Moab Memories

I am supposed to be writing a computer program right now for some friends in the research group I left earlier this year. As you can imagine, while doing such a task I ended up on Facebook. There I found out that Shane updated his running blog a week ago (and didn't tell me!) to include pictures and descriptions of all the fun he had chaperoning a highschool cross country team in Colorado a couple weeks ago! You can check it out here.

I could tell everyone had a good time, not only because of the scenery but because of the company. And while I love having the freedom to go out and see all kinds of beautiful places out here, and the freedom to plan according to my schedule only, I sure do miss having company with me. So I figured while I sit here eating my almond butter by the spoonful straight from the jar, I'd take some time to remember a trip I really enjoyed with some good company, that was also out west!

Date of Trip: November 8 - 11, 2013

Last November, Shane raced in the USATF National Half Marathon Championship in Moab, UT. He thoroughly enjoyed his race, and in addition to befriending a running celebrity, he placed 29th overall, which is pretty good considering the volume of runners and the altitude (I had trouble running more than 3 minutes or so). I didn't do any races, even though there was a 5K adventure race, but I enjoyed getting to see Shane run across the finish and trying to make him drink a whole lotta water when we met up again. Maybe instead of running I'll get into crewing...

F5.0, 1/320, ISO 80
View approaching race course
It was pretty chilly in Moab in November, but it was super dry, so I could wear shorts in the 50s. I'm not a huge fan of deserts, but even though much of the vegetation here was scrubby, there were tons of trees turning a beautiful golden yellow (I'm a bad horticulturist for not taking the time to ID those trees).

F4.5, 1/500, ISO 80
Beautiful tree specimen, with the light hitting it just right.
The first day, Shane and I just ran and hiked around where we thought the race course would be. I don't think we actually found it but we had a good time. We were surrounded by other runners, bikers, and even saw a base jumper make his lunchtime flight!

F5.6, 1/500, ISO 80
Just trying to keep up in the altitude!

F8.0, 1/500, ISO 80
F8.0, 1/640, ISO 80
Here are a couple shots of the town coming back from the mountains. Moab is basically a one-street town, with the main highway having mostly touristy shops and a tiny bit of surburbia off from the highway. It is a quaint little town filled with Indian and ranching culture. I like these photos because it captures the beauty you can see from the town amidst the little bit of development.

F6.3, 1/500, ISO80
The afternoon after the race we went to Arches National Park and walked around. The drive into the park takes you past hundreds of enormous rock formations that look like God himself stacked them on top of each other. It was beautiful, I had never seen anything like it before.
Blurry picture taken from the car - rock formations in Arches NP at sunset.

F5.6, 1/500, ISO80
View across landscape during hike at Arches NP.
I really like the wide feeling I got in this photo, even though this wasn't anything close to a wide angle lens.  Most of the time this camera makes me feel like everything got cut too narrow.

F2.8, 1/125, ISO80
Mountains in the distance at dusk, heading out of Arches NP
I probably could have cropped out some sky in this one. But I love how the mountains just glowed blue at that time of day.

F7.1, 1/500, ISO80
The next day, we went to Canyonlands National Park and hiked the Syncline trail (the hardest rated one in the park). I like this shot because having a person stand there kind of gives you some perspective on how big this place was. You could see forever.

F5.6, 1/500, ISO80
This is a shot of the canyon that we hiked can see it where the two rock formations come together. This was probably my scariest hiking moment to that date. I am very scared of heights and did not know that I would have to scale a very steep rock wall that day. I had a brief panic attack but thanks to a greater fear of getting left behind I made it.

F5.0, 1/500, ISO80
The prize, I love the color in this photo! I did saturate a tad but you can't manufacture color variety, and that moment in time had it. This was the view from the top at the end of the hike, so you can look out at the big crater you just spent the entire day hiking around in. It was surreal to see such a large space so far away, and yet know what it looks like down in there too!

F4.5, 1/500, ISO80
Storm rolling in as we headed back to the car.
I always love how dark skies make everything else in the photo more saturated. It's the one time I don't get really washed out pictures.

F4.0, 1/500, ISO80
Last stop of the trip, Green River overlook. This was the windiest place I think I had ever been. But it was also surreal, the picture does not do justice to how expansive this view was. It was very humbling and made me feel very small.... Nice memory after you have put away several tablespoons of almond butter!!!

This was a very special trip for me, and not only because of the views. Even though both of us had to make compromises throughout the trip, we got to experience a special kind of companionship that adds something unique to the experience that no amount of freedom can :)

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