Fallen Roof Ruin, in the Cedar Mesa Area, Utah


Well, the tach/speedometer were fixed – just a loose connection – but all the bumping on dirt roads seems to have loosened the bulb in their displays – so I have to use my flashlight to check my speed when driving at night!

Headed down to Cedar Mesa to find/photograph Fallen Roof Ruins. I had forgotten my Photographing the Southwest Guide by Laurent Martres, so I ran into the visitor’s center at Arches and scribble down cryptic notes on how to get there – but getting to the trail head wasn’t the hard part – it’s the trail that descends into a wash – and from there becomes bushwhacking and potentially bouldering – recent flash floods left the willows flattened on both sides and in the mud I saw cougar prints – raising the hair on my neck just a little as they were as fresh as the human footprints beside them! I would have photographed them but the light was flat enough they didn’t stand out well in a picture. I ended up having to hurry to get there – the sky was clouding up and even though the forecast had no rain mentioned in it at all for the area, sky said differently. Not the place to be when it does decide to rain, so I only made a few pictures and then hustled out of there. But while I stood there, I marveled at the people that had climbed up here to build this structure, and used it – which meant they climbed up the steep sandstone walls regularly! I did three quick compositions but then packed it in. No rain, after all that, but I’m not going to take my chances when going it alone in there. I can’t wait to get back to do more with it and the other ruins in the same canyon.

Though I made this in color, I decided that it had rich enough contrast in the tones to be a good black and white image. I ran it through Nik’s Silver Efex Pro. I’m enclosing the color version here for reference. I think both work in this case!


Fallen Roof Ruin, in Cedar Mesa Area, Color Version


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