Category Archives: Photos

Gates of Lodore

The Gates of Lodore is the scenic entrance to the Canyon of Lodore, a canyon on the Green River in northwestern Colorado, United States. The name Gates of Lodore has become synonymous with the canyon itself and the two names are used interchangeably. The Canyon commences as the Green River departs Browns Park and cuts through the Uinta Mountains meandering eighteen miles until its end at Echo Park (Colorado), the confluence of the Green and Yampa River. It was named by the Powell Expedition after the English poem Cataract of Lodore. It is located in Dinosaur National Monument.

 

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The Thrill of the Chase – Hunting for Forrest’s Treasure and Finding My Own

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”    ~Douglas Adams

 

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Hi Beautiful Blog World,

I’m taking a slightly different approach to my photo blog the next couple of weeks because Life and my fondness for quirky twists that stand out to amaze and enthrall me.

I’m not the mystical type by nature.  I’m educated, analytical and more logical than the average gal. I am an IT professional who works among mathematic, scientific, analytical minds.  And even though my life has been blessed with artistic talent (like my photography , music, my art and my cooking) I’m above all a person well grounded in life and its realities.  I eschew organized religion, think things like horoscopes and mystic thinking are creative, but not generally my cup of tea.

But Fanciful things happen to me sometimes and I have to call them out because…well just because!  My sense of wonder leads me to nature and I’m very open-minded and embrace the beauty of nature.  Neat things happen because I often happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Like the time an owl followed me while I drove back from Antelope Island.

Or the time a Golden Eagle decided to take a bath in front of me.

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Or last week when I was at Silver Lake and a moose decided to walk towards me and eat while I watched four feet in front of him.

I stand amazed.  And consider myself lucky to be an unwitting recipient to seeming magical interactions with nature.  I put myself out there with regularity.  You’ll find me on the highways and byways and on trails soaking in whatever the earth has to offer me. Because it is so freaking satisfying and relaxing to me.

But back to my story.  You’ll see where I’m going with this in a moment.

Last year for my birthday I decided to give a gift instead of receiving one.  I went to all of my favorite places in Utah, places of sentimental value to me, and buried silver bullion and placed a cairns on top of it.  Marked the GPS coordinates and then posted them on my Facebook wall so my friends could locate them like a geocaching game…with a nice silver gift twist at the end.

It was popular!  And the best gift I’ve ever given myself, there’s nothing quite like the joy of seeing people locate something you’ve hidden specifically in a place of importance to me.

So this year I decided to expand it.  I am turning 50 in 10 days so I decided to honor my own life by going to the places of my birth and upbringing.  Durango, Colorado, New Mexico, and out on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona where I spent a summer in my youth and fell in absolute love with the red dirt and mesas of the Arizona desert, and the Navajo people.  I have been mapping out my course and locations to place the cairns.  I’ve dropped two here in Utah and will be leaving for Colorado tomorrow.

My little sister Connie texted me last week and said “Chris, since you’re going to be out burying your treasure you should look for the hidden treasure hidden in the areas your will be hiding things!”

Within 10 seconds of clicking on the link she provided, I was hooked.  And smiling ironically at the absolute converging path I found myself in with this amazing man, Forrest Fenn.  I immediately sensed a kindred spirit in this now 86 year old man who is still very much living and no doubt very entertained by the number of people who have been looking for the treasure he hid about 6-7 years ago.  He hid it, published a map that contains the overall area where the treasure can be found, and a poem that contains 9 clues.

 

A few links:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fenn_treasure

http://dalneitzel.com/

I saw the map, read the poem, and thought of several places I could go on the way as I was burying my own treasure.  I reached out to Forrest last Sunday via email and found myself having enchanting dialogue throughout the day with him. We talked about fly fishing, New Mexico, the Native American people.  All commonalities.  I found him to be witty, authentic, very lucid, and was thrilled when he invited me to come down and look at his collection in Santa Fe.

But I have things to do first.  Like bury my own treasures.  And spend a lot of time giving gratitude to the universe for all of the wonderful places I’ve seen, and all of the wonderful things I’ve done in the 50 years I’ve been on this earth.

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You’ll find a cairns in the spot where I bury mine.  They may look like any of these.  Cairns are significant things.  They are designed to be a path marker, to let you know you are on the right path.

https://scenesfromthelilypad.blog/cairns/

My Facebook profile is not Public.  I keep my treasure confined to my friends list because of the sentimentality involved.

But not Forrest, and I nod in his direction for his generosity, his love for the great outdoors and his generosity in allowing so many people to share in the adventure of looking for his Treasure which is worth up to $2 million dollars, far more than my own hunt.  There is a thrill in the chase.  We humans, despite our so-called evolved ways, still want to hunt.  To use our instinct and our minds to connect the dots and provide more meaning and value to our lives and the meager time we have to exist here.

