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Thanks for visiting.  I started this site to keep a running blog during a 30 day road trip I took in late August and early September 2009.  The picture above was taken in Bryce Canyon while trekking through Utah visiting National Parks.  Now that the road trip is over I'll continue my blog adding updates as life continues to throw curve balls my way.  Enjoy!


Graffiti near Townsend Street

Photo credit: Raul Keally

I've caught a glimpse of this alley between Townsend St. and Bluxome St. on occasion and have wanted to take some photos of the graffiti.  Today I made my way down Townsend to check it out before heading to develop my film.  The shots that I grabbed were actually taken with a roll of very old Kodak color 35MM film.  I was actually surprised that the pictures came out.  The graffiti art in this alley is actually pretty incredible - some very talented artists used the entire side of two buildings for several pieces.  Photos can be seen here.


Photowalk through Hunters Point Shipyards

Photo credit: Raul Keally

Since the weather was so incredible today I decided to head down to Adolph Gasser to rent a lens for my Canon EOS Rebel G SLR so I could venture out and grab some photos.  One area that I've been wanting to go for some time is to the vacant and condemned warehouses located along 3rd street on your way towards Hunters Point.  I actually took some great shots with 35MM BW film but for some reason when it came time to develop the film, the roll was blank.  I did however take two rolls of color film and was actually surprised that one of them turned out since it was at least 5 years old.  Photos can be found here.


Valentine's Day Pillow Fight in San Francisco

Photo credit: rkeally

Rachel and I participated in our very first Valentine's Day Pillow Fight flash mob event last night in Justin Herman Plaza and it was definitely a genuine SF-only type experience.  The Pillow Fight Club web site details rules around the event along with video from 2009.  Not only were we surprised by the turnout, with people coming from all over the Bay Area but there were still people pillow fighting three hours after the event started at 6:00 PM.

Both Rachel and I decided to document the event with video and photos rather than join the masses in swinging pillows. Rachel positioned herself above the crowd, standing on stairs to shoot video from the flip cam.  I roamed the crowd and grabbed a bunch of great shots.  After about an hour of watching people of all ages and sobriety levels vent their possible Valentine's frustration or happiness, we decided to leave the chaos and grab dinner at La Mar Cebicheria.  

What was hilarious is after spending a couple of hours eating dinner and enjoying beverages at the bar at La Mar, we made our way towards the Embarcadero Muni station and were surprised to see pillow fighters still at it.  Justin Herman Plaza was littered by every type of pillow filling you can imagine and discarded pillows littered the streets and plaza like dead soldiers.

Next year - Rachel and I will come equipped with pillows, breathing masks and goggles to take part in the event.


San Francisco Giants FanFest

Every year the San Francisco Giants host a FanFest event to give fans a chance to purchase season and single game tickets, take self-guided tours of the ballpark and get a close-up view of their favorite Giants players.  This was my first FanFest and I decided to go after my photo field trip to Treasure Island was cancelled.  Admission is free and even though it was raining off and on today, a ton of fans showed up.

My goal was to get a few baseballs signed by players and decided to get in a very long line.  After about an hour and a half of waiting I was told that based on the pace of the line, it was likely that I and those behind me were most likely not going to be able to get an autograph by closing time (3:00 PM).

So even though the only autograph I saw today was my own on a receipt for baseballs - I still had a fun time seeing the Giants locker room and dugout up close.  I grabbed a few photos that can be seen on flickr.


Photowalk with CaliberSF

I went on my very first photowalk this past Saturday with Caliber SF and I met some great local photogs. Frank Chu was even representing and actually made it easier to keep the group of about 30-40 photographers together because of his patented sign (with Laughing Squid logo on the backside).

What's great is looking at the photowalk Flickr feed and seeing all the different styles and viewpoints taken by everyone.  Since I'm just starting to learn the capabilities of my digital SLR, I was hoping to glean some tips and tricks by some in the group but unfortunately didn't have the opportunity.  What I did do was force myself to shoot fully manual to start adapting to shutter and f stop settings.

The above shot was taken on Montgomery street as we walked through the financial district.  It's hard not to shoot the Transamerica building since it seems to be a camera magnet - so I tried to do something a little different.

This Saturday will be my next scheduled outing with a group of photographers as three Photo 51 classes from City College of San Francisco descend on Treasure Island for our very fist field trip.  Steven Raskin, the photography department chair as well as several instructors and student aids will be on-hand to answer what will surely be a ton of questions.  Really looking forward to it.

