
A skull of a different sort was on exhibit at the Chicago Institute of Art. This is Cow's Skull: Red, White, and Blue, painted by Georgia O'Keeffe in 1931.
Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Was I Dreaming?
This is what I awoke to the other morning ...
... or was it really this?
These two competing visions of my life are displayed at the Chicago Institute of Art. My lovely (and, hopefully, forgiving) wife and I spent many hours there on August 25. The first painting is Antonio Mancini's Resting, from 1887. The second is Jupiter Rebuked by Venus, produced by Abraham Janssens around 1612. Someone remind me which of these more accurately depicts my world.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
We were in the Windy City for nephew Collins Ward's September 27 wedding. The reception was held in the fabulous Field Museum. As we entered the museum following cocktails on the grounds, we were treated to views of the city's skyline at sunset.
To the east was Lake Michigan.
A different kind of sunset was displayed in the Chicago Institute of Art. This is René Magritte's The Banquet, painted in 1938.