The North Cascades with Color*

October 21

While hiking in the lower Paria River canyon I make the classic tourist mistake. I was boosting myself up a sand bank after crossing the river and put my hand down on a small cactus. In my own defense all the flooding in September covered many surfaces with a layer of grey mud that made it more difficult to see such things. I got most of the needles out with my trusty Swiss Army knife tweezers.

At one point I came around a corner to behold a set of tall towers with giant sand dunes in front of them. I sat down to paint and literally watched the colors change before my eyes. When I began the cliffs and towers were a deep vermilion; within 20 minutes they became a red-brown. Sun angle? Eye fatigue? I don’t know. In any case, I was so struck by these familiar shapes – change the Navaho sandstone to granite and the sand dunes to snow, and they could be the Alps or my own North Cascades.

Suze Woolf watercolor painting, "Lower Paria Towers"

Lower Paria Towers, watercolor on paper, 11″ x 15″

*It is a long-standing joke that Zion National Park is “like Yosemite but with color.”

 

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2 comments on “The North Cascades with Color*

  1. Photokit says:

    Do you have the painting from the Paria hike posted?

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