Thursday, July 1, 2021

Hall of Horrors

What a great name! Hall of Horrors is a grouping of picturesque rock formations not far from the Ryan Mountain trailhead in Joshua Tree National Park. It's a popular spot for both rock climbers and hikers. On this particular day I was on a mission to find something called Triumph Arch. I knew the approximate location, so join me as I go hunting for it.
My first photo of the day. This rock looks like a giant egg!
 
One of many shelters in the area.
 
View from inside the shelter, looking out.
 

Chomp chomp chomp!! I know I must be getting close to the arch.
 
There it is!! Triumph Arch. It's pretty large by Joshua Tree standards. I had been warned by my friend, R.M., that it's hard to photograph. You can take pics like this, shooting up, but it really doesn't do it justice. The best photos would be from higher behind me, or higher and to the left, but the rock is smooth and steep, and I see no way to get up there. I end up climbing up to the arch, using the crack on the right. Watching an old geezer climb isn't a pretty sight, but I made it up there.
  
After climbing up and under the arch, this is about the best I could do. Now I'm too close! Oh well, you get the idea. A very pretty arch, but yes, hard to photograph. Now lets see if I can get back down in one piece!
 
As I was carefully climbing (actually sliding/scooting) down the rocks, I met a rock climber searching for some climbing hardware. Climbers use bolts and other hardware placed in strategic places so they can attach ropes. This young man was like Spiderman, climbing all over the rocks with ease. I wish I had those superpowers! He let me take his picture, which helps give perspective to the arch. Meanwhile, I had torn the back of my pants and ripped off my left rear pants pocket as I was scooting down this rock. Like I said, not a pretty sight. I was lucky that I didn't lose my wallet, which I always keep in my left rear pocket.
 

Having found and photographed Triumph Arch, I could spend the rest of the afternoon wandering around the area, taking pictures of whatever caught my fancy. The late afternoon light was making things interesting.
 
That looks like "grumpy rock" over on the right!

I spent some time practicing sun flare shots. With the sun low on the horizon, it's pretty easy. Just block out part of the sun (a solid object like a rock works best) and make your aperture as small as possible (f22 for this lens). The only challenge is the exposure. If you expose for the sky, your foreground is lost in dark shadows. If you expose on the foreground, your sky will be blown out and your sun flare will be less dramatic. The trick is to split the difference. 
 
The Joshua Tree shadow on this rock caught my eye.




The King Dome

 

Balance rock

Do you see him/her??

Linking with 
Thanks for stopping by!!
 
PS: Why "Hall of Horrors??". I met a nice couple at the end of my hike who asked me that question, so I did a little research. It turns out, hidden deep in the rocks, is a long, narrow, high-walled "hallway". It's a fun challenge for rock climbers, especially if they have Spiderman superpowers, and it's where the area got its name. If you're claustrophobic, it's an area to be avoided!
Photo credit: MountainProject.com

Photo credit: ThatAdventureLife.com

Photo credit: www.pinterest.com.pin214695107214087598
 
I will definitely be looking for this hidden "Hall of Horrors" next time I'm in the area!
Linking with Skywatch Friday.
Thanks for stopping by!!

46 comments:

  1. no I wouldn't like that "hallway" at all, yikes! Like the photos today and loved those guys on the walls of the hallway.

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  2. I like that trumph arch! But i am confused. I thought that that giant egg in the beginning had the same name? That narrow hallway since it's so high, I may avoid that one! Great post and fun to follow your adventure, as always. Have a great 4th of July in the desert:) Jeshie2 (can't remember if with blogspot you automatically get my ul with my comment, so in case not, here it is (one word) livingbetweentworealms (.)wordpress (.) com.Jeshie2

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  3. Another intrepid adventure complete with clambering into snake dens, hair raising climbs up slick rocks, sun flare lessons and photos from a hall of horrors.

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  4. Beautiful rock shots as usual. I wonder if it ever get too hot for you to go on these desert expeditions. Joshua Tree is definitely on my bucket list.

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    1. Thanks, Ellen. Yup, absolutely it gets too hot to hike. About the best I can do in July and August are short hikes at higher elevations during early morning or late afternoon. Even that is iffy. I try to do a lot of hikes just prior to the summer weather hitting so I have plenty of blogging content!

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  5. I used to do that climb on the doorways of my home when I was a kid. I don't think I could manage it now. Looks like a nice day where you made your goal early and could play around.

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  6. ...another fabulous journey into your beautiful neck of the woods. Your sun flare shots are beyond my skill set at the moment. Thanks for taking me along, I hope that we can do it again.

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  7. Great photos! Thanks for stopping by my blog!

