© wim melis

Monument valley

When arriving from the east ( Mesa Verde National Park), you have the luck to drive a scenic road used in a number of films ( I guess Thelma & Louise is one of them).

Although traffic is not heavy on this road , taking this type of pictures  needs to be done with some precaution.

Later in the National Park the classic viewpoints are abundantly available. 

John Wayne is forgotten.  A young Indian plays his role as he walks with his horse to the edge. I didn't capture this. I'll watch Stagecoach later this year , if available somewhere.

Horseshoe Bend in Page

Another iconic landscape: Horseshoe Bend in the neighbourhood of Page.

Almost 95 % of the pictures taken from this bend in the Colorado-river are taken from the same spot ( 20 / 30 meters area). There's one (apart from wide-angle lens usage and time of the day) differentiator: how close to the edge you want to put your tripod. I must admit I didn't put anything at risk here. Some (3) watchdogs in the neighbourhood were closely monitoring my movements here. Others (no photographers) were at the same time taking 'non-calculated' risks. Crazy what people sometimes dare to impress.

Joshua Tree National Park

One of our last stops in our US trip was 29 Palms and the nearby Joshua Tree National Park.This park lies at the edge of the Colorado and Mojave deserts, and has vegetation and scenery representative of both. A very intriguing ecosystem comes with it.

The Joshua Trees are present in one part of the park.

At Keys View, an outlook into the San Andreas Fault is astonishing.

Boulders are other typical elements, which shape the landscape.

Some look like a skull.

At night the desert starts to live. No milky way however when we were chasing foxes and desert rodents.

Mojave Desert: Rice 

Another spot that is somewhat iconic. All of a sudden, while driving miles and miles in the Mojave desert, an old tank station to the right and parts of an old railway services building pop up: Rice. 

An airfield/airport/airstrip was part of the location, but nothing remains, unless some scars in the sand only visible from high above.  (I didn't have the info when passing by. Otherwise I would have done some more exploration: a pity). 

Some sources on the internet, mention Rice as an alternative test site for nuclear bombs during the cold-war: why am I not surprized ?

Zabriskie Point

In the middle of Death Valley (CA), Zabriskie Point is one of the most weird places on earth. At least of the spots I have visited.

Some black and white pictures (maybe over the top as the place itself) should give a clue on how this point looks like. I'll post later some color pictures too.

By turning 180 degrees, one can witness similar strange rocks and sand created over the ages by wind and water.

... went back for sunset.

I guess these outlooks are photographed a million times and more.. but what a view.