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Random Jazz Six/Twenty-Eight/Two-Thousand-and-Sixteen

I suck at posting photos these days, just like I do at life. Except for go-karts. I’m the best at go-karts.

This random assortment includes failed cow petting attempts, pretty girls, Star Trek themed Christmas photos (just a joke; don’t kill me), and a few pictures of this new place called “Yosemite.” Maybe someday I’ll get around to posting photos of New Zealand, Louisville, Sedona, the Grand Circle, and other less random stuff that is just collecting dust inside my hard drive, which doesn’t actually make sense unless you’re a top-notch writer like me who also happens to excel in the art of go-kart racing, in which case dust on photos inside my hard drive totally makes sense. Also, run-on sentences are awesome.

Canyonlands cow

Cheynne Conner model

Hula hooping is part of this balanced breakfast

Cheyenne and Molly

Sunset under the tree of forgetfullness

Star Wars Christmas card photos

Star Wars Christmas card photos

Cheynne Conner model

Yosemite winter

Upper Yosemite fall frozen

Half Dome in the winter

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Random Jazz 9/17/2015

I went to some random places and made some photographs of them. Also of my pretty girlfriend. Enjoy.

Kayla, a mask, and the Milky Way-Alabama Hills

Milky Way and a shooting star (and my friend Kayla) at the Alabama Hills

Cheyenne Conner

Jellyfish

Abstract

Cheyenne Conner in Mexico

Jellyfish

Lost balloons

Cheyenne Conner

Jellyfish

Cheyenne Conner

Monterey Tree

Golden Gate Bridge sunset

Milky Way at Mono Lake

The Milky Way at Mono Lake

birdy Want more me in your life? Click here to see my prints for sale, or here to see the rest of my posts. If you’d prefer to stay right here and do nothing, click here.

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In Search of the Promised Land

A few weeks ago some friends and I decided to go wander the desert (thus my mildly sacrilegious title). While we didn’t find any manna, we did find some really interesting places. When in the desert, it often pays to take the road less traveled. I’ve been working my tail off and am exhausted, so I’m going to stop talking and show you pictures. Bye.

Palm Springs from Keys View

Chapel

Desert cabin

Surprise!

Desert cabin

Desert abandoned building

Desert cabin

Desert crosses

Jenelle and her pony

Desert headstones

Desert art

Cheyenne the patriot

KRBLIN JIHN KABIN

KRBLIN JIHN KABIN

KRBLIN JIHN KABIN

Hello again. I did want to say this: if Toby’s friends sought fit to erect such an awesome roadside memorial, I feel like he or she was the type of person I would have liked to have known. Rest in Peace, person whom should have been my friend.
Toby roadside memorial

Joshua Tree sunset

birdyViewing this as a single post? Check out the rest of my site here.

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Random Jazz: Circle Gets the Square Edition

More unpublished stuff for you.

First up are some photos of my friend Tim Gill, who’s an amazing musician and leads a few different incredible musical groups, including the Tim Gill All Stars. You should probably go see them live or buy some of their music if you know what’s good for you.
Tim Gill

Tim Gill

Tim Gill

I did some work with my friend Anna Habrat (the Magical Blonde Hair Stylist) for entries in the NAHA competition. While I can’t show you the super rad styles she came up with until after the competition, I thought I’d throw in some interesting outtakes if for no other reason than model Dawnielle has amazing eyes.
Model takes a break

Crying model

I made this mermaid a few months ago with my Pixelstick. There’s supposed to be some dolphins in there, but they’re jerks and aren’t showing up well.
Pixelstick mermaid at the pool

Urban river

This one hurts my head to look at.
Urban fountain

Urban fountain

Tuolomne meadows

Moon reflected in a building

I know this photo doesn’t look like much, but I’m pretty sure it’s the most perfect photo I’ve ever taken. Some day when I die this will be sold for millions of dollars. Get your copy now for a mere $1,000.
Geometry

And last but not least, a giant hole. See you next year!
Pentagon at OC Performing Arts Center

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Ghosts of Thanksgiving Present

Over the Thanksgiving weekend I headed out to the Flagstaff and Sedona areas of Arizona. Unfortunately, due to an unscheduled, violent meeting between my foot and a wall at my apartment, I made the trip with a painful fracture. Since I was limited, things were a little more boring than normal, but I still got a few photos to share.

