Beauty Abounds

Beauty comes in many forms.  Sometimes beauty is in your face obvious while other times it takes a little longer to seek out.  From my first scenic overlook sighting at Bryce Canyon National Park to each subsequent visit, wow was usually the first word I uttered.  The scenery was breathtaking, stunning, mesmerizing, and obviously beautiful.

beauty abounds when we open our eyes

beauty abounds when we open our eyes

After spending an incredible week exploring Bryce Canyon Country, it was time to move on.  Although I must admit, I could’ve easily spent another week staring at those mind-boggling hoodoos.Bryce Canyon

Willard Bay State Park, South Campground

Willard Bay State Park, South Campground

Our journey from Panguitch, Utah took us north through Salt Lake City, Utah.  We enjoyed a quick overnight stay at Willard Bay State Park camped near the shores of the Great Salt Lake.  We thought about spending a second night which would allow us to explore the main part of the state park, but the bugs were rather bad and the next day a severe storm was heading in our direction.

Note all the bugs in this photo. Traipsing through the tall grasses for photo-ops was probably not my smartest move. I left with more bug bites than photos :-(

Note all the spots in my photo in the sky, those are bugs. Traipsing through the tall grasses for photo-ops was probably not my smartest move. I left with more bug bites than photographs 😦

Thus, with high wind warnings in the forecast, we hightailed it out of there early the next morning before the 66 mile per hour gusts of wind arrived.  A little over three hours later, we were setting up camp at our summer home at the Mountain View RV Park in Arco, Idaho.  Al and I decided to give “Workamping” a whirl this summer which is how we ended up here.  Once I get a chance, I’ll do a separate post on life as a Workamper.

Craters of the Moon National Monument

Craters of the Moon National Monument

The biggest draw to this part of Idaho is Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.  Since arriving in Arco, Idaho, I’ve had the opportunity to visit this park a few times.  During my first visit, Al and I gathered information at the visitor center and drove the scenic loop while stopping at a few points of interest.  Knowing we had the entire summer to explore Craters of the Moon NM, we focused on a general overview.

entrance to a Lava tube

entrance to a Lava tube

On our next visit, we embarked on a hike that took me out of my comfort zone.  I’m not usually a fan of enclosed spaces like caves or crowded elevators.  So, I didn’t exactly jump at the  thought of hiking a Lava tube tunnel, but I am on an adventure after all, and the last thing I was going to do was allow a little phobia to hinder my explorations.

inside Indian Tunnel - Lava tube cave

inside Indian Tunnel – Lava tube cave

On my third visit, I focused on the beauty found around this harsh landscape.  Just like at Bryce Canyon National Park, I uttered the word “wow” routinely, but more in a strange and curious tone as opposed to wow that’s beautiful.

Sometimes it takes looking at the smaller details to see the beauty.

Sometimes it takes looking at the smaller details to see the beauty.

When I first laid eyes on Craters of the Moon, the word beautiful was not at the forefront.   I think my thoughts were more along the lines of …. stark, harsh, unforgiving, barren, mean, bewildering, and maybe even ugly.  With each subsequent visit my opinion seemed to change …. intriguing, fascinating, perplexing, and yes, beautiful.Craters of the MoonIn my attempt to find the beauty, I visited the morning after a heavy rainstorm.  As I meandered along a trail, I could hear water trickling between the rocks.  Birds were chirping.  Chipmunks were running around foraging for food, and the wildflowers were springing to life.  There seemed to be a bevy of activity.Craters of the Moon

I found myself surrounded by a strange beauty, and couldn’t help but feel a level of respect for all things surviving in this severe landscape.

I found beauty in the strangest place.  I assure you, there will be more posts about Craters of the Moon.  Stay tuned….

finding beauty in the smaller things

finding beauty in the smaller things

Moon Idaho (Moon Handbooks)

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65 thoughts on “Beauty Abounds

  1. Pingback: Eerie yet Beautiful | Live Laugh RV

    • Thank you – coming from an accomplished photographer, I appreciate the kind comment. I’m loving this time of year and all the beautiful wildflowers.

  2. I think the Craters of the Moon landscape is beautiful once the flowers are out. It’s odd and a little unsettling somehow, but it definitely has a kind of beauty. 🙂

    • The flowers do add a beauty to the stark landscape. I’m looking forward to seeing how it changes over the next couple of months.

  3. I would agree that even though it is a harsh landscape, you did find beauty. It is there for those that appreciate the small details in life. 🙂

    • Thanks Brenda. Craters is fascinating and I learn a little something with each visit, but those delicate little wildflowers continue to captivate my attention.

  4. Sounds like you have an interesting summer ahead of you, can’t wait to hear about it! If you have time, have Al look at the video I posted on my last blog. I am curious if he has ever seen ducks do that. We also saw our first Harlequin duck but the picture did not turn out very well.

    • I will definitely pull up the video. Having free WiFi is great with the ability to watch videos without concern, but this old computer is still messing with connections 😦 You too are having a VERY interesting summer and I’m enjoying following along.

