Thursday, October 31, 2019

Shadow Arch

The Santa Ana winds, sometimes called the Diablo winds, are still raging in California, and we are still battling wildfires. When the Santa Ana's blow, Raymond Chandler famously wrote "every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands' necks." Yikes!! I don't think anyone ever thought we could have a wildfire year as bad as last year, but now we're not so sure. And yes, everyone is on edge. As the helicopters were flying overhead during the World Series game last night, fighting a fire only about two miles from our house, I wondered if we should start packing in case of mandatory evacuations. Fortunately, it didn't come to that, and the fire has been contained. My granddaughter (and also our chihuahua) were frighted by the loud helicopters overhead... going back and forth over our house to drop water on the fire. She said "Papa, I don't like wind any more." I think that about sums it up.


But on to happier thoughts, and a trip out to the desert. I posted some photos recently of the Milky Way over Shadow Arch. That was my second hike out to Shadow Arch, and it made me wonder about my first hike (back in 11/2018) and what photos I posted. Guess what? There is no post!! Somehow all the photos from that hike slipped through the cracks, and that was a great hike with a ton of photos. Sooooooo... here's some photos from that first hike, when I initially "discovered" Shadow Arch.
I started my hike here. People who have been hiking this area a long time can tell you stories about when they used to drive this road to the base of the Coxcomb Mountains (in the background) to hike up to the peaks. At some point, it became designated wilderness area, which means there can be no roads, no trails, no motorized vehicles of any kind. Basically, there should be no trace of human impact, unless from long ago. And that's why I love this area. No one out here, and I usually don't even see footprints. You feel like you are seeing everything for the first time!

My first view of Shadow Arch. This is looking to the south. I was just so happy to find this arch. I spotted a round shadow on Google Maps and figured there had to be an arch here (hence the name).



The above three photos are shots of the arch from the other side (looking north). The Sheephole Mountains make a nice backdrop.

This area is full of interesting alcoves. Look at the large one in the middle of the photo above. I didn't climb down to it because it looked like it would be impossible to climb up to, and I still have a lot of ground to cover on this hike. Keep repeating... mustn't get sidetracked, mustn't get sidetracked....

Unusual rock formations.

This alcove looks cool. Ya, I got sidetracked, but just briefly. I wasn't able to climb up from below, but I could drop down from the top. Let's see what it looks like from the inside.

Nice!! Deep and spacious with a small port hole on one side. No signs of rock art or habitation, but I'm always looking!


Reminds me of a stick ball game... hit the ball in the hole, except the "ball" is at least 3' in diameter and probably over 1000 lbs!

Fast forward to the end of my hike (I'll come back to some of the other photos on a future post). The sun has set and the sky is showing those beautiful desert colors...


And just for comparison, below is Shadow Arch at night, under the Milky Way. You might remember this shot from a few weeks ago.

And finally, the hike back to the car. Getting dark, but I've hiked this area enough that I'm not worried about getting turned around.
If you look really really hard, you might notice a small dot of light just below the horizon. That's a car headlight on a lonesome stretch of Highway 62.

Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by, and if you celebrate it, 
have a Happy Halloween!!

50 comments:

  1. Incredible find!! Amazing that you found it by studying google earth photos. You should be an intelligence analyst checking up on the Russians, Chinese, North Korea and other enemies.

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  2. Couldn't let those photos fall through the cracks...

    Glad the fires near you didn't spread. Suddenly it smells like fire around these parts. I was kind of hoping to get through this fire season without that tell-tale sign.

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  3. Spectacular place any time of day. Around here, sea arches are more common!

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  4. Hello, the rock formations are so cool. I love the arches, is that a cave? Beautiful capture of the Milky Way and the sunset is gorgeous. Lovely post. Enjoy your day, wishing you a happy weekend ahead.

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  5. Awesome place and photos, shadow rock reminds me of a kettlebell

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  6. Your desert treks often make me feel like no one has ever been there before. I don't know if it's the desert landscape itself that makes it feel like a new discovery.

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  7. Schöne Bilder von den Felsen und der Höhle. Die Bilder vom Sonnenuntergang und
    der Milchstraße sind klasse.

    Noke

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  8. Beautiful, love the arches and cavities. The night shot is SWEET

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  9. I sure do look forward to more...I really think these are awesome. I hope everyone clicked to expand the view.

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  10. Two miles - that is close! That kind of on edge, I understand because we went through that a few years ago. but even if it comes to the point that you have packed up your belongings, when the wind changes in the middle of the night, you don't mind unpacking all your stuff! Hope you stay safe! Beautiful captures of the shadow arch. It looks at some images even the inside of the arm and hand grabbing something on the left.
    We had the last two weeks another kind off frustration, of the power going on and off, and never knowing till when it would last.Yesterday it went back on after 4 days, so I'm busy with catching up. Luckily we have a gas stove and water. I realized I was spending way too much time on the computer,so that's a project for me to change! Hope you still can enjoy the weekend (somewhat!).

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  11. Cool arches - and neat rock formations. Hope the fires get put out quickly and no new ones get started.

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  12. Stunning rock formations. We have many areas like this in Australia - makes for fabulous photo opportunities. So glad you escaped the fires. We are anticipating a horrific summer fire season as most of our country has had little winter rain and everything is so dry.

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  13. Your pictures of shadow arch are exceptional. I hope it's really ok for you with the fires. It's an awful situation which unfortunately seems to go worth every year. Dry forests, human negligence and climate change are a terrible combination. Ah yes, the Chandler's quote about diablo wind is excellent ...

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  14. Spectacular rock formations as always and the starry night sky is just beautiful. I've been hearing all about what is going on in California. Very scary. I hope you will all remain safe.

