In the midst of Winter’s grasp I decided to take a short break from December’s ultra busy ordering season and head to my other other favorite place in the world…The Canyonlands just outside of Moab, UT. Apparently the timing was right – I arrived the night before a full Lunar Eclipse. After 6 hours of driving, I pulled up to a ‘decent’ motel where I was assigned a room directly above an obsessive and erratic t.v. watcher. On the Ranch I am used to near pitch silence with the occasional call of a coyote or hoot of an owl, so when the t.v. viewer from below decided to turn on theirs at 12am I was… let’s say, slightly disturbed. Luckily, as lame as this might sound, there’s an app for that. It’s called Simply Noise. Put it on your phone and you will get access to a medicinal white, pink or brown noise. Anyways – enough about technology that is infiltrating our lives, and more about nature – which a lot of us are seeing less and less of these days.
If you ever want to hear the most silent silence that is possible outside of a vacuum chamber…head out to the desert. Get away from the roads, and kick yourself out of bed at least an hour before sunrise. That’s what I did on the morning of the Lunar Eclipse. With no time to spare I threw everything into my car and headed out of town towards a place called Dead Horse Point high on the red rock cliffs overlooking the desert. Upon arrival I loaded up on m&m’s and a bit of diet coke (official last-minute road trip breakfast) and stepped out of the car into 10 degree weather armed with my camera. These cliffs are truly spectacular, you can walk right along the edge and peer straight down a vertical drop of over 1000 feet to the canyon floor. Sometimes the edges are balancing on thin layers of cracked earth that slowly split with the freezing and thawing of rain water.
After having watched a Lunar Eclipse in the West and a breathtaking sunrise in the East…I figured that nothing could possibly beat that experience – so I hopped back in my car and headed for The Great Salt Lake to watch the sun set.
For those of you who do not know – The Great Salt Lake is a massive inland sea of saltiness up to 7 times the salinity of the ocean. Its deepest point is around 30 feet and the only creatures living in the lake are a small type of brine shrimp. Wild buffalo still roam out on an island in the middle of the lake, and every year in the spring thousands and thousands of seagulls from the coasts of California make their way out here to nest and fill up on shrimp. When the chicks hatch and are old enough – they make the journey back to the coast only to return a few years later to repeat the cycle. Standing on the shore of this lake, I felt as though I was looking out on an ancient sea. The landscape is surreal, the smell is similar to the ocean, the tide moves so quickly that you can actually look down at your feet and watch it rise.
As the sun set on this day of solar awareness, I was at peace – cold…but happy.