Canyons of Utah – Zion

UtahZiCertain things that happen in our lives are impressionable, memories of our road trip to Utah was one such thing. We were out for the thanksgiving holiday and  this was our first landing-place all the way from California. Zion, Bryce and Death Valley, a national park tour with an overload of surreal landscape and nature.
Rated the top national park in US, Zion Canyon is nature’s sculpture with deep sandstone walls carved by water and wind. The park offer endless options of hiking and canyoning for all difficultly level.

Riverside trail

Our day started with one of the easiest trail, yet an enchanting one. Zion was oozing autumn with crisp orange foliage against dark tree bark, gleaming golden in  sunlight. Our footsteps crushing leaves and the sound of river racing down was truly vivid on that silent morning, where the 4 of us were the only people deep in the valley.

river walk

Canyon overlook trail

Cutting the river-walk trail short after our reluctance to cross the ice-cold waters to head to narrows, we went to our next stop, Canyon overlook trail. This is a steep one but all worth it, you see, for it offers the valley view. One of the top things to do in one-day visit to Zion, I would say.

Canyon overlook trail

Way to Emerald Pool 

After about half a day in the park, we grabbed a bite and headed to emerald pool hiking trail. Although the water fall was not as expected around that time of the year, the trail is an interesting one. The rocky skull face narrows, slippery path caving into the mountain wall and waterfall trickling from above, made it enthralling and photo-worthy.
Narrows

Narrows

At the lower emerald pool, a drizzling stream of water creates this deep green rock that looks like precious stone. Thanks to my Leica camera for capturing all the beautiful colors, some of us were disappointed with a thin shower-like falls and the overhyped algae on rocks promoted as emerald pool.
Emerald pool

Emerald pool

One full day in the park, we were able to cover about 3 easy trails and spent some time at the community center. The true beauty of Zion is unravelled after hiking miles inside the canyon. It’s definitely a place that needs at least a week-long stay but for a lazy tourist like me who like to pose for photos and click a few, this was just perfect!
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4 ways to sketch on black paper

Two month long wait,  meetings friends and family, travel between Chennai and Bangalore and  finally something that makes me happier than ever….
Yay, Our shipment has arrived! All those dresses, boots, jackets, accessories and everything that define me as a person is here. Although we are home with our family, there are times when I miss the cooking a delicious dessert or spending all afternoon designing an elegant earring. Memories make life beautiful and while I unpack my belongings, it was nice to revisit the various black paper sketches arranged neatly in my portfolio.
Drawing with white pencil
My DH is a wine connoisseur who loves red wine, needless to mention all the Napa valley visits and wine tasting experience. Inspired by the world class flavor of Robert Mondavi wine served with cheese and cracker is this sketch made on large black paper with white pencil.
Wine on black
A little unusual from my previous sketching experiences is the wine sketch. This time I tried sketching the from the object itself, capturing reflection of light on glass and scaling to the right size.
Wine glass white charcoal
Speed  sketching with silver pen
Beautiful laced white heart, “Love is in the air” sketched with silver pen on black paper has been the most visited post in Hellopalz. Visit the link or share thoughts.
White sketches on black
Using Chalk on black 
Check out the random scribbles of a music lover…Monochrome art appreciating the real music, I mean the rock music. Not that I don’t enjoy small doses of hip hop and R&B 😉
Painting gold over black
Take a tour of the cityscape of San Francisco with bay bridge as seen from Oakland, photographed by Kiran.
While job search and settling down takes a toll, writing a post always makes a blogger happy.

Tour Activity Journal – Reflections

Life is an illusion, a mirror where you see in others who you really are. Sometime good, sometimes bad and the other time better than the reality itself. Quoting the words of a writer  “Obsessed by a fairy tale, we spend our lives searching for a magic door and a lost kingdom of peace.”  Who is to blame for this war between the reality and reflection? Who is to show me the way to peace!

Bad water, Death Valley National park

The place is just as deserted as the name itself. Unusual, landscapes, unexplained moving rock yet an amazing place to visit.  Bad water, or I would like to call it “The mirage”… had a trail that leads out to the salt flats. It is at 282 feet below sea level, it’s the lowest point in North America. 

Why do I find the reflection of this mountain more beautiful than the reality itself…  Continue reading

Spring window and flowers

…What wealth the show to me had brought:
For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.
 ~William Wordsworth

For those of you, starting the spring semester this week after a busy winter break, here’s some food for thoughts and feast for eyes. Sharing this verse from “I wandered lonely as a cloudfor its spring time here at the Hellopalz blog with colorful flowers and watercolors.
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Flowers of California