  5. Beauty is in the eye of a beholder and your eye certainly captured the beauty of that area. Gorgeous!

    • Thank you! The Lava tunnels are interesting and are also home to bats. I was initially apprehensive about hiking through the tunnel, but once I exited I decided I wanted to hike it again. Perhaps I’ll even see a bat or two next go around.

    • Yes, Craters is most definitely a different kind of beauty and extremely fascinating. Once I overcome my writers block, I’ll be sharing lots about our summer 😆

    • Nice to hear from you S. So far we’re enjoying the adventure except for the cool weather. I think our blood has thinned from our extended time spent in the desert. Once warmer weather shows up, I’ll be a much happier camper 🙂

  6. Sure hope the bugs have gone from Willard Bay…headed there in a few hours. Looking forward to seeing Craters of the Moon again, and of course you two. Beauty is all around us, we just have to take the time to see it. See you soon.

    • I too hope the bugs aren’t as bad for you guys. We saw lots of fishermen and fish feeding near shore. Tell Dave I even saw his buddy ‘stealafish’. LOL Be sure and pay attention to the wind warnings. Have fun and see you guys next week.

    • Thank you Beth. Those delicate little flowers definitely captured my attention. Hopefully tomorrow the weather will clear so I can get back over there for a little more flower photography.

  7. Not only that beauty abounds, it is also in the eyes of the beholder. With that new cam I know you can compose and capture overlook or ignored beauties waiting to be appreciated.
    Glad to hear the gig is working so far, and I hope it will continue to be. Looking forward to hear a full report of your new experience.

    • Seeing things through my lens has really opened my eyes or rather my mind. Craters is quite interesting and has captured my attention more than I thought it would. Life’s little surprises. Keep me posted if you’ll be visiting Craters of the Moon this summer.

  8. Craters of the Moon is just such a neat place! I love it there. Wonderful photos, you really captured the weirdness of it!

    • Thanks Diana and I like your term “weirdness”. It is extremely strange and perhaps that’s part of the beauty of the place.

  9. So not only a photographer but now an astronaut as well. (I think I told you that on your facebook page.LOL)
    Those tiny flowers were captured so well by you! How such beauty can come up between rocks! I am always in awe by that.
    Can’t wait to hear all about your stay…
    I think I am back to posting in a bit of a regular basis. We shall see. I just had so much to tend to since we got back. Being away for a month tends to do that!

    • You’ve been a busy gal and I’m sure you’ll be heading back east soon meaning you’ll be without internet 😦 Hopefully you’ll share more of your amazing trip before the internet eludes you.
      I think I’ll stick to the title of photographer and leave the astronaut stuff to NASA and speaking of which, the RV Park will be hosting a large group from NASA in mid June. They’ll be doing research/simulations out at Craters. Who knows, I may actually learn stuff 😉

      • How cool is that??? Yes… I am working on my Liverpool Post now. It was a completely “dreadful” weather day when we were in Liverpool. So not many pictures. Trying to give it a twist… not working out quite yet. Hoping it comes to me soon.

  10. Long ago..43 years ago to be exact…we did Craters of the Moon…At that time we had a 2 year old in tow, so we didn’t get much sightseeing done..Isn’t is so wonderful to travel to such rugged and fabulous places in this great country??? Your photos, as usual, are phenomenal!!! I soooo envy you two right now!

    • Over the years, you two have managed to take in A LOT of sights. It is fun visiting these out of the way remote places and I never thought I’d enjoy staying in a “Somonauk” being an hour away from a ‘real’ town LOL. However, we do have some short travels in the works so this former city slicker won’t go crazy 😉

  11. Always great to hear a new gig is a thumbs up! Finding the longer we stay in an area…the more discoveries we make. You’ll be an expert on northern Idaho and surrounding state lines in no time 🙂 What kind of bugs were your finding out in the NW…just curious! We fight noseeums recently. I’m so jealous for a new camera…gorgeous captures!!

    • I’m still using the Panasonic FZ 200. I love being able to go from a wide angle to a 600mm zoom without changing lenses. Here in southeast Idaho, we’ve only had to deal with occasional flies. I’m not sure what the host of bugs were at Salt Lake, but they weren’t fun. Thus, a one night stay was plenty. We have a couple of little get aways planned so stay tuned 😉

  12. Ingrid i adore this post. Sometimes art spectacular vistas we are over come by the beauty. However it is the small bits of beauty that really make my heart swell. These little flowers and plants struggling to make their way to the surface to burst into wee bloom. Something like cheering for the under dog perhaps. 🙂

    • I like that Sue – cheering for the under dog. It is fascinating to see these beautiful and delicate blooms flourishing in such harsh conditions. Hopefully, I’ll manage to do a special post about these gorgeous beauties.

  13. You always manage to find the beauty where ever your travels take you. Good luck with the work kamping. We thought about it once and quickly dismissed the idea.

