Sunday, November 27, 2016

Inspiring Travels

Horseshoe Bend
A couple of weeks ago, I spent a week in the American South West. Canada has some amazing National Parks and natural areas but we don't have much of a desert. I guess because it's so different from Ontario, both my husband and I are very attracted to the region
Among the rocks at Joshua Tree NP

It was a great trip. It's a good thing that there was no mileage fee for the rental car! Out of 6 days, we spent 4 very full days travelling and seeing the sights. We went to four National Parks and one National Preserve in four states (California, Nevada, Arizona and Utah).

Here are some images that I hope will inspire some landscape art quilt for the next few years!

Day 1: Mojave National Preserve and Joshua Tree National Park
Our first day in the desert - the landscape is amazing. I suspected that I might get tired of rocks, shrubs, sand, and mountains in the distance (repeat!). Although the novelty wore off after 6 days, the landscapes are so sparse and different from home that they were still fascinating.

View from the Dunes at Mojave National Preserve
View from the Dunes at Mojave National Preserve

Mojave National Preserve
Mojave National Preserve
It's a land of subtle contrast and beauty. I want to capture the mountains with their coloured striations in fabric. Each place we went, the mountains, rocks and vegetation were all slightly different.
Shrubs, rocks and sand

Joshua Tree
Joshua Tree National Park
Day 2: Zion National Park
The more fertile lands of Zion National Park was incredible because many of the desert features were present next to the water. I finally got to hike the Narrows. We hadn't been able to do it the last time we were there, so this was a must do! The water was so cold that I didn't last long. Next time I'll be more prepared.

Zion National Park
Day 3: Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Grand Canyon National Park
Antelope Canyon is located on Navajo Nation land. We didn't have enough time to spend here but it's really incredible. We didn't get many good pictures because it was too early in the day. Oh well, I guess we'll just have to go back :-)

Antelope Canyon
 We hadn't seen Horseshoe Bend the last time we were in the area. What an amazing view.
Horseshoe Bend

Grand Canyon National Park
Day 4: Death Valley National Park
This was our first trip to Death Valley, the lowest spot in North America at 282 feet below sea level. I just love the contrast between the salt that hasn't been walked on and the area that has. It looked like it could have been the Rideau Canal in winter - it was white and even had the odd pothole! I tried sliding but it definitely wasn't ice! The heat sort of gave it away :-)
Death Valley National Park
I guess I come by it honestly since I was raised in the mine country of Northern Ontario - but I am just blown away by the variety of these rocks. Stunning!
Zabriskie Point in Death Valley National Park
We were lucky on our last road trip to see a lovely sunset. Since there is very little rain, I imagine there are probably few clouds. These were the only ones we say on our trips.
Sunset in the desert
What I learned:
  • It takes clouds to make a beautiful sunset. I guess we have so many here that I never noticed this.
  • I really want to spend some quality time in the American South West when I retire. Wouldn't it be great to be able to see the landscape and then make the quilt right there?
  • Although it gets dark here very early, we couldn't get used to such an early sunset in the South West. I think it's because it's hot, so it feels like summer - where sunsets are supposed to be late!
  • I'm taking a break from making landscape art quilts but when I'm ready, I'm looking forward to being inspired by one of these!
This post is linked to a few Linky Parties. Please check out what everyone is doing: MOP Monday, Monday Making, Main Crush Monday, Linky Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers,


  1. Wow, what a wonderful trip! Thanks for sharing inspiring pictures with all of us!

  2. Thanks Alida. Amazing how my priorities while travelling have changed since I make landscape art quilts. I love the scenery but the pictures I take are now mostly devoid of people and purely landscape!

  3. Thank you for sharing your gorgeous pictures! We made it to Moab Utah to see Arches and Canyonland National Parks and then to Yellowstone and the Big Horn Mts. this past summer. Zion is on the list for another trip.

    1. Hi Vicki, those are all on my list for a next trip. Don't forget Bryce Canyon. We didn't have time to go back, but it's on the top of my list for next time:-)

  4. What an amazing trip. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Beautiful photos from your trip! I love travelling in the areas you visited. You're so right about the vastness of the area, and driving, driving, driving. I hope you get to return as often as you like. May I suggest Bryce Canyon, Monument Valley, and Mesa Verde for a future visit.

  6. What a wonderful trip! Someday I hope to make to Zion, as it looks gorgeous. Thanks for sharing on Midweek Makers

  7. Sounds like you had the most wonderful time. I don't think I will ever get to see it myself and it is lovely seeing your pics and hearing your descriptions, more real than travel brochures.

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