Sabbatical Photo Diary Week 7

Bright pink sky behind purple mountains and dark treesAlison Gallensky is taking an 8-week sabbatical this summer, from June 15 to August 9. Back at work on Friday, August 10. While she is away she will be thinking about how to update the Southern Rockies Wildlands Conservation Vision based on the new science that has been developed in the last 15 years or so including wildlife connectivity and climate change. She will also be attending and presenting at two GIS conferences in California as part of a road trip exploring the western United States.

She is documenting her time away through a series of photos and observations for each business day. During her seventh week she visited Arches National Park, returned home, reflected on her trip, and shopped at the Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair.

Day 31 Monday July 30

Exploring the Moab area including Arches National Park. Heading home tomorrow.

Looking up through a red sandstone natural bridge (arch).
I hiked through Grandstaff Canyon BLM Wilderness Study Area to get to Morning Glory Natural Bridge
Sandstone arch in front of a sandstone tower.
Tower Arch in the remote northwest corner of Arches National Park.


Day 32 Tuesday July 31

Pro tips for traveling from Moab to Denver metro:

  1. Take Utah highway 128 along the Colorado River to see an amazing canyon.
  2. Stop at a fruit stand in or near Palisade – I got peaches, sweet corn, and cherry tomatoes today.
  3. Listen to the Wild I 70 audio tour on the way home – I especially liked hearing inspirational poetry while stuck in traffic!


Day 33 Wednesday August 1

Home again and reflecting on my travels. Today I thought about historic sites I visited. Some honor explorers and people who protect wild places. Others focused on those often left out of our history books such as women lighthouse keepers and black cowboys.

Back of statue with inscriptions.
Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo, a Portuguese explorer, was the first European to set foot on what is now the west coast of the United States.
Alison by historic marker "To Aldo Leopold 197 - 1948"
A monument to Aldo Leopold overlooking the Gila Wilderness, the first place designated as a Wilderness.
Bas relief marker with face of Stephen Tyng Mather and quote.
Stephen Tyng Mather was first an industrialist but later became the first director of the National Park Service.
Display of lighthouse china, photo, and logbooks.
Logbooks by Emily Fish the “socialite” lighthouse keeper of the Point Pinos Lighthouse on Monterey Bay from 1893 to 1914.
Grandstaff trailhead sign with photo, interpretive text, and map.
William Grandstaff, a cowboy who was half black and half Native American was one of Moab’s first settlers.

Day 34 Thursday August 2

Reflecting on my travels: I saw lots of beautiful sunsets. Many, but not all, were enhanced by wildfire smoke.

Palm trees silhouettes in front of sunset.
San Diego Sunset
Bright pink sky behind purple mountains and dark trees
Yosemite sunset looking west (towards the fire smoke).
Yosemite sunset looking east (away from the fire smoke).
Sunset with clouds lit from below.
Moab Sunset


Day 35 Friday August 3

I was working on my trip “by the numbers” story map but got distracted.

Expo Building with banner for "Rocky Mountain Book and Paper Fair"
Map with title "National Forests of the Rocky Mountain Region."
I found (and now own) a 1940 Forest Service map.


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