Site Overlay

Hot Dry Windy Lonesome

Hot, dry, windy, and lonesome is the best description of the landscape around Bluff, Utah. In May, I visited there. Photographed some incredible places like the Valley of the Gods, Gooseneck State Park, Moki Dugway, and Muley Point.

The land is covered in sand, and red rock, and is often void of man. If you are looking for a place to unwind, meditate, and learn about who you are – this is the place.  At the same time, you will find wonderful landscapes that awaken you to how incredibly beautiful and powerful nature is. I wrote about the Valley of the Gods last time, and today I would like to share some more places.

The town of Bluff is found in the southeast corner of Utah near the San Juan River and along the Comb Ridge mountains. These picturesque ridges and spires rise high into the sky sculpted by the wind and rains. The oxidized iron colors the rocks red and orange.

I decide to drive up to the top of the ridge on Cemetery Road. I stop and photograph the high ridge towering over the Twin Towers restaurant. Driving back down I decided to check out, the fort, and maybe have lunch at the Twin Towers restaurant.

Bluff Fort is a great place to learn the town’s history and take a few photos. The town was settled by Mormons as an outpost for trading. Later, I head out for lunch at the Twin Towers restaurant only to discover it closed for the day. No loss though as my camera comes out and I get a great picture of an old truck serving as a billboard.  Tomorrow, I decide to visit the San Juan River at Gooseneck State Park and drive-up Moki Dugway to Muley Point.

At Gooseneck State Park, you look down into the meandering San Juan River. The sandy brown river weaves back and forth for over six miles, but only advances two miles toward Lake Powell. It is a great view of the amazing geology where the 1500 feet deep grooves expose layer after layer of history. I learn later that this is the longest entrenched river meander in North America.

Moki Dugway is the road on the way to Muley Point. A “dugway” is a road or trail along a hillside that is dug out to provide a path up it. This dugway is Nasty. It is an 11% grade on gravel, filled with hairpin turns, and narrow spots where you hope your vehicle is not too wide. Its saving grace is the stunning views and occasional pull-offs where you may stop to photograph. At the top of the dugway, I turn left and head out to Muley Point.

The road to Muley Point is a native dirt road. No, not a road, just hard-packed sand with ruts and washes. A high-clearance vehicle is recommended. It is a slow bouncing, chin-rattling ride. Once again, the view into John’s Canyon at Muley point is worth it. Here after many hours, alone, I meet a couple hiking along the rocks. Ask each other where we are from to find out we are both from upstate New York and grew up on a farm. It is a small world.

Do take a moment and enjoy the photographs, in my portfolio. The collections are under Recent Photo Treks – Bluff Utah, Gooseneck State Park, and Muley Point. Here’s the link:

P.S. Want more like this? I send these articles out to friends, photographers, and art lovers who want to improve their skills, and explore their creativity or simply enjoy my thoughts and stories and I would love to include you.

Tell me where to send it and I’ll send you a copy of Seven Moments an eBook, as well as articles, sneak peeks of my new work, and very occasional info about resources to help you with this creative craft we love.

2 thoughts on “Hot Dry Windy Lonesome

  1. Hey Norm,
    These pictures are great. I love them.
    The colors and details are perfect. I really like the composition.
    Hope all is well.

Comments are closed.