|Sipapu Natural Bridge, August morning. [Click on image for larger version.]|
Down the trail to Sipapu Bridge on a very warm August morning. Almost no shade this early in the day. because the cliffs in this part of White Canyon catch the morning sun full on.
No problem. With sunscreen on my exposed skin and ice water in my daypack, I enjoy a descent of 500 vertical feet from the canyon rim to the bottom. Quickly, in just 0.6 of a mile. You don't have to walk very far forward to have walked down a lot more. Down is forward.
I have my photographic sweet spots on this trail, so familiar to me by now. This is one of them. It's most of the way down, a last look at the western face of the bridge before plunging beneath it.
On this particular morning, the trademark high desert Utah clear sunny skies predominated. Sun shining from right to left, the far cliffs of Cedar Mesa Sandstone were awash with light, while the span of the immense natural bridge -- sixth largest in the world, second largest outside of China (where the four largest are) -- was in bright shadow. Green riparian vegetation in the bottom of the canyon for a nice color complement.
And a family of three resting nicely in the shade within the composition to give it a bit of scale.
My hike was just beginning: on to secret locations within the canyon.
Photo location: Natural Bridges National Monument, San Juan County, Utah.
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© 2015 Stephen J. Krieg