Friday, December 30, 2011

Zion National Park: Prickly Pear Cacti and the Watchman

The Watchman has captivated my imagination since I first saw photos of it a few years ago. I have since seen a half million shots of the Watchman, all from the same bridge, using the Virgin River in the foreground. That composition is beautiful and I made several images from that bridge, but in the end I wanted to make my own composition. I am sure that this is not a unique composition, but I have not seen it anywhere else. So, I consider it original. There are probably at least 10,000 shots very similar to this one. With millions of visitors every year, it is incredibly difficult to make new images of the national park icons, but we can try.

I only wished that I had visited these prickly pear cacti a week earlier when they were still in bloom. Later that night, I ate at the restaurant at the park's hotel and had a pork chop with prickly pear sauce. The prickly pear sauce was delightfully sweet. Its funny how something so harsh looking as the cactus, can taste so good...

I must say that I was very pleasantly surprised with the best national park meal that I have ever had. National Park restaurants are often sub par. They are usually the only game in town. This lack of competition allows them to serve poor meals at high costs. The restaurant at Zion was excellent. This may in part be due to the proximity of many restaurants just a short drive from the park. Competition is a good thing and essential to capitalism. These were some of my thoughts on the 4th of July.

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