Under the Shadow of This Red Rock: Along the Colorado from Moab to Castle Valley | April 2011

Gerard: are you here in Utah?

Posted by MOTUS at April 13, 2011 11:23 AM

Ah synchronicity. Was just today communicating with a geology professor on some fossils I'd found. Ancient, of course. And yet young when placed on the great scale of geologic time.

My husband and I sat, fossils in hand, atop an old hill of glacial moraine - feeling very, very finite.

Perfect piece.

Perfectly bracketed.

Posted by Catherine Wilson at April 13, 2011 1:31 PM

Yes - we drove up that canyon a couple of weeks ago - it was quite amazing, much more up close and in our faces. especially after hours of passing by the more laid-back and faraway-seeming Nevada mountains,

Posted by pfsm at April 13, 2011 2:06 PM

Better than a post card. Thank you, Gerard!

Posted by Jewel at April 13, 2011 3:32 PM

You brought a computer? On vacation!?

Posted by westsoundmodern at April 13, 2011 3:42 PM

Maybe he's blogging from an iPhone or a Kindle.

Posted by Jewel at April 13, 2011 3:59 PM

And the bittersweet irony is that there's some teenager in Castle Valley who can't wait to get out, and I'm looking at the map wishing I could live there.

Posted by Deborah at April 13, 2011 5:13 PM

Gerard, if you are in the Moab area make sure to catch the waterfalls off the mesas after tonight's rain.

Awesome nature moment; one of my all time favorite things to see after the rain or at high spring time.

Posted by TmjUtah at April 13, 2011 5:32 PM

You brought an iPhone or a Kindle? On vacation!?

Posted by westsoundmodern at April 13, 2011 7:20 PM

Not at all. I'm doing this with Crayola.

Posted by vanderleun at April 13, 2011 7:26 PM

I hope you are using the approved multicultural skin tone box with eight diverse colors for your illustrations.

Posted by westsoundmodern at April 13, 2011 7:53 PM

The perfect time to be there and gaze on the wonders.

Been there in August heat. The difficulty of survival and lack of concern for the needs of humans is more acutely felt and understood.

Posted by Jimmy J. at April 13, 2011 8:52 PM

Try driving down the Dolores River valley in Western Colorado, south of Grand Junction.

Unexpected beauty.

Posted by David at April 30, 2012 8:25 PM

You have to get out of that car. Drive to the end of a dirt road. Walk away from it, until you can hear once again just water and wind, the calls of birds, the skittering of lizards and mice, the symphony of insects. Be completely immersed in the riot of natural color, light, and sound. Have a seat. Stay a while. Get up and walk to somewhere else. Stay a while. Now go find some fossils or petroglyphs or evidence that somebody was once there. Don't have a deadline. Eventually, it'll sneak up on you. You'll be out of time, and you'll feel each moment as a million years. You'll finally start to feel Deep Time, the endless cycle of the seasons, the slow change that underlies everything.

If you're lucky, and so inclined, you'll sense the spirits inhabiting everything.

Stay there until dark, then walk back to the car in the moonlight, without a flashlight. Doesn't matter whether it's cold or hot,

Once made, the connection lasts a lifetime. All you have to do is walk back out there, anywhere, And you're back in it.

Posted by John A. Fleming at May 1, 2012 2:00 AM

Just be careful out there. When you are out in the far away wilderness of the desert, you can still wander away, get lost, and die. You will probably be found, but out there, it may be too late. People go off road in Northern Washoe county up here in Nevada. Sometimes they break down, and find out that they are far enough away from civilization to actually die before they can walk out.

Posted by Duncan at May 3, 2012 1:47 PM

Especially that section on hwy 128 between Moab and hwy 70. The Delores river valley is awesome too especially in the spring.

Posted by GoneWithTheWind at April 9, 2017 11:26 AM

Try this - stand barefoot on the dirt and wait -
you'll get a message up from the ground that says,

"Sorry, can't help you - no water, grass, shade or comfort to be found here. Good to see you, glad you're here but you are on your own."

Posted by Beth, safe in PA at April 10, 2017 5:48 AM

Just as beautiful now as it was the first time around. Lovely work, Mr Vanderluen.

I've spent a few months surveying down there over the years.

Not quite sure which moved me more, the first crack of sunlight catching us getting started on our day's work, or the hundred shades of gold in the sunset while we drank cool water, sitting there on the tailgate.

Posted by TmjUtah at April 10, 2017 5:56 PM