|A typical Canyonlands view.|
|On the trail to False Kiva.|
We were to park in a little pulloff on the east side of the road. I'd seen it on a sattellite picture and I also knew approximately where we were. The GPS coordinates weren't quite jiving with mine down to the thousandth, but there was only one pulloff. We walked a couple hundred yards down the road and found the unlabled trailhead and started walking down the wash toward the canyon. It was about 5:00pm. The sun had been setting around 7:00pm. Two hours.
In my zeal, I had forgotten a couple of important things. One... my headlamp. Two... my super-wide angle adapter. And I grabbed a camelback for water ... not knowing that it was Vicki's and that she had removed the bladder.
I didn't realize any of these things until we were well on our way.
|Thin layers of sandstone.|
I knew Vicki was tired and done with hiking after the hike to the granaries. But I told her my thinking. She's tired. Heck, I'm tired. We need to get some things done in town tomorrow. It's a bit of a drive just to get here, and then spend the time and go back. And ... tomorrow would be a nice day "off". And we're here. Now. And the sun is setting. Any photographer knows about the light at sunrise and sunset. This is a perfect opportunity, and I don't want to waste it. The long views at Canyonlands have been disappointing because of the smoke ... so ... if you let me do this now, tomorrow we'll fix the windshield, do some laundry, and putz around in Moab ... hit the tourist shops.
|False Kiva Hole (I didn't take this|
one ... I had neglected to take this
shot as I was in a bit of a hurry.)
We got to the edge... it's hard to call it a canyon because it's vast and there's nothing narrow about it ... but I guess it technically is one ... and I showed her where I was going.
|Me at False Kiva. Had to adjust the|
brightness so you could see me.
Too much backlight, no flash
There's some things you just can't explain. Two things, here. 1) not everyone who comes here even knows it's there. You're kind of in a "club" if you've been there. And 2) It nicely frames photos of the canyon.
"You don't have to go. I will go by myself and I won't be long."
It had only taken us about 40 minutes to get here, and I left her there. She didn't want to go. I scrambled down over rocks and boulders and slickrock and scree, up under a cedar, across and below the kiva. We saw a man up in the cave, and we commented on it over the walkie talkies. But I pressed on, up the slope from the northwest and into the cave.
|German photographers, waiting|
for sunset in False Kiva hole.
Having seen other Kivas, I could see why this one's "authenticity" might be questioned. 1) it wasn't built down into the ground, and 2) no mortar. I could see why one might consider this a sacred place and start to build one, though. Or maybe someone was going to start a cliff dwelling here ... still ... no mortar.
|My best False Kiva shot.|
|Overhang and red rock protrusion|
at False Kiva.
The light on the surrounding landscape was now ideal, and I of course snapped what I could while walking. As we climbed out of the wash and toward the road, the sun was pretty low on the plateau, and the sunset was spectacular due to the same smoke that limited our views. I actually got a few good shots of it, the last one showing purples and pinks .... almost surreal.
We got out to the road, got back to the car, and drove straight out of the park. It was just getting dark.
|This is why photographers love|
And later we saw another down off the plateau as we were heading down it... turns out it was gasses burning off of oil drilling operations. Giant flames of natural gass just burning. Going to waste. But that's the way it goes, I suppose.
I did NOT feel like cooking, eating, and cleaning at the campsite after dark and after what had been a pretty long day. We got into Moab about 8:30pm and hit a Denny's. It was freezing in there! I kinda felt dirty and gritty, but I'm sure they see a lot of that there. We ate, went back to the campsite.
|The smoke was good for something.|
Probably responsible for some of
the richness and unusual colors.
Back to the campsite. And to bed.