Thursday, April 6, 2017

Hurricane, UT (3/20/2017) & Beaver Dam, AZ (3/21/2017)

After getting Pam to the airport and relaxing for a while, I then visited some familiar places for a few late day photos.  Quail Creek State Park often gets great light in the afternoon, making its formations very colorful.  In the second photo, you can barely see the mountains of Zion National Park in the distance.

 I then drove into St. George with the goal of getting pictures of the LDS (Mormon) Temple located there.  Other temples have been good subjects at sunset, so I wanted to try this one.  Unfortunately, the sunset that day wasn't great, and the exterior lights only came on after the sunset had faded.  In fact, for some reason, the side of the building was lit long before the front.  I was at the front gate to leave when the front lights finally came on and I went back for more photos.

The next day, I moved to Beaver Dam, AZ to be closer to my next target area, the new Gold Butte National Monument.  To get there, I drove through the spectacular Virgin River Gorge on Interstate 15.  This section of interstate has extreme grades and beautiful views of the gorge.  When I first drove it in 1979, I learned that this part of Interstate 15 was completed nearly fifteen years after the other sections, and had the highest cost per mile to construct of any interstate...all because of the difficulty crossing the gorge.  I made a video, which admittedly doesn't show that much of the gorge, but can be seen at Virgin River Gorge.  There is almost no opportunity to stop and take photos along the way.

Nearby, I had a few photo ops from a 4WD road that goes through the Beaver Dam Mountains.  Notice the appearance of Joshua Trees, as I had entered the fringes of the Mojave Desert, the only place in the world where this sub-species of the yucca plant lives naturally.  While other yuccas grow close to the ground, the Joshua Trees can grow to be as much as 40 feet tall and live for as long as 150 years.

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