It was the beginning of the time… The time of COVID…
After months of anticipation Liddy and I were going to a Landscape Photography Conference in Kanab Utah. Keynote speaker, Art Wolfe.
We had booked an overnight escorted tour to Alstrom Point, overlooking Lake Powell for the day before the conference. It was scheduled on a moonless night at the time of year when the Milky Way would be prominent in the sky.
We were excited… But it was March… It was the beginning of COVID…
Off to Kanab
Kanab is a small town in Southern Utah that is located between some of the major National Parks and Monuments. Just north of the Grand Canyon, East of Zion, west of Escalante. An excellent place to host a Landscape photography conference. An excellent place to use as a base to explore this fantastic landscape.
Liddy and I pulled out of our driveway and pointed the Prius south. We already knew the conference had been canceled. I did so much want to make the overnight at Alstrom Point.
Zion National Park
As you can see from the map above, the drive from Northwest Washington to Southern Washington is long. We enjoyed a night in the Hotel Prius and arrived at La Verkin where we enjoyed a night in a local hotel.
Things were in flux. This was the day the National Parks limited groups to no larger than 10 people. A policy which resulted in the shutdown of the shuttle buses into Zion National Park.
I had also just learned that my trip to Alstrom Point had also been cancelled. The weather had dropped a lot of rain into the region making a rough road impassable.
Zion National Park operates a shuttle bus service from the southwest park entrance up the Floor of the Valley Road to the Temple of Sinawava.
This is the only way to control traffic here as the parking is limited and the pressure from tourists like you and me is insane.
On this day, parking at the end of the road was easy. The park was virtually empty.
Liddy and I walked up the Riverwalk and were able to capture this shot looking up the Virgin River. A rare opportunity because the numbers of people here was so low.
The Zion – Mt Carmel Tunnel
Driving east on Utah Highway 9 through the park, you will encounter the unique Mt Carmel Tunnel. This tunnel was carved through the sandstone below the Great Arch and enables access to Kanab and Bryce Canyon.
We passed through the tunnel, stopping at a pull out beside the Pine River where we stretched our legs and were able to explore.
This young juniper embracing the older one seemed so appropriate to the awful news about COVID that we were beginning to hear.
The symbolism I see here may just make this my photo of the year.