Tri-state car panoramasPosted: August 18, 2014
I’m just back from a full week of touring and painting in Utah’s five National Parks. I still have comments to catch up on and more sketches to post going back to day one. The start of the sketching week begins like this:
It was easier to get to southern Utah through Las Vegas, rather than fly into Salt Lake City, but that meant that last Sunday, upon arrival in Vegas, we had to drive directly to the first National Park which was almost six hours away. The start of the drive was surprisingly pleasant despite the long flight, with changing desert vistas and wide open skies. When I looked at the map I realized that before getting to Utah from Nevada, we had to cross a little corner of Arizona, so I dug out my panoramic sketchbook with the idea of capturing a bit of landscape from each state. The view of the Nevada hills was grey and dry, not a tree in sight, just low scrub and cracked ground. By the time we reached Arizona, the colours of the rock started to change. When we crossed into Utah, the setting sun lit up the red hills and green pastures.
I won’t go into too much detail about the harrowing second half of the drive — in total darkness, on switchbacks through narrow canyons and then for a long time on an open range. I’d rather forget it. But if you want more info I can put you in touch with some of the locals I met a few days later who told me that NO ONE drives on an open range at night.