By Rhonda Mills

Cedar Mesa Morning

Equipment Info
NIKON CORPORATION NIKON D300
State/Province/Region
UT
Country
US
Nearest Area
Valley of the Gods / Cedar Mesa Canyon Complex
Town
Mexican Hat
Brief Directions

Bluff, UT is the nearest real town offering accommodations and services, although Mexican Hat is officially the nearest community. The Moki Dugway is an unpaved section of Hwy 261 that runs north from US Hwy 163W out of Bluff and connects with Hwy 95W out of Blanding, UT.

Notes

Spring and fall are certainly ideal times to visit this desert landscape, but don't overlook the less crowded---albeit hot---summer months. You won't fight for tripod space and you'll have a number of places virtually to yourself.

Description

In southeastern Utah, the Moki Dugway is a narrow, steep and winding road that lets you access the top of the vast Cedar Mesa canyon complex. I headed up the dugway on an October 2011 dawn, disappointed that my chances of a sunrise image were being foiled by heavy cloud cover. As I dismantled my gear, without warning the cloud cover parted and the sun cast a broad beam of golden light across the valley floor right to my feet. I jammed my tripod back into the ground. metering as fast as my fingers and brain could connect, hoping to catch the spectre of color and light before the sun rose higher into the clouds. Like most special moments, it only lasted a few seconds, but I was able to get off a handful of shots before the scene returned to flat light.

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Date Added
May 31, 2012
Date Taken
January 1, 1970

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