The first stop on our trip was to Flintstone’s Bedrock City. As I wrote previously, this place is so bad it’s awesome. An employee told me that it’s been put up for sale, so who knows if it’ll be around much longer. Best get out if you ever want to see it. I shot a lot of pictures, but they’re kinda boring so I’ve included a small selection.

Flintstone's Bedrock City

Flintstone's Bedrock City

I think this picture of a giant dog on a dinosaur slide is probably the best photo I’ve ever taken.

Flintstone's Bedrock City Dinosaur Slide with a Dog

Me and my busted foot on the same slide. Being metal and relatively steep, it was one of the best slide related experiences I’ve had since I was a child.

Flintstone's Bedrock City Slide

We met this guy at Grand Canyon.

Elk at the Grand Canyon

My brother, beer in hand, trying to get a closer look. (Not really; we’re both too smart to approach large animals, but we thought it’d be fun to take a picture like this anyhow.)

Nate Reinig at Grand Canyon

With the help of a cane (and my brother and cousin helping me through some tough spots), I made a painful hike to the top of Cathedral Rock in Sedona. It was hard, but wow, what a place. I strongly recommend that you make this hike at least once in your life. (Hopefully you’ll have a more interesting sunset than I did.)

Cathedral Rock sunset

Grand Canyon sunset

Grand Canyon sunset

I love pictographs and petroglyphs. I really like the solitude of the desert, so whenever I encounter native desert art I get this great feeling of camaraderie with the people who made them. Both of us chose to visit this quiet place centuries apart, but likely for the same reasons of tranquility and beauty.

Indian Petroglyphs near Laughlin

Cathedral Rock sunset

I *think* this is Bell Rock, as seen from the top of Cathedral Rock.

Sedona sunset from Cathedral Rock

On our last day we went to a place called “Bearizona” in Williams, AZ, which lets you drive through various animal habitats in your car. While there are a number of cool animals to see, the wolves were by far the best. Here’s one of them trying to steal my cousin’s soul. I think this was an Arctic wolf maybe?

Arctic wolf at Bearizona

This pictograph site near Laughlin was one of the most prolific I’ve ever visited. Dozens of huge boulders looked just like this one, with scores of images carved on top of each other.  Note how high up this rock is: that’s my 6ish-foot-tall brother in the lower right. Also note that I was standing in a horrible thorn bush to get this picture for you. I’m pretty sure that means you owe me like $5 or something.

Indian pictographs at sunset near Laughlin, Nevada

As my last shot of the post, here’s a picture taken near Desert View Watchtower. Thanks for visiting!

Grand Canyon Sunset at Desert View Watchtower

birdyAre you viewing this as a single post? Feel free to check out the rest of my work here if you’re bored and have nothing better to do.

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Finding My (Milky) Way Along 395

(Editor’s note: This post has more pictures than Germany has goals on Brazil (zing!), so you might want to get comfortable.)

On the last day of my trip we were exploring the abandoned “Locust City,” a former air force town off highway 395. We had just exited the former Hall of Justice when my brother and his girlfriend got quiet. After a moment, he said that he thought someone was watching us. From the second floor of the building we had just left we could hear what sounded like faint footsteps stepping carefully and deliberately through broken glass.

Since my last visit in November a number of buildings had been severely burned, which in my experience is often the result of refugee meth heads. It’s possible one or more was looking at us then.


