USA: IMAGES OF THE CANYONLANDS

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THE GRAND CANYON IS ONE OF THOSE PLACES THAT, NO MATTER HOW MANY TIMES YOU’VE SEEN THE PHOTOGRAPHS, THE REALITY NEVER FAILS TO OVERWHELM THE SENSES. HERE IS A LAND THAT HAS TORN ITSELF APART, REVEALING A SEQUENCE OF ROCK LAYERS THAT SERVE AS A WINDOW INTO TIME. THE ROCKS IN THE BOTTOM OF THE CANYON ARE SAID TO BE MORE THAN 2 BILLION YEARS OLD. (GRAND CANYON NP)

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GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
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THIS BRONZE STATUE OF “BRIGHTY” THE BURRO, THE WORK OF PETER JEPSON, SITS IN THE GRAND CANYON LODGE. LEGEND HAS IT THAT A RUB ON THE NOSE BRINGS GOOD LUCK. BRIGHTY LIVED AT GRAND CANYON FROM AROUND 1892 UNTIL 1922. HE WAS GIVEN THE NAME BRIGHT ANGEL, AFTER THE CREEK THAT FLOWED INTO THE CANYON FROM HIS HOME ON THE NORTH RIM. HE SPENT HIS SUMMERS CARRYING WATER FROM A SPRING TO EARLY TOURIST ACCOMMODATIONS ON THE NORTH RIM. ON OCCASIONS BRIGHTY ACCOMPANIED US PRESIDENT ROOSEVELT HUNTING MOUNTAIN LIONS. IN 1953 MARGUERITE HENRY CAPTURED THE BURRO’S ADVENTURES IN “BRIGHTY OF THE GRAND CANYON”, WHERE BRIGHTY BRINGS A MURDERING CLAIM-JUMPER TO JUSTICE.   
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JOHN WESLEY POWELL WAS AN AMERICAN EXPLORER, GEOLOGIST AND ETHNOLOGIST BEST KNOWN FOR HIS EXPLORATION OF THE UPPER REACHES OF THE COLORADO RIVER AND THE GRAND CANYON. DURING THE CIVIL WAR HE LOST HIS RIGHT ARM AT THE BATTLE OF SHILOH, THOUGH THIS DIDN’T HINDER HIM WHEN IN 1869 HE LED A PERILOUS EXPEDITION TO EXPLORE THE UNCHARTED COLORADO RIVER, STARTING FROM ONE OF ITS TRIBUTARIES IN THE WILD RIVER MOUNTAINS OF WYOMING …
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… POWELL’S TEN-MAN PARTY INCLUDED HUNTERS, TRAPPERS AND FELLOW CIVIL WAR VETERANS. BY THE TIME THE PARTY REACHED THE DIRTY DEVIL RIVER, AND THE START OF THE GRAND CANYON PROPER, THEY WERE ALREADY ONE BOAT DOWN DUE TO THE RAPIDS, INCLUDING THE LOSS OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTATION AND A GOOD DEAL OF THEIR PROVISIONS. AFTER ONE MONTH OF TRAVELLING AN ENGLISHMAN NAMED GOODMAN DECLARED TO POWELL, “I HAVE HAD MORE EXCITEMENT THAN A MAN DESERVES. I’M LEAVING.” AND SO HE DID. ONCE WITHIN THE GRAND CANYON THE PARTY EXPERIENCED A NUMBER OF CALAMITIES, THE LOSS OF MUCH OF ITS REMAINING FOOD AND THE NEAR-SINKING OF A SECOND BOAT, WHICH THEY LATER ABANDONED …
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… POWELL NOTED IN HIS JOURNAL THAT HIS MEN’S MORALE WAS DANGEROUSLY LOW. ON AUGUST 28 THREE FURTHER MEMBERS OF HIS PARTY CAME FORWARD AND SPOKE OF, “HOW WE MUST SURELY PERISH IF WE CONTINUE ON THIS JOURNEY” THEY COULD NOT PERSUADE POWELL TO GIVE UP THE EXPEDITION AND SO, LIKE GOODMAN, THEY DEPARTED, CLAMBERING UP THE SIDES OF THE CANYON AND COMMENCING A 75 MILE TREK TO THE NEAREST AMERICAN SETTLEMENT. THE THREE NEVER MADE IT TO SAFETY, FOR THEY WERE SLAIN ALONG THE WAY BY A WAR PARTY OF SHIVWITS, MEMBERS OF THE PAIUTE PEOPLE …
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… POWELL PRESSED ON WITH THE EXPEDITION, THOUGH SOME TWENTY-FOUR HOURS LATER, AND A FEW MORE RAPIDS, THEY ARRIVED AT THE CONFLUENCE OF THE VIRGIN AND COLORADO RIVERS, WHERE THEY WERE MET BY SETTLERS FISHING FROM THE RIVER BANK. HAVING NOT BEEN HEARD OF FOR THREE MONTHS THE EXPLORERS HAD BEEN ASSUMED DEAD. THEY HAD NAVIGATED 1500 KMS OF THE RIVER.