By the way, yesterday I was given a tour of the photography department facilities at City College and was pretty impressed.  The computer labs are furnished with Macs running Adobe CS4 and Lightroom. There is a large developing room with about 20 enlargers and the department allows students to reserve and take out various photo equipment.  So far, I'm really enjoying the program at City College. 


Earthquake In Haiti and The Mobilization Ability of Twitter

Photo Credit: Thomas Hurst

Watching the pictures and videos stream in via Twitter and on Television of the aftermath of the 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti this past Tuesday at 4:53 PM has been very sobering.  After seeing several ReTweets claiming that an immediate donation of $10 could be given to the Red Cross simply by sending a text message, I decided to participate.  Taken straight from the Red Cross web site you can "text “HAITI” to 90999 to donate $10 to American Red Cross relief for Haiti".  You should receive several follow-up text messages after your initial text confirming a $10 charge to your mobile phone and opt-in request to receive future messages from Red Cross International.

The devastation in Haiti is something that is just hard for me to comprehend given that I've never experienced such a catastrophe, which this situation in Haiti truly is.  The feeling I have now is similar to what I felt during Hurricane Katrina in that I physically want to donate my time an energy to helping the victims.  After a little research tonight I learned that those that wish to volunteer in-person during disaster relief efforts are not able to assist unless they have some sort of disaster relief experience.  The Center for International Disaster Information web site is where one would go to fill out an application for relief assignment.  Details on what types of experience and expertise is listed for those that are interested (ex. medicine, communications logistics, water/sanitation engineering).

Twitter has played yet another important role in this International event that has set off a windfall of relief efforts from the U.S., China, Canada, France, Germany and even the Dominican Republic which has been known to have strained relations with Haiti.  Similar to the voice that Twitter gave to Iranians during the protested election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June of last year - Twitter is now helping to mobilize relief efforts in Haiti.  Twitter is known by most for being part of the "social media" fabric today but what I see more is a new communications tool that has the ability to mobilize a very large audience very quickly like no other medium ever has.  Twitter is a powerful platform that is incredibly useful for quickly tapping the consensus of a large interactive community to effect real change.

Twitter takes advantage of what is the fragmentation in media (all forms) and offers one singular communication platform.  Twitter is free, easy to access, uncluttered and immediate.  Of course,  Twitter is starting to see a growing legion of Spam artists, etc.. but the good thing is that users have control over who they follow.

Not to lose sight of the disaster facing the people in Haiti, I find it fascinating how news and information now makes its way to people.  For all the questions that remain about what Twitter may become - it has already provided an invaluable service to people across the World. 

Although it seems like the donation page is currently down, you can donate money to the relief effort in Haiti through Red Cross.  



This is the first movie I’ve seen in a very long time that has gotten me excited enough to want to go back and watch it a second time.  Although the first weekend ticket sales may have been lower than expected – I’ll go out on a limb and say that this movie will shatter prior sales records and take its place in history as the highest revenue-generating film of all time.   Watching Avatar in 3D is more than watching a quality movie by a director who knows what he’s doing, it’s like jumping on a new ride at an amusement park that delivers at every turn.  I found myself saying ‘wow’ out loud in the movie theater while encountering animals, insects and landscapes that were completely believable in a CG world.  The 3D effects in this film, the story, acting and newly created world of Pandora provides for a great experience that anyone should appreciate.  I imagine that many guys will do just what I did and go home to grab their wife (or girlfriend) and head out to watch this movie a second time.  It seems like there has been a tidal wave of positive feedback on Twitter which is always a good sign for a movie – often signaling financial success.   Rachel and I will be checking the IMAX 3D version this Saturday!  Update: As of January 7th, Avatar moved up to the #2 spot for highest grossing movie of all time worldwide.


Photography and Me

Next Wednesday I'll be registering for the Spring 2010 semester at City College of San Francisco which starts in January.  I'll be taking Photography courses exclusively to fulfill an Associate of Science degree (14 classes) in Photography.  I'm pretty excited since Photography is something I'm very passionate about and I would like to master the full functionality of my camera and improve the quality of my photos.  I'm going for evening courses so that I can work and go to school at the same time.  Rachel is excited as well since she will be able to participate in some of my course work.  For those that don't know, the Public Affairs work that Rachel has done for the Coast Guard has given her the opportunity to work with amazing camera equipment and software to edit photos for placement in Coast Guard publications.  Be on the lookout for some great photos next year!


