October 13, 2022
I’ve been consistently working 4 day workweeks for a while and I think this is the right amount of days to work. It leaves you with one day to tackle chores and errands, one day to spend with family or friends, and one day just for you to spend time on a hobby or project, or just relax and do nothing at all. Sometimes though, even three days off does not always feel like enough. The weather is perfect here and on days off when I go out exploring, I wish I could do so every day.
On my days off this week I managed to finally finish and deliver my brother’s wedding photos to him and his bride. I am still watching the leaves change around me and planning to take more stunning shots of the foliage, but that was not my focus this week. This week I wanted to get the drone shot of me in white at the foot of the rainbow chinle hills on Burr Trail Road before it gets too cold to be outdoors in a wispy dress. The four of us took the drive to Boulder, UT which we haven’t done in several weeks now. Luke and I were awestruck again by the scenery we passed along this route. That feeling doesn’t seem to go away for us. We haven’t gotten used to the grandiose landscapes of pink and white cliffs and canyons filled with green (and sometimes yellow) trees yet and maybe we never will. I’m glad for this. Some things are so wonderful that we should never take them for granted or forget how amazing they are. Do you remember how amazing this stretch of road is? Here is a reminder.
In Boulder we hopped on the Burr Trail road which is also incredibly scenic. We stopped along the way to take the dogs for a run.
Then we moved onto the rainbow area. I am just so amazed by the colors here and think that these Badlands are so beautiful. Along this drive I commented to Luke that Boulder may be the prettiest town in America. Of course I know that this is subjective. What do you think is the prettiest town in America? I didn’t capture a great photo of the spot as I was the model, but Luke shared one that I’ll put here.
It took a few tries to figure out where I should stand and what the drone flight pattern would look like, but we got the shot at the right time of day while the sun was setting over these cliffy bits. After reviewing it though we decided we can get a better shot so we will be doing this one again before I share it anywhere.
This past Monday was Indigenous People’s Day. Our whole lives we are learning in our quest for deeper understandings of things around us, meaning in our lives, and for answers on how to lead the happiest life we can. If you are looking to read something about Native American people this month, I just finished Reading There There by Tommy Orange. I would not say that this book changed my life, but it was a good read. It is about a group of Native American people living in Oakland, CA and a tragedy they are involved in at a Pow wow there. It is mostly about the characters and plot line, though I did enjoy the bits of Native American culture and history I learned from it. The essay in the prologue is what really got me though. It’s a startling history of genocide and dehumanization that Native American people suffered due to colonialism. It was grisly and evokes horrified feelings from anyone who reads it. I think understanding this type of history will help us to be better humans and understand what we may be accountable for and why.
The next day my friend and neighbor Roselyn invited me to hike Willis Creek slot canyon with her. I felt a bit tired, but one should never turn down an invitation for a fun hike. Roselyn is a great hiking partner as I have mentioned before and she leaves in a few weeks so we are getting in hikes together while we can.
Willis Creek slot canyon is a fun and easy slot canyon hike near Kodachrome Basin state park. It is only 3 miles out and back and there were no super narrow spaces where we needed to scale the walls and move through mud or deep water. It is located off Skutumpah Road or BLM 500 and the closest town is Cannonville. Skutumpah Road is a decently maintained dirt road and the trailhead as well as the slot start just a few hundred feet from the parking area. This was a nice change from the more challenging hike we had to do on steep slickrock to get to the Peek-a-boo and Spooky slot canyons. When you first enter the slot (at least this time of year) there is a little waterfall where the creek falls down into the canyon. The water felt cool and refreshing and looked very clear. I’m sure this looks very different after a good rain though. At the start of the canyon there is a shallow creek running along the bottom.
The slot was nice and shady as the canyon walls became high shortly into the hike. This is not the most colorful slot canyon we have been in, but the walls were very wavy and textured making them interesting to look at along the way.
We saw a group on horses ride through while we were there and decided this would be fun to do sometime. I also found this swell jawbone. We hid in nooks and holes, admired the textures, shapes, and stripes of the canyon, and had fun taking pictures even though I only brought my phone. This last picture is me being a tiger as the stripes on this wall reminded me of tiger stripes.
Today Luke and I went to the local dentist for a cleaning and it was a really pleasant experience. Right now we are driving out to Willis Creek Slot canyon again as I have my camera and Luke has his drone and 360 cam. We have just enough time before dark to get in there to get some cool images and video.
Some friends we made online through our YouTube channel said they would love a MacNeils on Wheels sticker a few weeks ago so I sent them one. Today, the mail was picked up from the post office and they sent us a whole beautiful gift box! I couldn’t believe it! We have new handmade soap, lip balm, a bath bomb, and a soy candle to try out now as well as a couple of T-shirts. I also never stop being amazed at the kindness and generosity of so many of the people I meet these days. If you’re looking for great handmade consumable gifts, check out their shop!
I have not edited all my shots from the slot today, but here’s one of the lone tree I spotted on top of the canyon wall. I’ll throw a photo of the little waterfall at the beginning of the slot on the cover. Be well this week, be kind to others and the planet, and learn a little something about what really happened at the first Thanksgiving and try not to think about if your mashed potatoes are poisoned at holiday dinners so someone can take your house. Oh yeah, and don’t bother checking your Halloween candy for rainbow fentanyl. Everyone agrees that this is the stupidest thing we’ve heard in quite some time.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents her journey through her photography and blog to share with others.