Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah, USA by Craig Bill

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This actually was the first time I visited Cedar Breaks National Monument and the new winter atmosphere started to unfold. Millions of patient years of sedimentation, uplift, and erosion are carving out this enormous sloping amphitheater, that spans some three miles, and is more than 2000 feet deep and over 10,000 feet above sea level overall. This monument was named for the Juniper trees that were misidentified as “cedars”, and named “breaks” by the early pioneers as it was common to call areas like this. But the name has stuck ever since its establishment in 1933. The native Paiutes called the natural amphitheater of Cedar Breaks National Monument in Utah un-cap-I-cun-ump, or "circle of painted cliffs”. When snow does visit this monument, It is just crazy beautiful to see the pure white powder contrasting the painted orange spires, fins, and column formations. The vista points are already grand enough on their own on a clear day before adding any changing weather to the experience.

Where I was set up, snow clouds were swirling overhead and breaking apart intermittently to allow the sun to peek through - inflaming random cliffs off and on. Meanwhile, in the distant valley, the snow was heavily falling. What a view! You could see right into the snowstorm while standing in the sun on the rim. The range of atmospheric weather and light felt like a poem - a visual high definition poem. Sometimes you just step into a connection with nature that is totally unexpected. And that is what this felt like. So quiet and grand. Epic.

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