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Road Trip, 2013

This summer, after I finished my PhD, we hit the road for a while. These photos are from that road trip.

The "original" photos linked to in this set are reduced size, in fact, so contact me if you want a true original.
Snowbird, Utah
We drove pretty fast from New York out to Utah; I took hardly any pictures, although we did stop for pizza in Chicago. In Snowbird, Utah, I attended a scientific conference, Evolution 2013, which was fun. Mostly I was doing conference stuff, but one afternoon I went on a hike with a couple of botanist friends from Zurich, and we had a lovely time photographing flowers. Unfortunately it was rather overcast, so the photos aren't ideal, but what can you do.
Dinosaur National Monument
The next stop on the road trip was Dinosaur National Monument, just a bit to the east. I had never been there before, somehow, although I've been to places all around it. It was a lovely place; I'll be going back for more.
After Dinosaur we headed a little further east, to an old family hang-out spot on the border between Colorado and Wyoming, for a couple of weeks of downtime.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Conveniently near was Rocky Mountain National Park; after dropping a friend at the airport in Denver, we spent a day hiking around there, seeing the alpine lakes.
I-70: Colorado National Monument
Then we started driving west again, towards California. We took Interstate 70 west, which is a simply astounding road. First stop: Colorado National Monument, where we camped for a night. It's like a small Grand Canyon, and a lot less crowded. The green bug on the mormon tea plant was one of thousands; they were simply everywhere that day, for no apparent reason. The last four photos in this section are from a little further west on I-70, where it passes through some wonderful rock formations.
Lehman Caves
For the next night, we got to Great Basin National Park, an island preserve in the midst of the basin-and-range topography of that part of the West. First stop was Lehman Cave, a limestone cave partway up the mountain. I'm extremely pleased by the performance of my camera (an Olympus PEN E-PL2) in the cave; these photos were taken handheld with only the lighting built into the cave by the National Park Service. I've attempted cave photography handheld several times before, and never got anything but a blurry mess.
Great Basin National Park
These photos are from Great Basin National Park, outside the cave. The first shows the basin-and-range topography of the area; down one mountain, flat flat flat, up the next mountain. It results from a stretching of the Earth's crust in that region. A few photos later, you see the bristlecone pines that live at the top of the mountain, some more than 4000 years old. We had been planning to camp there that night, but the campground was full, and it was starting to rain anyway, so we decided to cut and run. Notice the double rainbow in the third-to-last photo; it's very faint, but it's there!
Yosemite National Park
And then we got to California, and spent a day hiking around in Yosemite, mostly in Tuolumne Meadows, a part of the park that is fabulously beautiful but gets less traffic than the valley floor. We camped that night in Wawona, so the last couple of photos are from driving west through the park and then hiking in the Wawona area the next morning.
This trip to Yosemite, I was struck by all of the beautiful patterns in the water, and I took a bunch of abstract photos of water. I'll leave you with nine of those. After Yosemite, we stayed in California for a few weeks, and then drove fast back to New York in order to make an appointment at the French Consulate in New York City for visas. I didn't take any more photos during that time, so that's all, folks!

These images copyright © 2013 Ben Haller. All rights reserved.