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Niwot Erie Girls Soccer

Niwot and Erie High Schools met in the First Round of the CHSAA 4A Girl’s Soccer playoffs yesterday.  Niwot capped a crazy comeback with a goal in the 2nd overtime to advance to the 2nd Round.  Erie led 3-2 with :25 left in regulation but failed to properly throw in the ball deep in Niwot’s end.  Niwot took advantage of the miscue going the length of the field to score the tying goal with 17 seconds left.  It was a fun game to photograph as the girls were playing hard as any number of players dove for balls or took hard hits.  A light rain also was falling throughout the game. Kudos to both teams for a hard fought, action-packed game.

Calf Creek Falls

I decided to hike to Calf Creek Falls in the Escalante National Monument near Escalante, Utah this past weekend. Cloudy weather had put a damper on my plans to do some hiking along the Hole-in-the-Rock Road, so I stopped at the trailhead for the falls.  Calf Creek  Falls is a beautiful reward after a somewhat easy 3-mile hike through a pretty, riparian canyon.  The trail follows Calf Creek as it meanders through a deep canyon.  Along the way, many species of trees and birds can be spotted.  A number of Claret Cup cacti were blooming with their scarlet flowers as well.  The only drawback to the hike is that is features walking though deep sand the land mile or so.  The falls is tucked away at the end of the canyon.  

The trailhead for Calf Creek Falls is located about 15 miles form Escalante or 13 miles south of Boulder Town along Highway 12.     

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Eaglecrest GW Boys Basketball Final

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Winter in Canyonlands National Park

My son and I recently spent a couple of days in Canyonlands National Park–one in the Island in the Sky District and one in the Needles section.  I like visiting Utah and Canyonlands in the winter because the skies are often clear and the crowds are thinned out and the Parks less busy.  On the first evening, we took in sunset at Green River overlook and then headed to Mesa Arch to shoot some star trails.  Since we were the only ones at Mesa Arch, it gave a completely different feeling than the normal sunrise time where 20 or more photographers jockey for position under the arch.  On the second day, we headed to the Needles.  Unlike Arches, the Needles is virtually deserted in the winter.  The rangers don’t collect fees and the visitor’s center is closed.  Not surprisingly, there were only a handful of cars in the park.  We hiked the trail to Druid Arch through the Needles area.  We got a late start and didn’t quite make it to the arch, but the hike along the trail provided some great photo ops.  Much of the Druid Arch trail winds along a wash and is lined with many dead junipers.  I took a bunch of photos in hopes of getting a few good ones to convert to black and white.  On the way back, we were treated to golden light on the rock formations.  I stopped at Pothole Point to catch the last rays of the sun on the canyon walls in the distance. The point provides just enough elevation to get above the junipers and give a clear view.     

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Fiery Furnace

I took my son to Arches over Christmas break.  We decided to hike in the Fiery Furnace area.  The Fiery Furnace is a fun place to hike.  There are no formal trails so ability to route find is a must.  As a result, the park requires a permit to hike there.  You can also do ranger-guided hikes the other three seasons.  Unfortunately, winter is not one of them.  

The Fiery Furnace is a series of rock fins that contains arches, towering rock spires, and endless side canyons.  Because of the narrow canyons, mid day is best for photography so light gets into the canyons. The washes also contain a number of interesting trees to photograph.   

Hike Description

There are two basic routes in to the Fiery Furnace.  A well-worn path leads either uphill or downhill of the main parking lot.  We chose to go right.  The route descends into a main wash.  The first interesting feature is a slot canyon off to the right that contains a small arch you can hike under.  I had my son pose in the arch for a fun photo.  Back in the main wash, we hiked up a narrow slit in the canyon wall to the right as the wash made a sharp turn.  You hike up into another wash at this point and a couple of side canyons later on the left you will find one of the coolest spots in the park.  It is a small slot canyon that contains a double arch that looks like a pair of eyeglasses.  We ended our exploration with a side canyon to the right of the main wash. It contained a small arch that looked like water would flow through in the rain.  We retraced our steps back to the parking after a fun and challenging hike.  We got maybe a mile in three hours of hiking!

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