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  15. Let me echo Kwarkito's comments. I wish I had known how much interesting stuff was there when I lived in San Diego, or Santa Ana, or Laguna Niguel-- Especially when I lived in San Diego and was out on the motorcycle a LOT. Long time ago.

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  16. Beautiful photos, great landscape
    I admire this magnificent shots, very impressive!
    My Sky ...

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  17. Truly amazing views, brilliant photos.
    Have a nice weekend.

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  18. I see in that arch an arm with a hand grabbing another hand coming from the ground. Really another stunning find from nature.

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  19. Awesome geological formations and beautifully photographed too. Where would we be if not for the sidetracks? Yeh, I know, further along.

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  20. You are a true creature of the desert! The wildfires must be terrifying, and 100 year fires are becoming annual events. I know a woman in the Napa wine regions who has her car packed and ready to go. The air quality is so bad right now that she stays indoors, or wears a mask if she absolutely has to go outside. Two years ago half of the small town where she lives was destroyed and they are threatened again. Seems to me it is time to move! Best wishes to Lilly.

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  21. you had me awwwing and ohhhing. Good luck with those stinkin' fires

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  22. Gorgeous photography ~ so glad you are safe and I am with your granddaughter ~ I don't like the winds either and my little doggie wouldn't like the helicopters overhead either nor I ~ Be safe .

    Happy Day to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  23. So glad you and your home are safe from the fires for now.
    What stunning shots in today's post. The arch looks like two hands grasping each other to me. There is just so much imagery in those rock formations. And the sunset photos are gorgeous sprays of color.

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  24. Those rock formations are so interesting and beautiful. I love the second photo of Shadow Arch.

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  25. Incredible rock formations. I agree with s.c. about a hand grabbing another hand. Great photos!

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  26. Just Wow. I am always amazed by your photos. They are just wonderful.

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  27. I'm so glad the fire near your home was contained! I hope no new fores emerge. We had a winter type storm in Colorado and we heard on the news our low temperature was helping to increase the Santa Anna winds--amazing how weather states away could cause that affect.

    This was a fascinating hike! The arch was beautiful to see, especially under the Milky Way, and I love all the other rock formations.

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  28. thank you so much for taking us along to this amazing country. I really enjoyed your images. We would call this the "outback" over here in Australia. Such dramatic landscapes. Happy travels and thank you for visiting my blog this week.

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  29. Awesome sky shots! The fires look terrifying. Stay safe!

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  30. Wow, another great series of desert pics! Fabulous and fascinating!!!

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  31. Such a lovely landscape! So interesting. And spectacular photos! The Milky Way over the arch is my favorite. I grew up in L.A., and never really saw the stars until a trip back to the Midwest when I was 14 introduced the unimpeded night sky somewhere along Interstate 40. I still feel the same thrill to this day, even though that initial introduction was 41 years ago.

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  32. Beautiful photos as always! I have read about the wildfire. Very sad and terrible.

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  33. So pretty and interesting! I think I'd like to look in every alcove :)

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  34. I came back twice to enjoy all the pictures - as usual, you have wowed me. Took me a little bit to find that tiny headlight in the last picture. If you hadn't pointed it out I never would have seen it. My heart breaks every time I hear there is a new fire. I hope you are safe for now.

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  35. The rock formation in the 3rd photo looks like both hands clasping each other.

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  36. Great pictures! The fires are all over the news - so sad for everyone affected. Hope you and your family are safe.

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  37. Oh good heavens, you guys are close to the wildfires and I'm happy to read your report that its been contained for now. That had to be scary for sure. I can't imagine living in a place where there are frequent wildfires as you hear about on the west coast. The wildfires in the Smoky's in 2016 was frightening to me and we're a long way from there, about 45 mins. That broke my heart to see my beautiful mountains in flames and tragic even stillt he loss of life this disaster claimed, so very sad! As always your scenic photos are gorgeous. The sky over the dramatic dessert landscape is always beautifully blue. I love your Milky Way cpature, too! Oh, that would be so wonderful to do and I really need to find a time to do just that. The best for us to do that is in the Smoky's or on the Blue Ridge Parkway far away from the city lights. I'm not sure if we'll get a chance to do that before cold, cold weather sits in, though. I don't like freezing so it's not likely that I'll do it if that happens. What can I say, I'm a big baby! lol Thanks for sharing and for visiting, my friend. Have a fototastic week!

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  39. Beautiful then and beautiful now...what a gift to find all these wonderful photos that you hadn’t even blogged about! (How you know you lead a wonderful life...more adventures than you can handle!). So glad you found and shared. And needless to say, even happier that you are all safe in this terrible fire season. I hope it is over for now.

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  40. Great landscapes indeed, so fascinating and interesting!

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  41. It's always nice to stumble across some "old" photos that never got the light of day … Lovely photos as always. I am glad to hear that your house (and your grand-daughter and Chihuahua) are safe. Many have not been as fortunate.

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  42. Spock , Beam Me Up - These Are Incredible And I Thank You So Much For Sharing - Amazing - Always A Fan Of Nightscape Photography

    Cheers

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  43. Wow Impressive! Love the different rock formations---Love the sky colors through the arch.. In facl one shot you posted of the arch looks like hands shaking---i mean like someone is shaked hands with another.
    Keep up the fun
    So terrible about the fires
    MB

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  44. Incredible images SPP, yes I did see the car headlights there ☺ So horrific about the fires they seem to have been raging away for so long. We are beginning to see fires pop up here too now.

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  45. Wow that was odd. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my
    comment didn't show up. Grrrr... well I'm not writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say
    fantastic blog!

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