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GRAND CANYON NP
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WATCHING THE SUNSET FROM BRIGHT ANGEL POINT. (GRAND CANYON NP)
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A WEEKEND OF RAIN BROUGHT FRESH SNOWFALL AT 3,000 METRES. (CEDAR BREAKS NP)
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CAN YOU SEE THE FACE ON THE MOUNTAIN? (CEDAR BREAKS NP)
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RED CANYON.
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TAKING A BREAK AFTER CLIMBING OUT OF RED CANYON.
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THIS WAS THE HOMESTEAD OF THE PARKER FAMILY, WHERE ROBERT LEROY PARKER (AKA BUTCH CASSIDY) WAS RAISED. THE PROPERTY LIES IN A VALLEY OUTSIDE CIRCLEVILLE, BETWEEN THE TUSHAR AND SEVIER MOUNTAINS. IT IS REMARKABLY SIMILAR TO BUTCH’S HOMESTEAD NEAR CHOLILA, ARGENTINA. WHETHER BUTCH AND SUNDANCE REALLY DIED AT THE SHOOT-OUT AT SAN VICENTE, BOLIVIA, AS THE MOVIE DEPICTS, IS AN ENDURING MYSTERY. THERE IS NO EVIDENCE TO SAY THEY DID. THE PINKERTON DETECTIVE AGENCY REFUSED TO CLOSE THE BOOK ON THE TWO OUTLAWS. BUTCH AND SUNDANCE SIGHTINGS CONTINUED FOR MANY YEARS AFTER THE SAN VICENTE SHOOT-OUT. BUTCH’S SISTER SWORE HE CAM HOME IN THE FALL OF OF 1925. SHE CLAIMS HE TUCKED INTO A HUGE BLUEBERRY PIE. ( FOR MORE SEE A VERY SHORT STORY ABOUT OUTLAWS UNDER THE ARGENTINA CATEGORY)

 

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EBENEZER BRYCE DIDN’T HAVE MUCH TIME FOR A FANCY VIEW. IN UTAH IN THE LATE 1800S LIFE WAS TOUGH. HE WAS LOOKING FOR HIS CATTLE WHEN HE WANDERED UP TO THE BRIM OF THE CANYON AND LOOKED OUT OVER THE RED-ROCK SPIRES. ‘THAT’S A HELL OF A PLACE TO LOOSE A COW,’ HE SUPPOSEDLY MUMBLED. BRYCE WAS BORN IN DUNBLANE, SCOTLAND IN 1830. HE TRAINED AS A SHIPS CARPENTER AND SAILED TO AMERICA AT THE AGE OF 17, TO JOIN THE GROWING MORMON COMMUNITY IN SALT LAKE CITY. HE MARRIED MARY PARK IN 1854 AND TRAVELLED MUCH OF UTAH HELPING TO BUILD THE MORMON COMMUNITIES, UTILISING HIS SKILLS AS A CARPENTER. WHEN THE BISHOP OF PINE VALLEY WANTED A CHAPEL BUILDING BRYCE TOLD HIM HE ONLY KNEW HOW TO BUILD SHIPS. HE COMPLETED THE CHAPEL IN 1868 SAYING, ‘IF A FLOOD SHOULD COME IT WOULD FLOAT. AND IF A WIND COME STRONG ENOUGH TO BLOW IT OVER IT WOULD STILL NEVER CRASH TO PIECES.’ APPARENTLY THE CHAPEL STANDS TO THIS DAY. A MUCH RESPECTED MAN, BRYCE WENT ON TO RUN A SMALLHOLDING IN THE VICINITY OF WHAT IS TODAY BRYCE CANYON NATIONAL PARK. THE PARK IS NAMED AFTER THIS ILLUSTRIOUS PIONEER. (BRYCE CANYON NP)
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SUNSET VIEWPOINT. (BRYCE CANYON NP)