Monte Vista High School Reunion - 20 years

I had a great time this past weekend attending my high school's 20 year reunion festivities.  I went to high school at Monte Vista in Danville, CA and did not attend my 10 year reunion.  It was great to see people after 20 years and catch-up.  The planning committee did a great job and hats off to Bryan Hansen and team as well as James Qutami for putting together the video.  I wish there was more time to catch-up with old friends but at least I got emails and contact info from those that I had lost touch with.  One of the things I realized this past weekend is that social networking sites like Facebook have really brought people together that may have otherwise lost touch with one another like no other platform or service has ever done.  Facebook is kind of like a living reunion allowing people to find long lost friends from childhood.  It's a good thing.  Check out the pics here.


Paul Anthony Makarczyk, Feb 24, 1939 ~ Oct 7, 2009

The last couple weeks have been pretty tough due to the passing of my stepfather Paul Anthony Makarczyk.  The day of his funeral service (Oct 17, 2009) I prepared some words of rememberance in the event that that one of Paul's brothers (Carl or Tony) were unable to give them.  As it turned out, both Carl and Tony delivered their eulogies and I thought each did a great job being very sincere and thoughtful given the circumstances.  To be honest, the day Paul's funeral service was held was the toughest day for not only me but for my brother and mother.  I don't think I would have been able to stand up and deliver words of rememberance given how emotional I was.

I thought I would include here what I planned on delivering that day:

On behalf of my mother and brother, I would like to thank friends, family and neighbors for all your support and for coming today to celebrate Paul’s life.

Knowing Paul, he wouldn’t want us sitting around today shedding tears over his death but instead raising a glass and enjoying some food in the company of friends and family.

Paul was a good husband to my mother and stepfather to my brother and I.   I learned valuable life lessons from Paul that have undoubtedly contributed to the success and happiness that I now have in my life.

He taught me the meaning of hard work – whether it was by watching him head to work early in the morning for weeks at a time or the fact that he rarely and possibly never called in sick to work.  He taught me the importance of financial responsibility.

Wherever you were in the house you knew where Paul was because of his heavy step or his joyful laugh or his cheering on a good play in football.  And speaking of football, I believe that my passion for football comes from Paul and all those Sundays my brother and I spent watching 49er games and cheering them on. I can still hear the lawn mower or weed eater or the sound of sheers trimming the bushes as Paul tended to the yard.  He worked so hard on his yard – I think it was something he enjoyed and took pride in.

Paul spoke his mind freely and would never beat around the bush.  Sometimes around the dinner table during a pause in conversation he would say…”You know….” And what he said next would either be something that required you to cover the ears of the youngest child at the table or make you sit back in your chair to soak up his honest and down-to-earth wisdom.

Underneath the tough exterior of a man that would brave sub-freezing temperatures on oil tankers sailing the Pacific Ocean was a man that was very kind-hearted and generous.  He had a love for animals.  He would constantly keep the birdhouse outside the living room window filled with birdseed and sit back to watch the quail, blue jays and a countless number of other birds feeding.

He was spontaneous – whether it was jumping in the car with my mom to take a road trip to destinations throughout California or going out one afternoon only to come back with a brand new car to surprise my mom.  Paul and my mother took several trips from Russia to Peru and New York to Seattle.

The one story I wanted to share was when my mother and Paul bought me my first bike.  It was back in elementary school and I needed a bike to get to school.  One Christmas I was happy to discover a large rectangular box and after opening was even more pleased to find a shiny new bicycle.   It was a blue bike with a banana seat and big winged handlebars.  Now, we could have gone out to buy a bicycle lock at any bike store – but no, Paul decided he was going to make me a bike lock.  He took the thickest chain you could imagine that seemed to weigh 15 pounds – I still have no idea where he got it, but it could have been from our magic garage, which seemed to have every tool and material MacGyver would need to save the Earth.  Paul took a heavy piece of canvas and stitched it around the chain to prevent my bike from getting scratched when I locked it.  He then got a huge padlock – a Master lock with a big key.  To this day, I remember how heavy that lock was to transport 7 blocks to school and all the stares I got from the kids when I locked up my bike.  It was like I was securing a Ferrari or Lamborghini.  I also remember how reassured that lock made me feel knowing that there was no way anyone was going to steal my bike.

