Snow Canyon State Park, Utah

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A couple of weeks ago Blue Eyes and I spent a not-nearly-long-enough weekend in St. George, Utah as part of an Instameet. While our main event was some hiking in Zion National Park, we spent some time at sunset in Snow Canyon State Park, and despite it being a weekend at the beginning of the summer, this park was essentially empty. I could snap away to my heart’s content, capturing soaring red cliffs and tiny lichen clinging to the rocks.

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I love the many colors of lichen, I’ve seen minty green, lavender, orangey-red, a deep inky blue, and this bright lemon-lime. Lichen is one of the oldest and slowest growing plants on earth. Most species grow 1mm-2mm per year, some grow as little as .5 mm per year! Point five! That’s something like 4 inches in 100 years. There are some lichen in the arctic that are thousands of years old. Dah, I just love these hardy plants so much!

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Right before our trip to Southern Utah I finally splurged on a new camera, and I am so glad I did. My old Canon was 10 years old and just didn’t have enough oomph for the photos I wanted to take. Thirty seconds with my new Canon and I am in-love with photography all over again.

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Honestly, I just don’t see how I’ll ever get tired of those blazing red walls, part of my heart will forever belong in the Rocky Mountains where I grew up, and the other part lives in these fiery canyons and cliffs.

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Can we talk about this Instameet for a minute? I’ve never been to one, but have seen photos for years of various events in a number of locations. The idea is that a bunch of internet friends and strangers descend on one location for a day or a weekend, the itinerary was pretty loosey-goosey, with a few planned activities and a whole lotta time to explore on your own. Blue Eyes and I met up with old friends (Hi, Kristin!) and made a whole pile of new ones (Hi, friends!). I learned so much about the industry of travel blogging, which I wasn’t expecting and found quite intriguing. Now, I’m not a travel blogger, far from it. I love to travel, and I love to take photos, and I love to blog, but that does not a travel blogger make. However, it was really interesting to learn about how so many of these Instameet-ers make a living by traveling around the world, this was all very informal, there wasn’t, like, a break-out session on it or anything. Just by chatting with people on our hikes and such I learned so much about their lives, their travels, and their business of blogging. I’m still ruminating on all of that.

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See? More lichen. It’s my favorite.

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The sun was sinking fast, and I was scrambling to get a few more shots in before the light was too low for even my tripod. But breathing in the piney-sagey scent, and feeling the warmth and heart of red rock country…this trip was so good for my soul!

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Dah! New camera love!

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All of these photos were taken at the Petrified Sand Dunes in Snow Canyon, a super easy-peasy walk from the parking area with plenty of places to scramble and vistas and views that will take your breath away.

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This little aloe-cactus-thing was, maybe, 5 inches tall. Yup, totes in love with my new camera. I can’t believe how long I’ve survived on 12 megapixels, suddenly 24 seems like I’ve been unknowingly blind for YEARS and am finally able to see again. The detail! It’s flawless and stunning and has very little to do with me, that’s just mother nature and a proper camera.

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I would love to go exploring some more in Snow Canyon. Hopefully my next trip to St. George will have some more time among these glorious (and EMPTY) formations!

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