Thursday, November 30, 2017

Arches National Park.

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Monday, 30th October_30th November, 2017; Arches N.P., Utah.


C1645
“Late Afternoon at Delicate Arch”
(Arches National Park, Utah)
Oil on Pannelli Telati fine Cotton Panel
5” x 7”


Of course when I trekked in to Moab the day after Thanksgiving to make this posting, I found the library closed for the whole weekend, unlike my local Oregon library which would have been open.  And so almost a week later I finally have a chance to do so.  After barreling past the entrance to Arches National Park over several days, and gazing up in awe at the fa├žade of red rock cliffs up which the entrance road switchbacks high above the Moab Valley, I finally made my entry into the park, past the formation known as the Three Penguins, and up onto the rising plateau beyond.  I am not going to relate a blow by blow or sequential account of my extended time here at Arches, as there is too much to relate in that format.  I will say that I have been here so much longer than I expected, but it has been a most informative time as I have learned about and familiarized myself with this amazing geology hereabouts.  I am hoping that what I have been learning about the geology here will help those endeavors as I proceed through the red rock country of the Four Corners area.

I have walked almost all the major footpaths in the Park, even those that I originally thought I would do only sections of, and have done several more than once.  I haven’t been doing this the entire time I’ve been here, as there have been necessary maintenance and recovery days spent in camp on the Willow Springs Road, and outside the Park boundary near Klondike Bluffs.

Delicate Arch … to get down past the arch, to where the little people are,
is much steeper than it looks from this angle … it put me off.

Yep… steeper than you think, but the rock is grippy,
although I understand not o much in wet weather.
The hike to the viewpoint for my painting of Delicate Arch was a bit strenuous, as it is uphill most of the way.  It was a very windy day, and there were real fears of being blown off a ledge, but there were many others making the trek, so I pressed boldly onwards.  It was the evening of the last full Moon, and on a Friday night, when the Park is open 24/7 … there is road resurfacing going on so Arches as been closed after 7 PM except for Fridays and Saturdays … thus the crowds.  The Sunset was not the most spectacular, but since I was there I remained to see what it would do, but I had neglected to bring my headlamp, so did not await the rising of the Moon; perhaps the one in a couple of days.  There was enough afterglow, as well as moonlight, that I made it down the hill with no problems, but it might have been problematic if I had left it later.  The mountains in the distance in my painting are the La Sal Mountains.

Delicate Arch with the La Sals in the distance.

The Organ from Park Avenue.

Earlier in the day I had hiked up Park Avenue from the bottom end, and that direction is highly recommended as once you turn around to head back to your car, it is downhill all the way.  Park Avenue is the first major point of interest and footpath after you enter the Park, and is a canyon between tall walls of Entrada Sandstone upon a base of Dewey Bridge formation and capped in spots with lighter Moab formation sandstone; the canyon is floored with Navajo sandstone, which was laid down as sand dunes in times past.  Those interested in these rocks will no doubt go on line and find out more … I have a book of Utah geology.  Park Avenue is named for the vague resemblance to the artificial canyon of the same name in New York City.  I prefer this one, with its tall walls of red rock, balanced rocks and interesting side canyons.  There will be more on Arches next time.

The Navajo Sandstone forms the pavement here in Park Avenue, and the Entrada Sandstone form the steep walls on the upper left; below the Entrada, slanting down behind the tree top, is the rounded Dewey Bridge Formation, and the cap-rock on the Tower of Babel (right of center in the distance) is made up of the Moab Formation.

In Park Avenue.

A side canyon of Park Avenue.

A nook in Park Avenue.

The Pigments used in the painting were,

Imprimatura & Drawing: Rublev Ercolano Red;

Pigments: W&N Cerulean, Cobalt & Ultramarine Deep Blues, Cadmiums Yellow Pale & Orange;

Rublev: Ercolano Red, Purple Ochre, Lead White #1.

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