Day 16 – 10/9/14 Thursday
Well, finding a place to put down for the night last night proved a bit tough as I thought it might after seeing that Arches campground was already full, I figured Canyonlands was full as well and didn’t even bother looking. I tried some of the Forest Service campgrounds outside the park and all were full, so I ended up just parking on the dirt road leading into one of those campgrounds and had a peaceful, but late night that was disturbed only a few times by the sound of light rain.
When I got up, I drove to Grandview Point where it was sprinkling lightly and I took a few shots that I intend to make into B+W because there was no color out there under cloudy skies. I did take a few close ups of plants under the even light, but not really much going on. Even though I didn’t photograph much, the time just seems to fly by and I didn’t want it to get too late before looking into getting a campsite in the park for tonight. There is only one campground in the park and when I drive through it to see if there wee any empty spots, I ended up getting the last (there were only two openings) remaining open site and the guy next to me had just gotten the other one. So I paid for two nights just to know here I would be and to not have to think about it at all during the day. While I was filling out my form, a car looking for a spot drives by and I see that he has NJ plates. I wish I had thought sooner to offer to share my spot, since you’re allowed two cars per spot and I certainly wasn’t putting up a tent, but I thought of it too late. I headed into town, a short 35 miles away, and took a shower at the Moab Aquatic Center coming out of it feeling like a new man. Over to McDonald’s for a quick bite and headed back to the park to figure out the sunset situation. Stopped in the visitor center, after asking them which is the best spot for sunset, they said Green a River Overlook. So that’s where I went getting there around 430pm; plenty of time for. 652 sunset! I scouted all around for a good location, and even though the view was great, I felt that the light was too much in front if me and not enough side lighting. By then it was almost 530 and I decided to head to Grandview Point which should have better sidelighting. It took a while to get there, but the light was just as I thought. It was fantastic and I made several shots until the sun went behind a large cloud. The sky had slowly been breaking up all day and I was hoping that something would happen by evening and the sky looked fantastic to say the least. I hurried back over to Green River Overlook and watched a spectacular sunset unfold and I just kept clicking away. Starting with the wide angle to get a lot of sky of the clearing storm clouds, and as the sunset shrank, I shifted to normal and then telephoto to capture the cloud formations. I even got a few shots with what appeared to be a bit of rain way in the distance with the sunset light beneath it. It was just the best sunset on the trip so far!!!! Everyone thought the sky tonight was spectacular.
When I returned to my car, parked next to me was the blue car with NJ plates!!!! I offered for him, Jeff, to share the parking spots at the campground and we ended up talking until almost 930 with another photographer, Walter, and we all said we would meet at Mesa Arch @ 400am to shoot it by moonlight. As we were talking, the moon did come out and we shot it a bit and talked some more, and more. Finally had enough and packed it in for the night.