Coincidentally, at the start of the trip I was also worried about meth addicts. My primary purpose for this outing was to photograph the Milky Way, which I had never really been able to do until the last few months. (Mostly because I’m dumb.) With a new car to drive and my newish camera in hand, a small group of us retraced my route up 395 to take pictures of our galactic neighborhood. Our first stop was the Trona Pinnacles, gigantic tufa formations near the dying and remote town of Trona, CA. Standing in the middle of nowhere at 1 in the morning, I was a little concerned about some of Trona’s less desirable residents lurking in the shadows.

As it turns out, the only thing we had to worry about was extremely high winds, which chased us out of the area earlier than we would have liked. The first two shots are from Trona.

By the way, please excuse the fact that the Milky Way looks different in each of my shots. I’m still getting the hang of doing post-processing on it. The yellow glow at the bottom of any photos is light pollution from a city.

Trona Pinnacles Milky Way

Trona Pinnacles Milky Way

On day two, as we headed north we swung by a livestock and cattle graveyard that I had previously visited near Lone Pine.  It’s actually more like a dumping ground. Last time I was there I found the body of a recently dead horse (warning: a bit graphic). Here’s what it looked like now:

Cattle and livestock graveyard near Lone Pine

Abandoned rocking chair, Bodie ghost town

A rare-ish self-portrait of yours truly in a 90ish-year-old mirror.

Jake Reinig self-portrait

This is a shot looking west from pothole rock at Tuolomne Meadows. Even though pothole rock isn’t particularly tall, it’s at something like 8,500 feet and I’m in terrible shape. This was a rough hike.

Tuolomne Meadows sunset

This is also Tuolomne Meadows, but just a little bit up the road.

Tuolomne Meadows Milky Way

The next day we did some river rafting in the Yosemite Valley. This is easily one of the most enjoyable (and breathtaking) things you can do in California. Because the water level was so low it took extra long to get to the end, which meant more time for fun and games. Here, my brother rolls out of the boat in order to hit his head on a submerged rock.

Yosemite rafting

And here he is jumping off a bridge.

Yosemite bridge jumping

I jumped off of it too, but this photo of a brave 12-year-old is more interesting than me.

Yosemite bridge jumping

This is upper Yosemite Falls as seen from the banks of the river. The massive California drought has reduced it to a relative trickle, but it’s still amazing to see in person.  Fun Fact: Yosemite Falls is the fifth tallest in the world.

Upper Yosemite Falls

A bird stands guard on a tufa formation at Mono Lake.  Although much smaller, these are the same type of structure as those found at Trona.

Mono Lake tufa

Mono Lake tufa

We went to the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest one day. The oldest living non-clonal organisms on earth, these trees are incredible (one is over 5,000 years old!). I know it sounds stupid, but standing next to them feels really special, as though you’re in the presence of a sentient, ancient friend. It feels as though they’re happy to have you there. Like I said, it’s weird…. Anyways, you absolutely must go there sometime in your life. I think we’re going to go back soon do so some star photography.

The older a tree gets, the more gnarled it becomes.

Ancient Bristle Cone Pine Forest

The tops of the trees reminded me of pleading hands, as if they were asking the sky to save them.

Ancient Bristle Cone Pine Forest tentacles

We return to Locust City for the next group of photos. I’ve been to enough abandoned places to know that they’re rarely totally abandoned. Drug users and destitute people often use them as temporary ports, waiting out whatever storm currently claws at them. This picture makes me sad: the mattress is relatively new and the sheet was in pretty good shape. Some child was sleeping on this not too long ago. I hope they’re somewhere safer now.

Abandoned Peanuts mattress

Abandoned town

Mattresses in old air force town

Walking on the second floor of these buildings is an adventure. Lots of holes abound.

Abandoned miliary town

This former kitchen is now open to the elements. I’d guess that the roof will collapse within the year.

Collapsing kitchen

Abandoned basketball court and baseball field

As I mentioned earlier, I think someone was watching us at one point. This blanket and sign had fallen through a collapsed portion of the ceiling above us. Coincidentally, this was the building in which the person may have been. I wondered if the sentry was a current position, protecting people who made the location their home.

