Explorations at Picture Canyon, Part 4
Welcome back, dear readers! Today I’ve got a short collection of photos from Picture Canyon for you, and what may be the last photo post for about a month. I’ll be relocating to Phoenix for that time, and for those who don’t know, daytime temperatures there have been hovering around 110F making local adventures impossible. But fear not, come August I should be back at it with a vengeance. For now, I’ll walk you through my pleasant outing and some of the new things I got to see.
For this hike I decided to start on the south rim again, just as I did the first time, which only allows you to descend once the basalt cliffs drop away near the end of the canyon itself. I wanted to try to retrace my steps from that first hike in reaching the last bank of rushes before the great pool below the waterfall, which has proven a tricky trail to find twice. I ended up zigzaging across the south bank, which is difficult at times but offers some great views of the river. Above you can see one of the upper falls being engulfed by new rushes and leafy canyon grape before it plunges further down through the central boulderfall. I was turned back from continuing by a lack of a safe passage across the river, and so I looked downstream for a more practical crossing.
Picking my way through the vines, rocks, and side-streams presented several pleasant scenes of the water and a copse of Gambel oaks growing down to the stream, though only a couple stood out as photogenic. I eventually found a path I had used before which hops across a few boulders in the river, partially hidden by all the green bulrushes. It is one of only two or three crossings which don’t involve getting your feet wet or climbing upward over a boulder, two things I wanted to avoid considering the gear I was carrying (more on this sometime later, perhaps). I stopped in the middle to take in the upstream sights, then pressed onward.
After negotiating through the undergrowth I finally found the trail which winds along the northern cliff bottom, and following it I soon came to where the trail ends and the waterfall’s pool begins. It was difficult to get a clear view of the falls with rushes growing nearly over my head, so instead I incorporated them into the picture itself. Someday I may come back with clothes befitting a deep wade in the pool, but until then this is as close as I can get.
Having completed that self-appointed mission I started exploring the north banks more, and to my relief I’m beginning to form a better map of the major game trails through the rough landscape. There are still surprises waiting to be found, though, as evidenced by a new and very nice panel of petroglyphs on a ridge I hadn’t visited before. The glyphs show the usual spirals and deer, but they also include a large sun and what may be a person inside a house/pueblo. There are some faint shapes around the edges that I can’t make out, but I think this is one of the more interesting panels I’ve come across.
After wandering around a bit more, visiting the cave and its crowning pueblos, and poking around under overhangs and in great cracks in the stone, I decided to make my way back out along the north rim. Once I reached the overlook by the waterfall I was pleased to find a new vantage point which gave a good composition for the middle part of the falls, an area which had been hard to see clearly before. The photo at the top of the post is the result, but I find it also looks quite good in monochrome as well.
Though much smaller of a gallery than my previous hikes at Picture Canyon, I think it is a strong collection and I hope you agree. It was a fitting way to send off before my hiatus, admittedly not as grand as the Inner Basin but beautiful nonetheless. I will keep up with posting on my social sites over the break, listed in the new Social Network section of the Features menu, with shots from this hike and last week’s. I do apologize for letting those slide this past week, but I’ve been away from my computer more than usual and had no access to the necessary resources. I’ve also updated the D’ni Proverb of the Week with a classic, so check that out if you’re so inclined.
And of course, if you’ve broken the grand mirror in your parlor during a freak ping-pong accident and need something to fill the empty wall, all these photos are available in a variety of sizes through the Store to brighten your home.
Thank you, as always, for reading, liking, and commenting. I’ll be sure to update you with any news, big or small. Enjoy your summer in the meantime!