There is much to see and not another car in sight. The day is warm and sunny and I am beckoned to stop and explore. I don't even pull of to the side as I am truly alone out here.
The next series of shots, I hope will give you a sense of the surreal atmosphere of this place.
It feels as though spirits occupy this land and I want to be respectful of how and where I walk. Prairie Dogs dart from hole to hole, buzzards, drift on currents high above me looking for a meal. This canyon is so quiet I can only hear the noise in my head that occurs when there is no external sound to overwhelm the inner dialogue. I guess it is the result of many years of living in the ever present cacophony of city life.
Silence, I find, can be surprisingly loud when it is first encountered. However, it doesn't take long before I become comfortable and relax in the bigger quiet of this place. It is after all a joy to be here.
As I slowly continue down the road small slot canyons appear across the gully and evidence of torrent flooding is clearly marked in the arrangement of the rocks and the shapes in the walls. I am compelled to stop and explore all the cracks in the cliffs. I am glad I did, as I explore small openings that expand into rooms of color and light carved by 10,000 years of raging flood waters.
The glowing light of the slot canyon offers sublime color and geometric forms that dazzle the eye. I am awed by the extreme values and shapes. The sandy floor has no foot prints and I feel that I am the first human to step into this natural temple.
I am aware of the extreme cleanliness of the slot, clearly nature is taking good care of it. I will leave it as pristine as I found it.
Even in the depth of the slot canyon one finds new life growing, small trees compete for the limited light and water on the canyon floor.
Exiting the slot reveals water stained rocks and a sheer cliff face.
Most interesting are the balanced large rocks sitting on smaller ones. This place starts to resemble a chess set filled with interesting pieces.
Continuing down the road, I see the pillars give way to an up hill climb. The steep walls lower and the view opens up to a vista. So much fascinating landscape hidden away on a small road that leads to the southeast corner of Capitol Reef National Park. This is where the dirt road dead ends in a landscape devoid of people, untouched and unspoiled.
The day passes quickly in this place, I am getting hungry and soon will need to start back.
On my return the road appears different, so much to see coming and going... The lodge is calling me now and I realize that I won't see it all on this trip.
A small stream that was missed when entering offers late afternoon light.