2nd floor sentry

Shattered classroom window

Dark rooms everywhere.

Creepy hallway in abandoned military city

Pentagram in burned out house

This is another picture that makes me sad. This room had clothing, books, and other belongings in it. Some of the items were setup in such a way that I think someone was living here for a while before it caught fire.

Burned out house in abandoned town

Apparently, I had accidentally wandered into Panem.

Fight for the mockingjay

This photo was taken about 250 miles away from Locust City, and is in a much more dangerous location. Fun.

Fallout shelter tunnel

This is my brother in a mask at the Alabama Hills, near Lone Pine. Sweet dreams. :)

Alabama Hills Milky Way

And here’s my tent, preparing to roast me to death overnight.

Alabama Hills Milky Way

Finally, here’s one more picture from Trona, with my brother acting as model.

Milky Way at Trona Pinnacles

In the end, we never did figure out whether someone was watching us at the abandoned city.  Someday I know I’ll run into one of the ghosts of these forgotten places, but I’m happy that they’ve let me visit without any trouble so far. Maybe next time….

By the way, if you like photography and think you might like to visit some of these places, check out my friend Keith Skelton’s photo workshops. He does a trip to a number of the same locations every so often and is a great teacher.

(Want to see more pictures? I’ve got a prints gallery with some of my less terrible work, plus there’s more on the rest of my website.)

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Random Jazz: Oceans and Mountains and Moons (Oh Wine!) Edition

First off, I’m clever, right? Someone pleeeeeease tell me I’m clever. Wait, I realize that you haven’t seen my pictures yet, so you’re not entirely aware of my cleverness. Well, let me tell you, my friend: read on and prepare to be amazed at how clever my title is.

(Postscriptum: I’m also humble.)

Anyways, let’s stop with the jibber-jabber and look at my mildly interesting photographs.

First up, here’s a few photos from my wonderful friend Brittany’s wine and cheese party. It was fun. I fell down at one point.

Wine and cheese party

Wine and cheese party

Wine party

Next up: I dig the moon. Sometimes I stand still and look at it and am amazed that there’s a gigantic ball of rock circling us (like during the blood moon eclipse). Then I go inside and play on my iPad and waste the precious time I have left on earth.

Blood moon 2014

Blood moon 2014

I have the accidental habit of going down to “the cemetery” at Corona Del Mar anytime someone I know passes away. The accidental part of it is that I usually don’t realize I’m doing it until I’ve arrived. My friend Christina was having a rough day and came with me. Apparently, the rocks wanted two visitors.

Here she is smiling.
Christina at CDM

Christina at Corona Del Mar

Tombstone rock at Corona Del Mar

Possibly the best photo I’ve ever taken of myself:
Framed self-portrait at Corona Del Mar

Finally, here’s four pictures I took near sunset at Mt. Baldy. I missed the actual sunset because I was trying to talk to some German girls inside. (Spoiler alert: I did talk to them. They were nice.)

Mt. Baldy Cloud Sunset

Mt. Baldy Cloud Sunset

Mt. Baldy Cloud Sunset

Mt. Baldy Mountain Sunset

That’s it for this one. Want more Jake Reinig? Check out the rest of my website, or see some of my favorite stuff in the prints gallery.

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Random Jazz: Guy of Thrones Edition

I’ll admit, my title is terrible. Like, probably the worst title I’ve ever come up with. However, sometimes it’s hard work to be an international man of mystery and part-time saint and also have to come up with blog titles. The reason I did pick that is because I’m starting off my post with portraits I took of my friend David Peterson, who’s probably the most famous person I know (in an understated kinda way).

Here he is:

David J. Peterson, Game of Thrones and Defiance

The reason he’s famous is because he’s the inventor and “curator” (I guess?) of the Dothraki language spoken on the Game of Thrones TV show. He also does the language work for SyFy’s Defiance, writes books, speaks at conventions and seminars (including Comic-Con), invents languages, and once upon a time had a pretty decent three-point shot. You should watch those TV shows or buy any of his books so that he can continue to be famous and maybe someday introduce me to a beautiful young starlet.