I think Paul accomplished what he set out to do – which was to work very hard and be respected in a career that could give him everything he needed to provide for himself and his friends and family.  Paul was a generous provider and I think will always be remembered for what he gave all of us.


Drive from Lake Powell, AZ to Grand Canyon (North Rim)

I just came across this photo series that I forgot to post.  I woke up early on Sunday, September 13th to drive from Lake Powell, AZ to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.  It was a very scenic drive especially as I approached the Navajo Bridge on Highway 89.  When constructed in 1928-29, the Navajo Bridge was the only bridge crossing along the Colorado River for 600 miles.  Lee's Ferry , which is located nearby was the only other option in crossing the Colorado River - offering automobile transport.  Lee's Ferry is considered to be the beginning of Grand Canyon National Park on the Colorado River.  A new bridge was constructed and completed in 1995 to meet current highway safety standards and allows HWY 89A to cross the Colorado River, running alongside the Navajo Bridge.  An interpretive center exists at the Navajo Bridge and the bridge is open to pedestrian traffic.

I took some great photos as I walked over the Navajo Bridge. 



During my road trip I came across so many signs - including welcome signs, highway signs, historical marker signs, religious memorial markers, etc.  I did my best to capture as many pictures of signs as possible and included the collection in this photo series.


Visiting with Friends in Los Angeles - Final Stop

The last major stop of my road trip was Los Angeles to meet with friends.  A big shout to my friend Dave Chung who let me crash at his place for a couple nights.  It was great to spend some time and catch up with Dave and see his dog Jordan.  I ended up riding my bike along the bike trail from Hermosa Beach to El Segundo - just a couple miles along the coast.

I was also able to grab meals with childhood friends that I've connected with through Facebook and with a former co-worker Myra - who just got engaged - congrats!  Again, great catching up and hearing about what's going on with their lives down in SoCal.

Last but not least, the last official stop on my month-long road trip was at my bud Brian Aucoin's house.  Brian's got a peach of a beach house less than a block from Manhattan Beach.  A brief - but worthy visit, I got to know Brian's dog Chino (pictured above) quite well - taking him on walks to the beach and making an attempt at a little obedience training.  I missed out on the Improv Zombies Ate My Brain show that Brian was in on Saturday, 9/19 and instead drove the last leg of my trip home to surprise my wife Rachel a day early.  I'll be back to see Brian's show and also try and catch up with friends that I missed down in L.A.


All Out of 'Dam' Jokes

I heard just about every joke using the word 'dam' to describe parts of the tour I took at Hoover Dam - so I'm just not going to go there.  Yesterday I headed out to Hoover Dam which is only about 30 minutes from Las Vegas.  The visitor center at Hoover Dam was completed in 1995 - which is hard to believe because it's a pretty big operation.  On the tour that I chose, we went 500 feet down into one of the diversion tunnels that were built (to divert the Colorado river around where the dam was to be built) - which houses a 30 foot in diameter pipe carrying Lake Mead water into the power plant to generate electricity.  You could feel the vibration of all the water flowing through the enormous pipe.

We then went to see one of the rooms where the generators were spinning away - creating electricity.  The Hoover Dam project has completely paid for itself and is self funded through the sale of the electricity it generates at this power plant.  The construction and decor of the interior of the generator room and tunnels that we walked through were pretty impressive - high quality materials - marble, brass, copper were used. 

The last part of the tour was pretty neat as we walked further into the interior of the dam (the actual wall itself) and at times were seperated from Lake Mead by as little as 20 feet of concrete.  We took a winding tunnel which ended with stairways going up or down (very steep and lots of steps) to the seepage chambers - where water seepage occurs around the dam wall.  Apparently quite a bit of water seeps around Hoover Dam every day which is collected and re-directed to the Colorado river flow.  You could actually hear the water collecting when standing at the top of the long stairway that winded down into darkness.

I also made a quick stop to Lake Mead to check it out - and it wasn't very impressive - other than it being the largest man-made lake (in volume not area) in the U.S. (Lake Powell being second) - there were no services immediately available (restaurant, boat rentals) - and only four people hanging out on the small beach.

Check out the photos from my visit to Hoover Dam and Lake Mead.

