Sunday, March 13, 2011

2011 - February 2nd - Rim Rock Drive At Sunset - Colorado National Monument

Prior to January 29th, Rim Rock Drive, which bisects Colorado National Monument, was closed. I had visited both entrances of the Monument but had never driver all the way through. I had the 2nd of February off and decided to head out for sunset and a nice trip along the road. I entered the Monument at the East (Grand Junction) Entrance.

Devil's Kitchen area.

Distant Grand Mesa.

Columbus Canyon

Through Columbus Canyon, Book Cliffs distant.

Red Canyon and distant Grand Mesa.

Grand Junction from Red Canyon.

Self-portrait at the Lower Ute Canyon Overlook.

Lower Ute Canyon

Fading sun on the lip of the Monument with Mount Garfield and Grand Mesa in the distance.

The Kissing Couple over Monument Canyon.

The Colorado River in the Grand Valley.

The Kissing Couple in front of Independence Monument and Monument Canyon below.

The next few shots are all from Grand View:

Kissing Couple, last light on the Book Cliffs.

Awesome tree at Grand View.

Closer angle.

Kissing Couple

Independence Monument

Wider angle of Kissing Couple.

Independence Monument with foreground.

The next few shots are of Independence Monument and vicinity from the Independence Monument View and a few other nearby places along the road. These were some of my favorite shots of the night, especially when it got dark enough that the lights of Grand Junction and other areas of the valley filled in the background.

I'm fairly certain this is the Sentinel Spire.

All in all, I was very happy with the set of images I was able to capture as well as the magnificent views the drive afforded. I truly understand why this area was set side as a National Monument and why there is a push to make it a National Park.

Also, it is hard to tell in the photos, but the air temperature at the time was in the single digits and it was very windy along the canyon edges!



Pat Boomer said...

Another very nice set of photos Dann.
I can't stop thinking, as I look through them, how sweet long exposures would be in there with a full moon or partial moon with lots of stars.
Did I see a little lee trough forming over the city the other day or was I just imagining things?

Dann Cianca said...

Hey Boomer... wish I had a sensor that would do better in those types of conditions. I'd be on the canyon floor with that!

Yes... we did have nice lee troughing Monday-Wednesday. Had some good wave clouds, but high clouds out west killed off the possibility of amazing sunsets.

Pat Boomer said...

Wicked landscape AND wave clouds?
Sounds like a winning combo for sure
I was wondering if that wall would generate any action. Bonus!

Dann Cianca said...

Well, I wasn't able to get any good shots off unfortunately. They were best when I was at work and didn't have my camera or when high cirrus made the light blah.