Plus, I mean, isn’t he just a dream boat?

David J. Peterson, Game of Thrones and Defiance

Now that things are sufficiently awkward, let’s move onto more random stuff. Here’s a photo from the time I went to Mars.

Toadstool Hoodoos

This is Amanda, a lovely young lady from our planet who I might be taking more photos of soon.

Amanda, headshot, future model

Let’s get even more random now. I was bored and decided to take pictures of numerically significant groups of items at the beach. Bet you didn’t think you’d be seeing this today, did you? Well, here you go:

Corona Del Mar

Corona Del Mar seaweed

Corona Del Mar

I decided that this is the metaphorical equivalent of what it feels like to be in your house when an earthquake hits:

Seaweek inside a brick

Bam! Random red panda! P.s. these are probably the best animals in existence.

Red Panda

Since I really need to use the restroom, I’m going to shut up and leave you with a few pictures of other random things. Oh, actually, one last thing: if you haven’t already noticed, I relaunched my prints gallery, featuring work by myself and other artists, including my talented brother Nate Reinig. Take a look if you have 23 seconds. If you’re my friend on Facebook, hit me up and I’ll give you a limited-time discount code if you’re interested in anything.

Otherwise, thanks for stopping by!

Bird silhouette

Bird silhouette

Meerkat

Totem pole, Monument Valley

Sky buckets and the moon

Want more photos? Head to the home page and scroll on down.

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3,000 Miles to Ghostland, Part II

I think that most visitors probably don’t care about my commentary (like in part I), so I’m going to keep the chattiness to a low roar. The photos below come from various places in Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico, including Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Monument Valley, Shiprock, Zion Canyon, and more. If you would like more info, post in the comments or better yet, let’s go have a beer (or wine, as the situation warrants).

Horseshoe Bend sunset

A rainy sunset, somewhere in Utah

A hoodoo in Mystery Canyon near Kanab, Utah

Watchman sunset, Zion National Park, taken from Canyon Junction Bridge

I love pictograms/pictographs and petroglyphs, and seek them out whenever possible. Navajo and Hopi lands seem to be full of them, with many dating as far back as 3,000 years.

Petroglyphs inside Monument Valley

It’s interesting to think that these hand prints might be from someone who died 1,000 years ago.
Hand print petroglyphs in Monument Valley

Here’s one thought to be Kokopelli, a Native American god that combines Johnny Appleseed, the pregnancy stork, St. Patrick, and Loki all into one, much cooler figure.

Petroglyph of Kokopelli

Sand Island bluff, a short drive north of Monument Valley, has a large panel about 100 feet in length just covered with thousands of petroglyphs. It’s pretty neat and only takes about 20 minutes of your time to see it all.
Sand Island petroglyphs

Some are more modern and occasionally humorous (if you find petroglyphs, please don’t do this):
Sand Island petroglyph graffiti

Note the icon high up on the wall. It’s maybe 25 feet off the ground, so it’s kind of a mystery how it got up there. What’s not a mystery is that some idiots have tried to hit it with firearms, thus the bullet damage in the surrounding rock. Dear random morons: I hate you.
Petroglyphs at Sand Island, including bullet damage to one

Below are a few shots of the hike to Angels Landing in Zion Canyon (here’s an overly dramatic video that shows the view and some of the dropoffs). The hike is very strenuous and the final approach to the landing is basically a cliff ledge. It’s not for the faint of heart. (Sorry about the photos; to save on weight I didn’t bring my big cameras with me).

The final steep, narrow spine to get to the top of Angels Landing.

The final steep, narrow spine to get to the top of Angels Landing.

Part of the trail.

Part of the trail. Note the tiny white car on the road near the top-right of the photo.

Taking a break at the top of the Landing.

Taking a break at the top of the Landing.

