Utah | Sun Flares and Night Skies through Windows at Arches National Park

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As you might have gathered through my last post, I am pretty smitten with Arches National Park. I had never been before, but this place was blowing my mind. The giant red rock formations seemed just impossible. It was like walking around in another planet created by Dr. Seuss.

Driving around Arches National Park with the little camper made ne feel very very small. The scale of this place is just amazing. Close up there are towering monoliths, then petrified dunes in the distance, and then even further yet are snow capped mountains. I’m very happy I came here in the winter- not only to escape the heat and the crowds, but to see the contrast of the snow against the landscapes here.

On this particular day, I decided to hike around The Windows. The Windows are Arches on the far West side of the park that honestly just look like a window was punched out of the rock. The hike is pretty short- though there is another hike across the way to more arches. I caught the sun setting through the windows just in time though. Whether you see it flaring through the arch or glowing onto the rock, sunset was a really great time to be here. After dusk settled, I decided to hang out in the parking lot and wait for the stars to come out. When I finally emerged from the camper, there were more stars in the sky than I can ever remember seeing. Seeing those rock formations silhouetted by the glow of the very distant setting sun amongst the stars is just unreal. I then fell asleep in the parking lot at the trailhead and woke up the next morning for another day of exploring in Arches National Park.

Shelley  Hartman,  Utah + Destination Wedding and Elopement Photographer


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It’s funny how things seem to be going so smoothly and then life throws a curveball at you. We had the most epic day in Death Valley. A sunrise shoot at Zabriskie Point, breakfast at the Furnace Creek Inn, and we even did a little nude session right in the middle of Death Valley. And then we started our long drive to Sequioa. We were driving down a steep mountain and we started having some brake troubles. And then smoke. It just boggles my mind that we drove through the Rockies and Zion and we have brake troubles at the lowest point on the planet. We stopped the truck and the entire middle of the wheel was glowing red. Then it burst into flame. We extinguished the flames as fast as we could. And I’m so very grateful that everyone is okay. We camped overnight where the accident happened and drove down the mountain in the morning. The truck is good, but we plan to have everything looked at before we head into Yosemite. It turns out our camper brakes were too low for the steep grade (a 9% grade for 4 miles). It was too much for the truck to handle and the brakes overheated. We’re just taking it easy today, about to take a nap and play fetch with Migo. It’s crazy to think that moments before this happened, I was jotting down a blog post to share about our wonderful day in Death Valley. It’s a reminder to me to never take my life for granted. And life happens to everyone. Things go good for a while, but then life has a way of testing you. Blog post in profile. -Josh

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