Beyond Pal Cove – Photos from other places altogether

Sneaking in a few more off-topic photos for the off-season.  I couldn’t resist this one Jon took somewhere near Sydney.  It’s a winter shot, taken in August 2011 during the infamous escape to Australia.   Would you believe I just saw this picture today?  True story.





More trip photos.  Jon & the boy on tour in the slot canyon “Yankee Doodle”.  There are several reputable guide services working in the area — ask your friendly local park ranger for suggestions if you aren’t sure which to choose.  Money well spent, especially if you wish to travel with a minimum of gear, or if your canyoneering partner is not someone you’d want left to his own devices in an emergency.  You can read more about Yankee Doodle at and .



An extravaganza of photos from Jon’s hike up the Narrows of the Virgin River at Zion National Park, September 2010.

For those interested in doing the hike next summer, the NPS website has information here.  Know that the water is snowmelt, and that you will likely want a wetsuit or drysuit.  NPS says November to May for that, but in my experience, many of us will want the insulation during the warmer months as well.  [Ths hike is a fabulous one for the day after you’ve demolished your legs on some brutish foray into the backcountry.  Scenic icing.  Can’t beat it.]  But you don’t need to bring your own, there are several outfitters in town that will equip you for the day.  Call ahead to verify before you start packing.   Good deal for those of us who go long stretches in between our canyon hikes.

And FYI, the cautionary notes on the NPS website are not legalese:

At least 60% of the hike is spent wading, walking, and sometimes swimming in the stream. There is no maintained trail; the route is the river. The current is swift, the water is cold, and the rocks underfoot are slippery. Flash flooding and hypothermia are constant dangers. Good planning, proper equipment, and sound judgment are essential for a safe and successful trip.

Yes to all of that.  Fabulous hike.

narrow passage with sharp cliffs


greenery, leaning walls, and a glimspe of sky


narrow narrow


trees against orange rock with hanging gardens


calm water, trees, and so much rock


a curving overhang at the base of the canyon wall


wide view of shore, water, hikers, rock


Nuts!  I forgot to update you.  Yes, Zion National Park was your answer.   Both photos below were taken in the Narrows.  Which is a spectacular hike, well worth renting some loaner gear (that water is cold!) and taking a gander.  Requires some comfort with moving through a rocky river bed, but it is slow water if you pick your season right.

Zion, btw, is one of my all time favorite national parks.  Stunning scenery, wide variety of visiting options.  Comfortable place to take the whole family, and then split up during the day per your interests and abilities.

More spectacular scenery coming, but those were my only JPEG’s, so I’ve got to go convert a bunch of raw files before I’ll have more.  Meant to do it earlier this week, and completely, utterly, totally forgot.  For no good reason.  Bad Jennifer. No biscuit.

UPDATE: The answer is one post up.


As promised.


1) Taken in September 2010.

2) Pictured accomplice went along.

3) We’ve featured photos from this general area before, but not this exact location.

No fair guessing if you have already heard the trip report, but feel free to taunt in the combox with an “I know.”

Answer and more pics next week.

[Actually  you can cheat and get the answer right now if you are especially clever. Just be an honest cheat, okay?]

Quiz 1: Sydney, Australia.

[Yeah, right, it was on the tip of your tongue.  I bet.]

And Quiz 2: Yet farther south, in Melbourne, Australia.

We think we live in The South.  Turns out we don’t know what southern is.  Your intrepid photographer, being the only person on the planet who did not want to go to Australia (but had to, for work), reports that he managed to have a good time anyway.  But that he is pleased to be back on this continent, and desperately wants to spend a week at the Cove in October.


He still owes me photos from his other secret non-SC voyage this year.  If those show up soon I’ll post them (same quiz format, only much easier to guess, I expect), otherwise I’ll publish some nice on-topic pics for you.  Am waiting on a mouse — yes a mouse — so I can dig into the PC where all the photos are stored.  I guess that could be a whole other line of quizzes – “Guess which technical difficulty is hampering the blog this week . . .?”.  Mmn.  I like the travel-photo thing better.

Definitely not camping.  Added a couple clues to help you guess, and maybe one that throws you off a little.

My Airstream Is Not This Big

I Could Make This Camping . . . But I Don't.

Not The View From Table Rock

Though I Love That Low-Angled Sunshine

Answers to these two posts will go up next week.   And maybe a new mystery-travel quiz, depending on how cooperative my photographer is.

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