  14. Wow! Great post and again, amazing photos! I might steal your line about not letting a little phobia hinder your adventure! Bill hates heights and scenic overlooks for him are how you feel in caverns and tubes! Lol
    Life in an RV on the road is all about adventure!
    Looking forward to your Work camping. We tried to get in at Topsail in Destin, FL. Very hard but that’s Bill’s pick if we’ll be someplace 3 months.

    • Thanks Debbie. It was my idea to hike the Lava tube and I know I wouldn’t have done so without Al in tow. I think secretly he relishes his title of “protector”. We’ve been considering work camping for the past couple of years and have turned down work situations. It’s important to weigh pros and cons and determine if it’s worth it. We’ve completed week 3 and so far it’s a thumbs up, but I’ll wait a bit before posting too much about it. As you know, things can easily change 🙂

      • I know I help Bill when we hit mountain tops-he has to be brave as he’s such a protector, too! Lol
        We’re open to work camping for the right opportunity. Looking forward to hearing about it.
        It was great to see a post from you!

  15. Interesting how the dessert can be pretty but I must admit when I read the title I was expecting to see a bunch of shots of you. 🙂

    • Awe Larry …. you are too sweet. I have a few spots I’m really looking forward to exploring this summer. We just completed week 3 here in Arco and thus far aren’t bored. Lots to see all around within a three hours drive or less.

  16. Ingrid!!!
    Well… we have been to the Craters. Honestly… it is one of the toughest locations to shoot. The glare… the black on black color range. But as usual you have found that getting up close and personal often has its visual rewards! The one “location” that I found most interesting was the “mountain of black” with people climbing it. Surreal. Now… back to Bryce…. yep… it is one of my favorite and most rewarding places to shoot… so far this year. Good luck on the “work-kamping” gig. Just remember to get out of Idaho before the snow flies which is as I remember… next month.
    Gene

    • Haha, yes that snow can fly at anytime. So far our only complaint on this leg of our journey is it’s still a little too cold for us. We thought the weather here would be similar to Colorado’s front range, but as of yet, it ISN’T…. darn! I haven’t been out with the camera as often as I would like because I’m cold. I became very accustomed to those 80 degree plus temps in Phoenix. Between the snow in Bryce and the cold/rain here in Idaho, Al and I have questioned our decision making. Oh well, all part of the adventure, huh!
      BTW… I’ve taken several photos of that black mtn at Craters, but none I’m happy with. Once my vision and my shot match up, I’ll post 😉

  17. Finding beauty in the strangest places is where it’s at, Ingrid. Terrific post. Your photos, discoveries, and adventures here were wonderful. That photo with the bugs says it all regarding the bug situation. I look forward to seeing more of Idaho through you.

    • I really wanted to visit Antelope Island (Salt Lake) but read how bad the bugs are there so I thought I’d be somewhat safe at Willard Bay. In other words, I wasn’t expecting the cloud of bugs I encountered and it curtailed our explorations. Oh well, I have a list of sites to work on 🙂

  18. I love all the little low tundra type flowers against the dark rock. They must a special rock variety. We had similar flowers growing all over the rock hills in Red Canyon. Definitely an adorable sprinkle of beauty:) Best wishes for a wonderful experience this summer. Looking forward to hearing all about it!

    • Thanks Pam. Sounds like I left red rock country a few weeks early or I might have seen those wildflowers. However, seeing the blooms grow between the old lava flow at Craters is fascinating. Should be an interesting summer!

  19. So true, Ingrid, that beauty is everywhere — if we take the time to look. And you definitely take the time to look! Photography is a great teacher, isn’t it? Looking forward to hearing about your work camping experience. 🙂

    • You are so right Laurel – photography is a great teacher. I see things in a way I never did before. I know Craters will definitely challenge my photography skills this summer. The lighting and colors are tough and there are also a host of interesting birds that move fast. I shouldn’t be bored lol.
      So far the work camping is going ok.

  20. Those little flowers are awesome. We’ve never stopped at craters, it looks like you hit a good time with rain and flowers. Ya, I bet there was bugs at salt lake, always is. I hope you enjoy your time in Arco, and I hope we can meet in Jackson.

    • We’ll be taking a quick jaunt over to Jackson in early June and hoping it’s just the first of several visits. I’d really like ‘my Al’ to see one of your art displays and will try and target an art show for another visit. Thus far, I’ve explored Craters a few times, and last Saturday visited Shoshone Falls and the Perrine Bridge to witness Base jumpers. Next up, Sun Valley and Redfish Lake. Life in Arco is a-ok thus far.

  21. I love how you can find the beauty in the small things. I took a wildflower class in Nevada once and I learned that desert wildflowers are some of the most delicate, gorgeous flowers (when you look at them up close) in the world.

    • Interesting information Char and I believe it …. I was sitting on the ground at Craters photographing these wildflowers and was astounded as to how beautiful and delicate they are. Some of the details I didn’t even notice until the photos were up on my computer. I’m hoping to get back over there in the next few days for more photographic moments. However, these storms just don’t want to stay away 😦

      • My side of the state’s pretty sunny right now. I’m heading down to Utah soon and it’s supposed to be rainy there. Guess we’ll see.

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