The view from the top. Worth the effort and anxiety.

The view from the top. Worth the effort and anxiety.

The whole reason I planned this trip initially was to photograph Shiprock, a huge, 1,500-foot-tall monadnock in northern New Mexico. The day I went to visit, that part of the state was absolutely nailed by torrential rains. The closest I could get was about 7 miles out, as the roads became impassable. I had to slog through deep mud and deal with non-stop rain to approach these horses. Thankfully, they stayed still long enough for me to get a portrait.
Horses in the rain near Shiprock, NM

The Watchman in a boring sunset. Zion National Park.

The Watchman during a boring sunset. Zion National Park.

Two views of the Monument Valley “mittens”:

Dusk at the Mittens, Monument Valley

Dusk at the Mittens, Monument Valley

Dawn at the Mittens, Monument Valley

Dawn at the Mittens, Monument Valley

Here’s a few shots from the unspeakably beautiful Upper Antelope Canyon. Go here before you die.

Sunbeam, Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon

Upper Antelope Canyon

Sunbeams, Upper Antelope Canyon

"The Heart," Upper Antelope Canyon

“The Heart,” Upper Antelope Canyon

"Sandfall" in Upper Antelope Canyon

“Sandfall” in Upper Antelope Canyon

And to close, sunrise at the “totem pole” in Monument Valley. Thanks for visiting, and let me know if you’re interested in prints or want to give me a high five.

Sunrise at the Monument Valley "totem pole"

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3,000 Miles to Ghostland, Part I

On the last day of my trip I found myself seated across from an attractive female employee of the MGM Grand Las Vegas, eating lunch and discussing travel. As the meal wound down I briefly reflected on how relatively uneventful this trip had been. I was immensely tired and travel worn, a cancelled flight shuffled some plans around a bit, and I’m pretty sure a ghost chased me out of an isolated pet cemetery one inky Utah night, but that’s all business as usual for me. Despite having seen some of the Southwest’s most beautiful sights, I felt slightly incomplete still.

After a moment I looked back to the face across from me, thanked her for buying me lunch, and watched while she placed the just-signed check directly into a glass full of water by mistake. Enjoying the slightly embarrassed but highly amused smile that arose on her face, I quietly thanked the universe for the proper ending I was hoping for.

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Ten days earlier I started my journey in Laughlin, the decidedly lower rent version of Las Vegas. For $25 I had a nice hotel room and ten thousand senior citizens to keep me company. In between these two gambling bookends was 3,000 miles of driving and a disappointingly large number of mediocre photos. Below are some that I hope are slightly better than mediocre. There’s kind of a lot, and I’ve written a fair amount of text, so feel free to take a break if you need to. I’ll wait until you come back. (Click on a photo to enlarge.)

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The first destination was some hole in the ground, apparently called “The Grand Canyon.”

View from the Desert View Watchtower

Grand Canyon

My friend X-Ray joined me for the first few days of the trip and suggested that we swing by the Flintstone’s Bedrock City in Williams, AZ, not too far from the Grand Canyon. This place was hilariously awful. Even though people worked there and some people who probably had leprosy were camping there, the place was about as abandoned and neglected as could be. It was sublimely beautiful in its decay.

Dinosaur slide, Flintstone's Bedrock City

Note that the sign only says “Fred’s House.” Apparently, his slave-wife Wilma lived outside.

I’m not sure who this man was, why he was in jail, why his arm was torn off, or why he was allowed to decorate his cell, but I absolutely love that the owners of the park didn’t even try to hide the modern surge protector (which, you’ll notice, doesn’t actually have anything plugged into it).

Oh look, a camera taking a picture of a saber-toothed tiger. Let’s take a gander at the scene.
Old-fashioned camera at Bedrock City

Way to let me down, Flintstone’s Bedrock City.
View of a sabre-toothed tiger

Don’t be fooled: this “goatasaurus” is actually just a regular goat. I’m not sure why there’s an apostrophe. Apparently, they couldn’t afford to hire staff that know how to spell.