So the next few blog posts will be chronicles of my own journey.  I will be both Hider and Seeker.  I am armed with new camera equipment and will share ample photos.  And I can’t wait.  I’m traveling Home.  And my heart is drawn like a magnet to the places that helped forge who I am today.

I know I will enjoy the mere act of hunting for Forrest’ treasure.  It also gives me absolute joy to discover he has Pre-Columbian golden frogs in his chest in addition to all the gold and precious jewels.

Big green hugs,

Froggie

Brian Head Fire, Utah

Started June 17, 2017

https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5253/

 

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This was the scene from the fire on my way to St. George, Utah.

Other Scenes from St George which is some of the most tremendous red earth and houses National parks such as Zions, Bryce Canyon, Escalante nearby. I’m just going to link to my Google album for your perusing pleasure.

https://goo.gl/photos/YBMStZGbnTvwYG9j9

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When I’m Old and Wise

As far as my eyes can see
There are Shadows approaching me
And to those I left behind
I wanted you to Know
You’ve always shared my deepest thoughts
You follow where I go
And oh when I’m old and wise
Bitter words mean little to me
Autumn Winds will blow right through me
And someday in the mist of time
When they asked me if I knew you
I’d smile and say you were a friend of mine
And the sadness would be Lifted from my eyes
Oh when I’m old and wise
As far as my Eyes can see
There are shadows surrounding me
And to those I leave behind
I want you all to know
You’ve always Shared my darkest hours
I’ll miss you when I go.

~Alan Parson’s Project,  Old and Wise

 

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Fantasy Canyon, Utah

Fantasy Canyon is a Bureau of Land Management-managed area located about 27 miles (43 km) south of Vernal, in Uintah County, Utah. Even though the area is only about 10 acres (40,000 m2) in size, it contains some of the most unusual geologic features in the world. The site was officially documented by early explorer and paleontologist Earl Douglass, who recorded the area by other names such as “The Devil’s Playground” and “Hades Pit.” He published photographs of this area in a 1909 publication called “The Columbian Magazine.”

The rocks of Fantasy Canyon, quartzose sandstones, were deposited during the Eocene Epoch. They date from around 38 to 50 million years ago. During the geologic period, the Uinta Basin was occupied by a large lake called Lake Uinta. The lake extended 120 miles (190 km) west to Heber City, 30 miles (48 km) east to Rangely, Colorado, south to the Book Cliff Divide, north to the Uinta Mountains, and was about a half mile deep.

Fantasy Canyon is along the east shore of what was once Lake Uinta, where the sediments eroded from the surrounding high lands. Sediments were deposited and the once loose sands, silts, and clays were forged into sandstone and shale. Because of different rates of weathering, the more durable sandstone remained while the more easily weathered siltstone and shale washed away, yielding this spectacular scenery. Today’s geologic formations of Fantasy Canyon will eventually give way to weather and then topple and erode into sand, but new formations will appear as the topsoil washes away. Because the delicate formations are so fragile the area is referred to as “Nature’s China Shop.”

There are black ribbons of coal-like material along the small washes on the trail or as horizontal stripes in the rocks. This magnetic material is called magnetite (iron oxide).

There are inch-wide, black-colored, subvertical, northwest-southeast trending gilsonite dikes that have intruded the rocks at Fantasy Canyon. Gilsonite, named after U.S. Marshall Samuel H. Gilson, is a type of asphaltite – solidified hydrocarbons. Gilsonite was discovered in the early 1860s. Starting in the mid-1880s, Gilson promoted the material as a waterproof coating for wooden pilings, as an insulation for wire cable, and as a unique varnish.

The Eocene-aged Uinta Formation is fossiliferous. It contains widely scattered bones, mostly mammals, which roamed the Basin during the Eocene. Fossilized turtle shells are visible in the area.IMG_3119IMG_3121IMG_3123IMG_3124IMG_3127IMG_3129IMG_3131IMG_3135IMG_3140IMG_3143IMG_3144IMG_3146IMG_3147IMG_3148IMG_3151

The Sparkle of Frost

He who marvels at the beauty of the world in summer will find equal cause for wonder and admiration in winter.   ~John Burroughs

 

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Frosted trees in the blue fog
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Fog blanketing the Salt Lake City valley
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Sun refractions creating blue fog
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Ducks at La Caille
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Little Cottonwood granite trying to peek through the fog.

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Snowflakes on berries
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Berry laden frosted tree
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Frozen fountain
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Remnants of Christmas in the fog
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Laden willow tree
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Froggie in the frost.