Saturday, 07 December 2019 18:29

Eastward from Burr Trail

It must have been with no small satisfaction that John Burr could look back, having gained the top of the tortuous incline that he had created and which now bears his name, the Burr Trail (Road), and appreciate the distant Henry Mountains now behind him, the Waterpocket Fold below him, and the San Rafael Swell at his feet. Burr's cattle trail gave his family access for their herds between their summer grazing homestead in Burrville, 154 miles to the northwest, and the winter grazing grounds near the base of the Henrys. The route of Burr's trail remains today a visual delight, a geologic wonder of ancient rocks carved by water and wind; buttes and mesas that soar above deepening canyons; tilting strata of stone shaded in every warm tone of the eye's imagination.

A focal length of 180mm, moderate telephoto-land, gave me the narrow field-of-view I wanted with the many-folded side of Swap Mesa and the erosion-exposed, laccolith-spawned Henrys in the distance, with magnification and compression for emphasis. An aperture of f/18 provided depth-of-field, and a shutter speed of 1/15th second at ISO 100 gave me an overall slightly-lighter-than-medium exposure, which still served to darken the shaded foreground ridge that was somewhat backlit at the time.

Although this land is under the protection of the National Park Service, it sits next door to the troubled Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, equally beautiful and equally in need of our attention and effort to protect.

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