Thursday, April 26, 2012

Canyonlands, part 2

Here's Part 1 if you missed it. This is a trip we took at the beginning of April. We had just two nights of camping in the backcountry of the Needles district, but that provided enough photographic wonders for two blog posts.

Here's our Chesler Park campsite for the second night. We got there relatively early because it was not a far walk from the first campsite.

After setting up our tent, we headed out for a long walk to find Druid Arch. Troy doesn't agree with the term slick-rock because the sandstone is actually quite grippy, nonetheless this trail started out along the slick-rock that the region is famous for. Just behind Troy you can vaguely see that there is a hole in the ground, a canyon in fact. Our hike was about to take us down into such a canyon.

Here we are at the bottom of the canyon, walking up a sandy wash southward toward Druid Arch.

Eventually, we reached the headwall of this drainage and climbed up a short ladder to reach the arch. It turns out that Druid Arch is part of a fin sticking out of the headwall, so it is impossible to see until you are right next to it.

Looking back toward Elephant Canyon, you can't see the bottom of the canyon with the sandy wash that we hiked in on. You can barely see the hints of treetops poking up from the bottom of the canyon.

Did you notice the gathering clouds in the last couple of photos? If you've read this blog before, you know what happens when we go camping in the desert… that's right, SNOW! (Examples from the past: Carlsbad, Gila, Chiricahua) The final morning greeted us cold and snowy.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Geek knitter

It has been a while since I posted about knitting, yet those are always my most popular posts. I had a fun, geeky knitting spree on laptop sleeves over the winter. They're fun to knit because they're just big rectangles which I treated as an empty canvas for colorwork. The three bags I made are different in the type of colorwork I did, the material (type of yarn) and even the construction of the bag. Here's an overview and comparison.

My favorite bag turned out to be this one. It is knit from a self-striping yarn (so no real colorwork there) and then felted. After felting, I needle-felted the metro logo using dyed roving. This is my favorite of the three because it turned out strong and protective for the laptop and it was the easiest to make.

This next one was made for an iPad, so it is a bit smaller and doesn't need to carry as much weight. I used a cotton/silk blend for this bag so that it would not be very stretchy. It looks really cute and the person that I gave it to says it works great. The front and back have different patterns because I've always wanted to knit an argyle pattern.

The last bag is actually the first one I started, but the last to get finished. I learned some lessons from this bag. The space invaders pattern was just too cool not to put on a laptop sleeve! Recently, a guy asked me where he could buy one for his wife… and then asked where he could get the pattern when I told him that I knit the bag. So I like the way the bag looks, but the yarn is too stretchy to carry the weight of the laptop. I had to put in a fabric liner and that took me 5 months. It still doesn't seem quite as strong or protective as the felted laptop bag. But it does look cool, I almost wish I had put space invaders on both sides of the bag instead of the flowers.

You can always get more knitting details and links to patterns or charts from my Ravelry project pages.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Canyonlands, part 1

Can you believe that this place is only about 6 hours from my house but it has taken me 10 years to visit Canyonlands? It lived up to all of my expectations. Of course, we stopped first at Newspaper Rock, which I would re-name Archival Rock because I really don't expect to see new stuff up here each day.

We had two nights in the backcountry in the Needles District and because we had to carry all of our water, that was plenty of time. Here's our first campsite in Devil's Pocket. It turns out that the devil has a bunch of tumbleweeds piling up in his pocket like pocket lint.

 The highlight of the next day was hiking the Joint Trail. Joint means a gap between rocks. This part looks amazingly like a train tunnel:
 Then it gets narrower:
 Finally, we hiked out the end of the trail, then walked back above the trail to have a look. I'm sitting on the edge of the "joint" that I had just been hiking through a few minutes earlier. Amazing how straight, narrow and flat that trail is!

 Here's a nice panoramic of the Needles, overlooking Elephant Canyon. This is a sneak peak of our next day's hike.