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Post Pandemic Return to the Canyons

Updated: Jun 30, 2021

Several planned trips to southern Utah were cancelled and postponed during the last 15 months while the pandemic raged and travel was restricted. Now, post vaccination, and with the number of Covid cases finally dropping nationwide, travel is back on the agenda.

The first planned trip is to Capitol Reef and to Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. For the early days of the trip, we plan to hike and photograph around the parts of Capitol Reef we have not yet seen or insufficiently explored. The bentonite mounds are back on the agenda, as is a hike down Pleasant Creek.

Bentonite mounds in Capitol Reef National Park. Other images of Bentonite can be found by clicking on this photo which will take you to Iris Arts—our companion commercial site. Photo: © Donald J. Rommes

The rest of the agenda will depend on what catches our eye—which usually depends on light and weather. Our last day in Capitol Reef will take us down the upper part of the Waterpocket fold to the Burr Trail which we will follow to Boulder.

Waterpocket Fold area of Capitol Reef National Park—looking east towards the Henry Mountains. Click on the photo to go to its location on our companion commercial website—Iris Arts. Photo: © Donald J. Rommes

There is no itinerary for Boulder as yet, but having lived there for more than a decade, we know the area pretty well and will surely find things of interest. I do love the Wingate walls in Long Canyon, and there is minimal hiking required—or possible—to photograph them, so I am sure time will be spent there.

Short slot canyon in Long Canyon. Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. Photo: © Donald J. Rommes

Later that week, we will meet friends and our outfitter and will backpack with llamas. We have been to the area many times, but this time we may take more video to give our website visitors a better sense of what it is like to be out there.

Slot canon in Little Death Hollow, Grand Staircase - Escalante National Monument. Photo: © Donald J. Rommes

Look for this blog to have a few videos and perhaps some photos and audio commentary after the trip.

In the fall, we will return to Bears Ears to continue work on a project there. We will be posting some rock art images and perhaps photos of a few sites—depending on their sensitivity.

We hope you will enjoy what's coming. We certainly will!

Inaccessible site, Cottonwood Wash, Bears Ears National Monument. Photo: © Donald J. Rommes


Alas, we were unable to go on the first part of the planned trip. We made it to Idaho on our second day, but decided to return home on the third. A troublesome back, a close exposure to someone with an infection, the possibility of infecting one of our friends, and the prospect of a three-day drive back home with an aching back or worse, a fever decided things for us.

The trip to Bears Ears in September is still on however, and we look forward to that. More later.

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