Now - onto Los Angeles to visit with friends and then back home this weekend - very excited to see Rachel and Toby - it's been a long, long trip not having them with me.



The Grand Daddy of all National Parks

It was pretty fitting I guess to end the National Park tour of my trip with Grand Canyon National Park.  It's hard to believe that during the entire year I lived in Arizona - I never visisted the Grand Canyon.  What a shame because it's pretty mind blowing.  The scale trumps all that I've seen at previous National Parks.  It's a 14 mile hike from the top of the North Rim to the bottom of the canyon via the Kaibab trail.  Although I didn't have the time nor the energy to make that trek - I did complete nearly a 6 mile hike into the canyon along the Kaibab trail - snapping photos along the way.  It was a tough hike but made a bit easier since it rained during most of my return trip back up to the rim.  It was hot hiking down and a bit cooler hiking up due to the thunderstorms.  Hearing thunder boom through the Grand Canyon was quite an experience.

I also encountered two Mule Deer during my hike down into the canyon who were very skittish - jumping up behind tree cover and peering at me through the leaves, watching my every move.  There were plenty of critters during the hike - which at times startled me due to all the news of the Grand Canyon being 'mountain lion country'.  I'm glad I did the hike and experienced the canyon first hand.  Walking down past the many colorful layers of the Grand Canyon is definitely the best way to experience it.

Last night I camped at the one campground near the visitor center in the park and it rained quite a bit.  I ended up buying a tarp at the camp store and constructed a lean-to above my tent to shield rainwater off and away from my tent.  It was cozy in my tent - I made/ate dinner and watched a movie on my laptop until the battery died.

This morning I woke up and checked out a few of the overlook spots of the Grand Canyon then jumped in the car and drove to Las Vegas.

Tomorrow I'm going to check out Hoover Dam and Lake Mead and take it easy here at the hotel (South Point) - which is pretty far from all the action which is why it was so cheap I guess!


Jet Skiing at Lake Powell and Photo Tour of Antelope Canyon, AZ

I'm so glad I made the diversion to Lake Powell, AZ to check out the lake and Antelope Canyon.  I think it was the pictures on my friend Tony Gieda's wall of Antelope Canyon that may have cemented my decision.  I stayed at the Travelodge in Page, AZ and it just may as well been a European motel due to 99% of the guests being from Europe (lots of French).

I signed up for the tour of Antelope Canyon online while I was at Bryce and had no idea how popular the tours would be once I got to Page.  There are several companies that offer tours and are run by Navajo Native Americans.  The only way to visit the canyon is through a tour company as tourists are no longer able to access the canyon on their own.  Apparently,  safety concerns (flash floods) and vandalism were two main reasons the change happened.

I was definitely satisfied by the tour since I took some great photos (even without a tripod).  I think the tours could be a bit more organized however and it seems that the tour operators are losing out on additional income by not packagaing more add-ons (photos of you by proffessional photographer in canyon, etc).

As I boarded the back of the pickup truck to sit in a safari style bench seat looking out of the side of the truck I had no idea really what was in store since our personal guide did not discolse much.  It would have been great to have been told about the 10 minute drive through sand to the canyon which brings sand from the backside of the truck whipping into the passenger area - getting in your eyes, etc  I was fortunate to have my camera packed away - although it still did get a little sand on it.

As I mentioned, overall I'm happy with my experience because of the amazing photos I took but think that if the tour operators were a bit more organized they could make the experience a much better one.

Later in the same day I headed to Lake Powell and rented a jet ski to explore the canyons and rock formations around Lake Powell.  It was a blast jetting around the lake and exploring canyons with towering rock around you as you speed along on top of the lake.  I took a couple dips in the lake during my outing and returned just in time since a lightning storm was moving in.  I snapped some photos with a disposable water proof camera - check out the shots here.


Feeling Small at Zion National Park, Utah

This one is going to be brief since I'm finding it hard to keep my eyes open.  Entering Zion National Park, one has no idea really what is in store for them.  It's actually kind of neat how that works out though.  As you start to drive into the beginning of the park, you come across impressive sandstone mountains with checkerboard patterns and a landscape unlike any seen at previous parks in Utah. 

My first highlight came when a herd of Big Horn Sheep decided to descend a mountain next to the road and stop traffic while they ate the leaves off some trees.  I parked my car as best as I could on the side of the road to take pictures as this was one beast I had yet to photograph!  My hand was slapped a little when a park ranger turned on her siren and asked for the vehicles blocking the road to move (mine being one of those).  One thing I noticed is that there are not as many turnouts at Zion as there are at other National Parks.  Maybe because it's the oldest (and first - 1909) National Park in Utah.

