I woke up this morning again before sunrise all by myself in the Bisti Wilderness. There was another group of two guys around that I met the night before, but I didn’t see them all day until we had both returned to the parking lot. I had marked a spot of interest on my GPS during my last visit to the Bisti. I quickly headed in that direction with the hope of arriving before the sun came. I made it just in the nick of time. On my way there I also passed through the area that Laurent Martres describes as moon-like. I tend to agree. It is fascinating area.
Near that area was my intended destination, a pair of striking hoodoos. Martres calls one of them a pedestal and that seems appropriate. As a result, I will refer to them as the pedestals. I watched the sun come up and light them up. It was a bit frustrating to wait for the sun to light them up appropriately. It did however give me a chance to photograph them from many different angles.
Here is a nice image of the pair of pedestals as the sun is moving down them.
An alternate and striking view of one of the pedestals.
I enjoy this image because of the simple yet eye catching foreground. I think it works well with the background.
I took a picture of myself and the pedestal to help give an element of size to the formation.
The rock here in the front of the pedestal reminded me of a cashew.
I spent a bit of time watching the sun come up in this area. When I felt like I had exhausted most of the camera angles and low light I continued onward. I wanted to do a bit of exploring and orient myself with the area a bit more. I feel like I succeeded somewhat in that area. I am certainly more comfortable with the layout of the features.
What looks like a buried dinosaur spine of some sort.
In my wanderings I discovered what I call the petrified forest. It is a section of the Bisti wilderness with an abundance of petrified logs. Some of them are quite large. Even though the light was harsh I took a number of images for documentary purposes.
A pair of petrified stumps.
Log on a pedestal. I was shocked to come around the corner and find this log head high.
A gigantic log.
A petrified log in many pieces.
A shorter section of a log.
An artistic close-up of the end of a petrified stump.
A petrified log that is still mostly buried.
After exploring the petrified forest area it was getting warm and approaching noon. I decided that it was time to head back to the car and relax a bit before my evening explorations. As I approached the parking lot I bumped into three representatives from a senior group exploring the area in preparation for a group outing. They seemed a bit unprepared as they didn’t really know where they were going or what they were hoping to find. One of them had a GPS, but she didn’t know how to use it well enough for me to give her any waypoints. I gave them a basic description on how to get to some of the good stuff and went back to my car. I had promised Monica that I would check in with her each day. I couldn’t manage to get service in the Bisti, so I drove about half way back to Farmington before I could get service and make my call. When I was returning to the Bisti, I noticed that the van from the senior group passed me. Sure enough when I returned to the Bisti parking lot the three senior group scouts had left. I guess that I am glad they realized that an outing to the Bisti for their senior group wasn’t the best idea. I have only been to the Bisti twice, but I am constantly shocked at the number of people who show up in the parking lot with no idea what they will find or where to find it. The Bisti is an amazing place, but it is a wilderness area without trails. It makes your visit much more pleasurable and interesting when you arrive with at least a bit of preparation in the form of a marked up map or GPS waypoints…
I hung out in my car and read for a little bit until it cooled down and the light became a bit less harsh. On my way out to the nursery I figured I would grab a documentary photo or two of some of the landmarks I use in the Bisti.
These are the black buttes which mark where I exit the main wash and head toward the Bisti arch, Bisti gateway, the nursery, etc.
The Bisti arch.
This formation is called the Bisti gateway. It is between the Bisti arch and the nursery.
My goal was to spend the rest of the evening photographing the nursery. The sunset was cloud free and watching the light change on the nursery was an amazing experience. I have probably posted too many photos of this area, but it is an area I really love.
I had purchased a panoramic head for my tripod and was very excited to see how well it worked, so I took a number of panoramic images in the nursery. I am very pleased with the results. Here is an example of a nice panoramic of the nursery.
Another pano of the nursery.
And the final pano of the nursery…highlighting the bugs guarding the eggs.
Nursery as the light starts to get low.
The bugs guarding one end of the nursery.
Nursery as the light gets low.
More of the nursery.
The nursery with the moon (yeah, the white dot in the sky is the moon…)
Even more nursery as the sun goes down.
The rose and friends.
Final light…beautiful stuff.