Tag Archive for: Utah

After Year of Isolation, The Gift of Nature

After three years of investigating flooding problems and a year of isolating during COVID, it’s time to rejuvenate. What better way to clear your head than with nature? So let me share some pictures with you. In August 2016, shortly after I retired, I spent five weeks driving my Chevy 10,562 miles to the Arctic Circle and back.

Road Trip of a Lifetime

It’s a trip I will never forget thanks to Nikon. And, or course, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which built the 1,500 mile Alaska Highway through northern Canada in 1942 as part of the World War II effort.

When I left Texas, the temperature was 106. When I got to the Yukon, it was 46. The aspens were already turning color in mid-August and birds had already started migrating south from Alaska.

To put this nature trip in perspective:

  • When you get to Calgary from Houston, you’re not even halfway to Fairbanks.
  • Canada’s land mass equals that of the U.S., but the U.S. population is 9X greater.
  • 75% of Canadians live within 100 miles of the U.S. border.
  • Yukon, Northwest Territory and Nunavit (the northern tier of provinces) contain 40% of Canada’s land and only 4% of its people.
  • The Yukon is larger than California, but has a population less than 40% of Kingwood’s.
  • At one point, I saw just three grocery stores in 1,000 miles, none larger than a convenience store.

So if you ever want to really clear your head, consider this nature trip. Just bring along plenty of granola bars. Below are some pics and links to more.

What You See Between Houston and the Arctic

Glacial Lakes near Canmore, Alberta
Glacial Valley near Stewart, British Columbia
Folded Moutain, in northern Alberta (if I remember correctly).
Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. Note the man at the crest of the dune in the foreground.
Canyonlands National Park in Utah

To See More

Here are 60 more of my favorite pics from this trip. I hope you enjoy viewing them as much as I did taking them. To see more of my nature photography, visit BobRehak.com, another of my websites. Click on Portfolios and then Landscapes.

If You Decide to Go Yourself

If you decide to take this trip yourself, make sure you go in mid summer. By September, many of the northern roads and accommodations are closing. Snow chains were required in many places after mid-September. No joking. I actually ran into a heavy snowstorm near Edmonton in August. Buy new tires before you go. And fill up at every gas station you see once you get into the Yukon. They can be very far apart.

Posted by Bob Rehak on 12/21/2020

1210 Days since Hurricane Harvey

A Little Bit of Utah’s Bryce Canyon Comes to Conroe

Sand mining is turning parts of Conroe into areas that look a little bit (a very little bit) like Bryce Canyon in Utah.

Hoodoo Magic

On March 6, I flew over the Liberty Materials Moorehead Mine in Conroe and captured this image.

Deep pit portion of Liberty Materials Moorehead mine in Conroe.

It struck me as similar to the hoodoos in Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park.

Bryce Canyon NP, Utah. Photo courtesy of National Park Service.

Bryce Canyon Hoodoos

Hoodoos are tall, thin spires of rock that have usually eroded from the edge of a drainage basin. Hoodoos typically consist of relatively soft rock topped by harder, less easily eroded stone that protects each column from the elements. In the case of the Conroe hoodoos, the vegetation at the top of the pit helps provide that protection.

Of course, the hoodoos in Bryce Canyon formed over the last 40-60 million years, through the relentless forces of erosion. The Conroe hoodoos formed in the last two years. They’re not quite as spectacular or as tall. And they’re made out of sand, not sandstone.

Sandstone is formed when sand is cemented by such materials as silica and calcium carbonate. Most sandstones form through the accumulation of river sediments on seabeds. They are then compressed and uplifted to form new lands. Bryce Canyon was uplifted 8,000 feet, Conroe about two hundred.

Liberty Materials vs. Mother Nature

Here are some more pictures of the Liberty Materials mine in question.

And to give equal time to Mother Nature, here are some more pictures of Bryce Canyon.

Sunrise, Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, Photo © Bob Rehak 2011
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah, Photo © Bob Rehak 2011

Liberty looks a little sloppier than Mother Nature. But then, Mother Nature takes her time.

It may take a few more years before 2 million people a year start visiting the Liberty pit.

Posted by Bob Rehak

929 Days since Hurricane Harvey

Note: Unlike the other images on this site which are public domain, please refrain from copying or distributing my images of Bryce Canyon. To see more of my photography, visit BobRehak.com.

The thoughts expressed in this post represent opinions on matters of public concern and safety. They are protected by the First Amendment of the US Constitution and the Anti-SLAPP Statute of the Great State of Texas.