After you take a short ride through one tunnel, things get a little more interesting and then you enter a long tunnel carved through rock for over 1 mile with windows bored through the rock so you can see the changing landscape as you travel through and you come out of the tunnel completely blown away.  The scale is hard to imagine as sandstone peaks and rock towers above you.  The canyons are higher than I saw in Canyonlands.  By the time I left the park, my neck was literally sore from looking straight up trying to find the peaks of the towering rock surrounding me.   It was really impressive.

I ended up doing a fairly strenuous 2 mile hike on the Hidden Canyon trail at the Weeping Rock shuttle stop.  It was about 90 degrees out and I filled my Camelback full of water - and I'm glad I did.  The Hidden Canyon trail was pretty much switchback the entire way up and then it turned into a very narrow sand covered rock walkway along the face of a mountain that was about 3-4 feet wide with a thousand foot drop staring at you.  I went as far as I could muster (with the help of a chain they attached to the rock) and then turned back.   I grabbed some great photos.

Zion is another park I definitely will return to - there is so much to see.  I jumped in the car and drove for about 2 hours to Lake Powell which is where I am now as I type this.  Tomorrow I have a guided tour of the Antelope Canyon and then possibly some jet skiing on Lake Powell.  It's hot here!  Time to jump in some water....finally.



Hiking into Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah


My goal in visiting our National Parks has been to try and focus on one area or activity and really dive in to experience the park in a way that most visitors may not.  For example,  this morning I woke up before sunrise and headed to Sunset Point in Bryce Canyon to capture photographs of the Bryce Amphitheater as the hoodoos lit up in the morning.  After a few shots, my next goal was to hike the Navajo Loop/Peekaboo trails - which starts at the Sunset Point Overlook. 

Instead of doing the full loop, I took a sidetrip to hike out of the canyon and up to Bryce Point, cutting the hike shorter than originally planned.  I was the only one hiking in the canyon at this time - it was really quiet.  I took probably 175 photos as I hiked through the canyon and made interesting discoveries at every turn.  The neat part of the Navajo Loop trail is when you descend to the canyon floor and find yourself surrounded by spires/hoodoo structures towering above you.  There is a section aptlly named 'Wall Street'.  As I walked between canyon walls and spires, I looked straight up and captured a few photos of the narrow canyon walls and moon in the blue sky.

Even at that hour of the morning (7:30 AM - 8:00 AM) taking liquids along for the hike was important and it started to get warm by 9:00 AM.  I would definitely like to go back to Bryce to explore the rest of the park since I only focused in the Bryce Amphitheater area - which is apparently the most scenic and interesting of the park.

The surrounding town near Bryce Canyon is kind of strange.  There seems to be one company that pretty much owns 75% of the shops and hotels in the area - under different names.  They have different levels of restaurants - from fast food type establishments to buffet to sit down/cowboy show/expensive dinner dealio.  Pretty interesting and a bit bizarre.


Breaking News: Diversion to Lake Powell Planned!

Today I decided to make a side trip to Lake Powell based on what I have been hearing from friends and even my Dad who I spoke with yesterday.  I want to check out the Antelope Canyon / Slot Canyon areas of Lake Powell.  All the heat I've been experiencing here in Utah makes me want to go jump in a lake - which is what I think I will do.  Plan is to hit Bryce early tomorrow (6:00 AM), then onto Zion - and then onto Lake Powell to spend the night.  That will give me a full day at Lake Powell this Saturday, Sep 12.  I'm shaving one day off of my visit to the Grand Canyon - but I'm ok with that.  More to come..

(Photo credit given above)


Driving Through Southeast Utah

I'm so glad I decided not to take our Garmin Nuvi navigation lady's advice this morning in driving from Canyonlands to Bryce Canyon, UT.  I decided instead to follow my trusty road atlas and diverted towards Capitol Reef National Park - which added roughly 30 minutes onto the drive.  I drove through the San Rafael desert which was amazingly scenic.  After connecting to US Highway 24 off of I-70 and driving for about 20 miles the landscape changed dramatically and got even more interesting the closer you got to Capitol Reef National Park.  I included the photos of my drive here.