Marlboro Point Sunrise

Not too long ago I had a quick trip planned to go shoot a ruin on Cedar Mesa in Southeast Utah that I had been trying to find for quite some time and finally had figured out where it was. Unfortunately the stars were not in alignment because as I drove through the darkness, passing through Bluff, the radio reports were pretty explicit in the fact that a large storm was inbound for the area. The storm itself didn’t scare me but I was thinking of the many miles of dirt roads that I had to drive to get to the canyon that I wanted to explore and the thought of all that mud made me think twice about embarking out on them that night so I decided to sleep the night at the Kane Gulch Ranger Station and reassess the situation in the morning. I would say it was probably a good call as I awoke in the middle of the night to pounding rain and hail coupled with a magnificent show of lightning.

The morning dawned with a downpour and more hail so I decided I needed to reevaluate the situation and headed for Moab where I knew I could take advantage of the dramatic weather and maybe pull off a good shot from one of the vantage points on the Island In The Sky. I hadn’t thought about the fact that the parks were all closed due to the government shutdown until I arrived on top of the Island In The Sky and saw the police tape and “Closed” signs at all the Federal Sites, including Canyonlands National Park.

At this point I was kind of bummed but I remembered someone telling me about a locally known viewpoint known as Marlboro Point so I did a little map recon and figured out where I was headed in the morning.

It was a bit of an adventure walking across the desert in the pitch black trying to find this spot of rock on the rim of the canyon mesa but I did manage to make it just as the sun was starting to rise.

Desert Sunrise

My reward for the effort was a beautiful sunrise overlooking the desolate canyons and desert below, what a way to spend the morning. On my hike out I saw none other than Brett Edge, a local Moab Photographer, headed out to the point with a client. Of course Brett was driving down a four-wheel drive road that is not on the map, that happens to head right to Marlboro Point. Next time I think I’ll drive the road, but this time the effort was worth it.



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