On the Road and In Your Backyard

Good Morning All,

Have a safe and happy Fourth of July, everyone!

Don’t let this Trumpy martial bs drag down your celebration of this amazing country and our intellectual and constitutional inheritance. Celebrate and live the Enlightenment values of our founding, but never be satisfied with how far we’ve come when we have so much further to go.

When our values were forged, it was on the bones and breathing, resisting, ignored bodies of natives, slaves, women, the poor, and the different, but we have slowly managed to re-define “us” to include ever-more types of people. This great challenge is not complete as we now work to entrench and expand our new understandings of race, gender, sexuality, culture, and class, and to discover and free those who’ve been kept down or extinguished but are invisible to “ the whole”.

We have to win 2020 and win big, there is no choice but to defend ourselves from this cancerous Confederate resurgence. Rule or Ruin is weakening our partisan side, yes, but that ideology is really hobbling us as a Nation in our most challenging and consequential battle, Climate Change. We all stand to lose from this lost opportunity, especially if other countries figure out a solution and leave our industry in the dust of our mined-coal mountains.

Instead of watching anything political or related to the shonda in DC, I’m going to donate some money to a some charities: ACLU, NAACP, AI, MSF, WWF, and a few more.

Lost in all our focus on political donations and activity is the good work that these and so many other charities and non-profits do everyday. I know that the changes in tax laws has affected charitable giving negatively in many cases, so I encourage you to think global, national, state, and local today, and find a few good causes to donate a little scratch.

Should we lose in 2020 and our nightmares substantiate, we need these other forces in our world, big and small, to be empowered and supported. Celebrate our Nation’s birthday by strengthening it!


Have a great 4th, see you tomorrow.

Today, pictures from valued commenter HinTN.

Mrs H and I spent two weeks out west at the end of March and beginning of April 2018. We went to four National Parks and one State Park in Utah, none of which we had visited before. We went first to Bryce Canyon NP, then to Capitol Reef NP, and then to Moab, UT, where we alternated time between Arches NP, Canyonlands NP, and Dead Horse Point SP, which is on the same plateau as the most accessible area of Canyonlands.

Here are photos from Bryce Canyon NP.

Taken on Late Evening

Bryce – Hoodoos

Everyone has seen the standard shot of the formations at Bryce Canyon. The rim of the canyon looks east out over the hoodoos. This was taken from the rim looking up into the amphitheater late in the day. It gives you a look at the layers that were deposited and then revealed by the erosion.

Bryce – In the Canyon

There’s a nice loop trail that takes you down in the canyon where you can get up close and personal with the hoodoos. It’s a nice walk, even if the 8,000 foot elevation can have you huffin’ and puffin’ coming back to the rim.

Bryce – Thors Hammer Panorama

As you are on the canyon loop trail, you pass two famous formations, Queen Victoria and Thor’s Hammer. Here’s the hammer. We saw this formation repeated at Canyonlands.

Layers in Hoodoos

Here’s the “traditional” shot. The funny looking white thing that is the last hoodoo and has a trail to its right is a feature called Queen Victoria and the trail below, which is part of the loop, is called the Queen’s Garden.


Thank you so much HinTN, do send us more when you can.


Travel safely everybody, and do share some stories in the comments, even if you’re joining the conversation late. Many folks confide that they go back and read old threads, one reason these are available on the Quick Links menu.


One again, to submit pictures: Use the Form

21 replies
  1. 1
    J R in WV says:

    Southern Utah has perhaps the most amazing badlands geology of anywhere in the US, so a great selection for today! Also, great pictures, thanks for sharing with us!

  2. 2
    JPL says:

    What a great vacation.

  3. 3
    p.a. says:

    Wow! But… no tanks? 🤔😂

  4. 4
    Baud says:


  5. 5
    Barbara says:

    What a treat to see these places in the spring. Those are lovely pictures.

  6. 6
    H.E.Wolf says:

    Thank you Alain for the eloquent post, and HinTN for the spectacular photos.

  7. 7
    Aleta says:

    Thanks HinTN. Beautifully shot.
    Alain’s writing and your photos go well together today, you two.
    Thanks Alain for the great piece.

  8. 8
    HinTN says:

    @p.a.: I was the only tank, churning up that trail ot of the canyon proper. ;^)

  9. 9
    HinTN says:

    @JPL: Yes, it was!

    ETA: Alain has the pix from the other parks, too.

  10. 10
    Alain says:

    @HinTN: yeah those will be next week and the week after. They are all fantastic.

  11. 11
    debbie says:

    Look how clear the air is! Beautiful!

  12. 12
    Currants says:

    @HinTN Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous GORGEOUS!! Thank you—Bryce is on my list…has been on my list since I lived in AZ for a year (but working, and did most of my sightseeing within a quick driving distance).

  13. 13
    arrieve says:

    Thank you, HinTN and Alain, for perfect posts for the Fourth. Utah is on my list, and it just got bumped up. What a beautiful country!

  14. 14
    paradox says:

    Bryce is better than the Grand Canyon, it’s nice to see it get its due, I’ve been there 4 times.

    Sorry not to be lighthearted and festive, but the Enlightenment of the Constitution has been on my mind lately. It started with a WaPo comment I chanced to see last week, the description of the holiday was the Fourth of You Lie.

    I suppose most of use here are the Good Side of America, in the payoff zone, if you will. The citizens we ignore and impoverish aren’t in the screens so they’e just, well, ignored. I rather doubt they celebrate the enlightenment of the constitution on a daily basis.

    Those entrusted to fight for us and defend all the sacrifice have lied to my face and said political calculation wasn’t a part of the decision not to impeach Trump. The Fourth doesn’t mean anything to them, either, if it all goes to hell they’ll pass bills to nowhere. Okay.

    The tanks and fighting vehicles are on Constitution Avenue today while Alaska fries under a relentless global warming sun. How many fucking times must it be screamed we’re fucked beyond belief and all must be frantically mustered to fight back? What the fuck has happened to the American spirit and reverence of the People and Democracy? Are you fucking kidding me?

    [raises fingertips] I don’t get this world, I don’t understand how we could be so stupid after all the learning and sacrifice, I will continue in my wander of confusion, adios…..

  15. 15
    Another Scott says:

    Sounds like a great vacation. We’ve been to Bryce Canyon once. It is an amazing place. I was surprised how small it is. It looks huge in the standard pictures, but it’s actually a tiny gem of a place.

    Thanks for the pictures!


  16. 16
    Jerzy Russian says:

    The best night sky I have ever seen anywhere was when the car broke down just outside Bryce NP one Thanksgiving night many years ago. The moon was down so it was darker than hell at the time. When I say “anywhere” keep in mind I have used telescopes at five major observatories on spanning three continents.

  17. 17
    stinger says:

    Great pics of an amazing place, HinTN — thanks!

    And Alain, thank you for the stirring and heartening post.

  18. 18
    Miss Bianca says:

    Thank you for your inspiring commentary, Alain, and HinTN for the photos!

  19. 19
    elspi says:

    Bryce: A hell of a place to loose a cow (actual quote)

  20. 20
    susanna says:

    Awesome pictures of Bryce and with Alain’s moving commentary, we might all do well to re-read and send off to others. So well said. And reading it is empowering.
    Thank you both.

  21. 21
    HinTN says:

    @Jerzy Russian: So true. I got up early one morning and went up to the far end of the road for the sunrise. I also wanted to get a photograph looking back away the Canyon in the early light. Man, it was dark!!! The sunrise was nice but the wind was whipping so hard I had difficulty holding the phone stable for the picture.

    Happy 4th everyone, and thanks to Alison for the stirring words.

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