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WHO CAN GAZE OVER MONUMENT VALLEY AND FAIL TO SEE JOHN WAYNE RIDING INTO THE SUNSET. IN 1939 JOHN FORD FILMED “STAGECOACH” IN MONUMENT VALLEY, A FILM THAT SET WAYNE ON THE ROAD TO MOVIE STARDOM.
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THE COLORADO RIVER MEANDERS THROUGH GOOSENECKS STATE PARK.
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SUNSET AT GOOSENECKS STATE PARK.
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LIFE ELEVATED: MUCH OF UTAH IS ABOVE 1,500 METRES ALTITUDE.
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JOHN WESLEY WOLFE SETTLED HERE IN THE LATE 1800s WITH HIS ELDEST SON, FRED. A NAGGING LEG INJURY FROM THE CIVIL WAR PROMPTED JOHN TO MOVE WEST FROM OHIO, LOOKING FOR A DRIER CLIMATE. HE CHOSE THIS TRACT OF LAND OF MORE THAN 100 ACRES ALONG SALT WASH FOR ITS WATER AND GRASSLAND – ENOUGH FOR A FEW CATTLE. THE WOLFE’S BUILT THIS ONE-ROOM CABIN ALONG WITH A CORRAL. FOR MORE THAN A DECADE THEY LIVED ALONE ON THIS REMOTE RANCH IN WHAT IS NOW ARCHES NATIONAL PARK …
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… IN 1906 JOHN’S DAUGHTER FLORA STANLEY, HER HUSBAND AND THEIR CHILDREN MOVED TO THE RANCH. SHOCKED AT THE PRIMITIVE CONDITIONS FLORA CRIED, “OH, DADDY! YOU GOTTA PUT IN A WOODEN FLOOR, AT LEAST.” – WHICH IS WHAT HE DID. THE FAMILY WEATHERED A FEW MORE YEARS ON THE RANCH BEFORE MOVING BACK TO OHIO. JOHN WOLFE DIED ON OCTOBER 22 1913 AT THE AGE OF EIGHTY-FOUR. iT SEEMS LIFE IN THE DESERT WASN’T SO BAD AFTER ALL. (ARCHES NP)
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SHAFER TRAIL ROAD. (CANYONLANDS NP)
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SHAFER TRAIL ROAD DESCENDING TO THE WHITE RIM TRAIL. (CANYONLANDS NP)
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FOLLOWING THE LOCKHART TRAIL.
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SHAFER TRAIL ROAD. (CANYONLANDS NP)
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CAMPING ON THE LOCKHART TRAIL.
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CROSSING THE MUSSELMAN BRIDGE. IS THAT A BIG CRACK IN THE MIDDLE? (CANYONLANDS NP)
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THE COLORADO RIVER WINDING THROUGH THE CANYONLANDS NATIONAL PARK.
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TOMORROW IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN LIFE. COMES INTO US AT MIDNIGHT VERY CLEAN. IT’S PERFECT WHEN IT ARRIVES AND PUTS ITSELF IN OUR HANDS. IT HOPES WE’VE LEARNED SOMETHING FROM YESTERDAY. (JOHN WAYNE, 1971)
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