Returning back to the Grand Canyon, this is the Desert View Watchtower, which stands guard at the east side of the park.
Desert View Watchtower

Interior of the watchtower:
Interior of the Desert View Watchtower

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon Grand Canyon Grand Canyon

This is Goosenecks State Park; don’t go here. On paper it seems like it should be interesting because flow of the river is so crazy, but it’s not really worth the trip.
Goosenecks State Park

This is Horseshoe Bend just outside Page, Arizona. Go here instead:
Horseshoe Bend

The grave or memorial site of Ginny Roberts near Mexican Hat Rock. Try as I might, I can’t find any information on Ms. Roberts.

Below are the “Betatakin” Anasazi ruins at Navajo National Monument (one of three such sites at the monument). Unfortunately, this time of year you can’t get to the 800-year-old dwellings, so I had to be content with photos from across the canyon. The scale of the photo is a little misleading, as that alcove you see here is about 450 feet high. The canyon is about twice that in total.
Betatakin ruins, Navajo National Monument

In order to save on gas I borrowed a Prius from my company. Here it is in the middle of the Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Valley of the Gods

Valley of the Gods is north of Monument Valley, and because it’s not on Navajo lands, you don’t need a guide. While driving through the park I saw these cattle grazing with Monument Valley in the distance. I took this photo from the same spot as I did the shot of the Prius. As I crept closer to the nearest cow, which had surprisingly large horns (do female cows have large horns too?), I kept looking back at the car hoping that it was close enough to run to if need be. I’m not sure that it was.
8U0B1649-1

I call this photo “birds of a feather,” ’cause…you know…the oil thing in the back kinda looks like the horse. Yes, I know I’m very clever. Yes, I know horses don’t have feathers, which makes the title funnier. Yes, I still know that I’m very clever.
Birds of a feather

This one I call “fish out of water.” See above, re: clever.
Fish out of water

The Navajo Twins

Toadstool hoodoo

Tree and arch, Monument Valley

Monument Valley

This is the inside of a tiny little chapel on the road to Flagstaff. It appears to be always open and usable by anyone. While taking photos inside snow was lightly falling outside. It was a very pleasant, calm moment. Curiously, as if to provide an exact definition of “juxtapose” for me, the bible on the lectern was open to Jeremiah 14. God is in full “angry Old Testament god mode” here.

Church near Flagstaff

Church near Flagstaff

Called “Moqui holes,” the indentations in this photo were created by Indians climbing to and from a place where they hid supplies.
Moqui holes inside Mystery Canyon

Sunset near Monument Valley

I played tourist one day and went to the Four Corners monument. Here’s me kinda-sorta standing in four states.
Four Corners monument

And here’s a wider shot of the monument:
Four Corners monument

Abandoned store

I mentioned earlier that I was at a very remote, very large pet cemetery one night, which I happened to come across accidentally while exploring another area. The sun had already set so it was getting dark quickly, and there was absolutely no wind; all the wind chimes you see in this picture weren’t making any noise. I took this photo and then kept walking in the direction of the newly dug grave in the background. Suddenly, a large group of birds exploded in a panic out of a tree next to me and the wind came up out of nowhere, sending the wind chimes into a frenzy. I figured that was my cue to leave, and with the largest goosebumps I’ve probably ever had, hurried back to my car.
Pet cemetery at the Best Friend's Animal Sanctuary

Sunset near Monument Valley

This next shot is of Agathla Peak near sunset. Rising more than 1,500 feet from the earth, it’s the hardened throat of a volcano that has long since disappeared.
Agathla Peak near sunset

I’m going to wrap up Part I (quite suddenly, I might add) with this photo of a Monument Valley sunrise taken from the balcony of my hotel room at the View Hotel (which was awesome). I should have Part II up in a day or so, so check back soon! Also, I might actually make prints available for some of these photos (which is rare for me), so if you’re interested, let me know.
Monument Valley sunrise

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