Leaving the Palouse I decided to take the scenic ID byway down 95 to the 55, through Riggings, McCall, New Meadow to Boise. The drive is slow but scenic following the Salmon River with rafters, fly fishermen, drift boats gracing the water. You travel down the White Bird Hill which is an incredible long grade that takes you out of Camas Prairie to the canyons below of the Salmon and near the Snake Rivers. At McCall you follow Payette Lake as you drive through town, again a higher elevations. I stayed in Boise and left fairly early to go to Salt Lake City and visit my friend Sue Martin. Having never taken the time to stop along I 84 to see some of the points of interest, I decided this time I would. I visited the Malad Canyon State Park and walked the trails to edge of the canyon through which the Snake River flows far below. At the vistors center there is a narrow walking bridge that you can walk across near the falls. I managed to get nearly half way across before my dislike of heights beckoned me back to solid ground!
Getting in to SLC and meeting Sue about 5, we headed up Little Cottonwood Canyon to see some color and scout out some painting sites for the next day. Afater a great dinner we headed back to SLC. The next morning rain and wind prevented a plein air painting expedition, but Sue graciously shared her studio space and we worked on some paintings. Later visited a couple of great galleries and attended the Utah Watercolor Society meeting and watched a demo by Christopher Schenk. There are some really great artists in the area showing quality work and it was a pleasure and treat to be able to see it.
I am anxious to get to Moab and get a view of the area I am going to be painting in for the next 10 days. It is so windy with the storms traveling through the area. Leaving this morning early, I decided to take a longer route to Moab and drove I15 to 50 to I 70 and then to 191… Lots of stops along I 70 to take photos of the majestic sandstone cliffs and canyons. Moab is in a beautiful valley adjacent to Arches National Park near the Colorado River. It is chilly and windy today so did not lend to painting out of doors. I am anticipating later in the week it warms up when the plein air event starts! I did take a short drive into Arches late in the afternoon to see some of its majesty. I hoped to see some Bighorn Sheep, but they must have been seeking shelter from the winds and sprinkles of rain. This area is just a painting waiting to happen…in any direction. Will scout some places for painting tomorrow and maybe get some done as well. I have faith the stormy weather passes through and leaves us in warm fall and sunny weather. So now it is about getting settled in my casita and plan some car trips to seek painting spots….