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  8. Dearest Peter,
    Excellent photos and you had me laugh out loud; sorry for your pants and pocket!
    You at least can tell it with a laugh too.
    Skinny people can visit Hall of Horrors.
    Hugs,
    Mariette

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  9. Gotta love the desert--- now if they could just keep it from being so hot! Some of the hottest weather I've ever experienced outside of Phoenix or Palm Springs here last weekend. All the rain forests were melting. I'm glad that guy came along so you could put some scale in the arch picture-- that one truly is the best of the arch.

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  10. Great photos. The hall of horrors looks scary for sure.

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  11. Truly amazing photos.
    Great post.
    Have a nice weekend. Stay well.

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  12. Excellent pictures. Loved the hike. Even I experimented with f/22 but they turn out to be mostly non-sharp with my lens.

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  13. Greetings and Salutations! Glad you met Spiderman to give us the perspective of size of rock formations. Sorry you tore your pants. I liked your helter skelter shots of the desert.

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  14. Rock arches are fascinating, I think I love all of them. Hope you were able to mend your trousers!

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  15. Hello,
    Awesome series of photos, another great hike! Have a happy 4th of July weekend!

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  16. Amazing shots! I'm claustrophobic and don't have any superpowers so I wouldn't be going inside the Hall of Horrors.

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  17. Super photo’s again from your environment. Keep them coming.

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  18. These striking formations are everywhere out there. Amazing. The Hall of Horrors would be fun.

    I saw a story the other day about a couple who destroyed many of these trees on their newly purchased property. It was sad to hear of that deliberate destruction. Your photos highlight what a sight they are!

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  19. Stupendous photos, I'm like you when climbing now, more of a hazard and look for the easy way

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  20. The "hallway guys" would make a nice calendar if they had other photos (I'm sure they do) of their exploits. Maybe they could use it as a fundraiser. I enjoyed your sun flare photos. And, of course, the scenery. Without Spiderman, I would have had no idea of the size of that arch, not ever having seen that area in person.

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  21. Great photos of a beautiful landscape.

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  22. What a magnificent series of photos. All so beautiful. The 9nes at the end in the "hallway" are fun.

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  23. I am glad you found the Triumph Arch but I am looking forward to the pics you take of the Hall of Horrors---yes you will!! Love the sun flare shots.
    MB

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  24. You find the most awesome places and take great photographs ~ Xo


    Happy Independence Day weekend,


    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  25. Love the last picture (and yes, I know it is not yours.) A cool pic!

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  26. Love that sun glinting ff the trees.

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  27. This is one place where I get to enjoy the desert without being there physically. Beautiful sun flare shots and shadows. Interesting rock formation but dangerous climb. Yes, I can see the tiny he/she in the far distance.

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  28. Awesome shots !! Every time you suprise me with your pictures of this amazing environment.
    Have a nice weekend :-)

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  29. Hard hiking for gogeous photos! It looks so easy in the last...
    Happy weekend

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  30. Loved the sun flare shots the best.

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  31. So Dig Those Shelter Shots - The BLK & White Photos Are Worthy - And The Last Capture, Righteousness - Enjoy The Family Time This Weekend - Stay Strong

    Cheers

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  32. Fabulous photos. You're such a good photographer and a great story teller. Love the sun flares and the cactus shots.

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  33. The last photo is very cool, I can see why people use to live in those caves too, they look well sheltered.

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  34. I am fascinated with those narrow slot canyons. haven' been to one (due to water level at the time), but would love to try (I am claustrophobic :-)

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  35. Stunning sun flare shots. I like those two "chomp chomp" rocks a lot.

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  36. Those 'extra' pictures at the end are fun.
    Your photos are So Beautiful . . it's amazing just to consider that it's the same planet i live on. - Yes! i saw the teeny person in the distance. AND - one more thing. I have always been good at going up a tall hill . . . not so much going down. My foster father once told it everything was alright - we could just sit and "schooch" down the hill - until it (or I) felt safer. (He was a really kind & wise man.) - Anyway, I smile - knowing you get to "schooch' sometimes, too. - Thank you for all your sharing. 💙

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  37. Your images are always a triumph as far as I'm concerned SPP. Your sun flare shots are so super cool and fabulous. Honestly just looking at the hall of horrors made my claustrophobic heart beat way too fast, couldn't do it 😱 Wonderful post as always ✨

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  38. El enunciado del título, no tiene nada que ver con las fotos. Es una maravilla, las tomas que has logrado en tus instantáneas.

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  39. I wondered why the name also and I'm glad you shared the research. I prefer your naturally beautiful shots far more than the tricky instas, but they do show the reason for the name I guess. The sun flare shots are wonderful and I like the last (I think) picture (your own one) where the blue is almost night/black. Really every picture is great

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  40. Great pics, nature is wonderful in your area and you really made me laugh about your adventurous slide down.
    As a teenager I once cracked my jeans - also not a nice sight, everybody laughed. Darn for old jeans thin from cycling there....

    You´re a great photographer. And creative - without the hint to him/her I thought at first I have some of those nasty little fruit flies on my screen!

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