Terracotta & Blue

Somewhere among the Antelope, Owl, Rattlesnake, and Mountain Sheep Canyons, the undulating formations of the sandstone so perfectly pleated like a Mariano Fortuny mythical gown, the warm colour palette that ranges from sand to pink to terracotta and blood orange, it occurred to me that I was at a loss for superlatives.

We toured with Adventurous Antelope Canyon because they were the only operators with a permit to tour into the Upper Antelope, Owl, Rattlesnake and Mountain Sheep Canyon. This means that whereas Upper Antelope is toured by five different operators and gets really crowded, we had the other three to our group only. That in itself was quite magical.

Slot Canyons of Page, AZ

April 23rd, 2019

HoodooLand

Mother Nature’s White Magic

Much as it is easy to believe that they were placed here by magic, the Paria Rimrocks – Toadstool Hoodoos to friends – are formed when Dakota Sandstone boulders perch atop pedestals of softer Entrada Sandstone. As the Entrada erodes away, the harder Dakota forms a cap, and creates these unique formations.

The Toadstool Hoodoos are part of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Utah. Located between Kanab and Big Water, they are easily accessible via a trail off US 89, between mile marker 19 and 20. The hike is around 1.6 miles out-and-back with absolutely no shade.

Toadstool Hoodoos, Kanab, UT

April 23rd, 2019

We Stand in Awe

In White Sands.

Like a mirage, dazzling white sand dunes shimmer in the tucked-way Tularosa Basin in southern New Mexico. They shift and settle over the Chihuahuan Desert, covering 275 square miles—the largest gypsum dunefield in the world. White Sands National Monument preserves more than half of this oasis, its shallow water supply, and the plants and animals living here.

The sand feels like satin and is surprisingly cool to the touch, even on a hot summer day. Gypsum does not absorb heat.

When it rains, it dissolves in water and flows down on the basin floor where it stays until it dries up and becomes sand forming the dunes that surround us, in a perpetual cycle.

We simply stand in awe as this divine natural beauty unfolds before our eyes.

(In stark contrast to the destructive powers prevalent in the adjacent military site; the White Sands Missile Range.)

Good to know: apart from unexpected closures due to weather conditions, the park may also be inaccessible due to missile testing! Because of the adjacent White Sands Missile Range, the road is occasionally closed for safety and closures can last up to three hours. U.S. Highway 70 between Alamogordo and Las Cruces is also closed during times of missile testing.

Please always consult the park closure web page  before visiting, to confirm access.

White Sands National Park, NM
(formely a “National Monument”, it transitioned to a “National Park” in 2019)

October 11th, 2018