Great Basin 2009

A long weekend finally rolled around again and, not having gotten a chance to go on a long road trip in a while, I started pulling out maps and looking at places I'd been. I came across Great Basin. I had only been there briefly and, at that, only in the Fall when it was mostly all closed. Enjoying long drives, I broke out the atlas and away I went. It was my first time driving a long period on the 6 in a long time and it was a gorgeous drive between alternating mountain ranges and dry lake beds, places where you were so alone it was almost hundreds of miles between gas stations. Very zen.

The first night I couldn't camp out in the mountains as it was lightning, but once I finally got to Great Basin I was amazed at what I had missed. Driving up from the desert floor, you get to see such an amazing variety of different plants and trees, all the way from desert scrub to beautiful aspens to high alpine glacial lakes. Within less than twenty miles this entire place had it all! While I was out hiking initially the weather around the peak was getting petulant, but it calmed down into an amazing mix of sunshine and clouds that was spectacular. It was also my first time up close to some bristlecone pines. It's amazing how long they live and truly astounding the harsh areas in which they do so. It's pretty humbling to be next to something that is 3000 years old. Still, nothing caps off a wonderful day of hiking like falling asleep next to the background sound of a vigorous creek, and with all the rain and glaciers this mountain did not disappoint.

On the way back I stopped off in Cathedral Gorge SP. It really was a quite spectacular little place. I was intrigued and fascinated by all of the erosion patterns made in the mud, just like the buttressed walls of Red Canyon SP. It was also wonderfully out of the way and, for just a short day hike, I never even saw more than two cars parked in the lot in the distance. I guess it can get really hot there, but in the morning it was beautiful to see the interplay of the shadows from the rising sun against the canyon walls.

The Photographs

Of course I was very saddened to hear of the discontinuation of Kodachrome. I've used it as my primary color film for years and its rendition of what I see has always struck me as the best I've ever tried. I'm glad to have still been living in an era to use it so much and enjoy this wonderful film. It's sad to know that I won't have it that much longer, but also great in that it gives me some motivation to start using those rolls I'd set aside for "precious" moments.

I started off with a roll of Kodachrome PKL 200 and, as the sun kind of peeked through, shifted to Kodachrome PKR 64. In the Cathedral Gorge it was nice and bright so I used a roll of Kodachrome KM 25 and still am amazed by its tonality. It's my standard Minolta system, mostly with short focal length lenses and an occasional polarizer thrown in here and there. Click "Next" in the upper right to begin.