So Long Utah!

February 16, 2014  •  9 Comments

Whelp, Utah it has been a great year. I visited over 15 National Parks in the surrounding area, camped out for over 120 days, and got to explore one of the coolest places in the United States, the Colorado Plateau. I completed my contract with AmeriCorps VISTA on 2/1/14 and now I have non-competitive eligibility for federal jobs. It's time to get down to business. I will be trying to find a permanent job with the National Park Service, ideally working in media. Congress finally passed a budget so now its just playing the waiting game while the money shakes down. But before I get too far ahead of myself, let me recap the last couple weeks that I was living in Arches National Park.

I moved up to Moab after my contract with VISTA to produce a video for the Colorado Plateau Dark Sky Cooperative. It is a public private partnership that focuses on all things about the dark night sky. The coordinator is a position that is under the Intermountain region of the National Park Service and located in Moab. The video is done but they are waiting to upload it until they complete their website. Ill be sure to send a link when they do. When I wasn't working on the video I was playing in a winter wonderland park. We got one last storm that covered the landscape for about 3 days before it all melted off. 


Fiery Furnace Overlook 

Fresh Snow in Devils GardenFresh Snow in Devils Garden

Devils Garden Near Pine Tree Arch

Snowy Double O ArchSnowy Double O Arch

A Snowy Double-O Arch


After the storm passed the weather heated up into the 50's and was awesome for the last week. I hiked in the Park Avenue Area for the first time, explored the slickrock near different areas of the road, and made it out to Eagle Park for the last hike before I left.

Right Places at the Right TimeRight Places at the Right Time

Sometimes you just happen to be in the right place at the right time.

Utah JuniperUtah Juniper

A twisted Juniper in Park Avenue.

Arches Hiker Super PanoramaArches Hiker Super Panorama

Enjoying the Sunset near Balanced Rock.

Polychromatic SunsetPolychromatic Sunset

Why they call it the Fiery Furnace.

Hiker in the Knockdown ZoomHiker in the Knockdown Zoom

Last Hike out in Eagle Park.


It was a great way to end my year in UT. Now the plan is to have some fun and travel around while waiting for jobs. First it's off to WY and MT for a few days to see family that I haven't seen in a while. Then head over to Yellowstone to visit with some UT friends that have recently moved. We are going to be staying in Mammoth and then heading down to the snow lodge for a couple days to do some XC skiing and sight seeing. After Yellowstone we will be heading down to the Tetons to do the same thing, getting out in the park and skiing. Then the tentative plan is to break up the drive back to Denver by stopping in Dinosaur National Monument for a couple days and hiking. So I will probably be off the grid for a little bit while we are traveling, but when I do get back, I hope to have some great photos and cool stories from one of my favorite places in the US. I hope all is well with everyone and please send good vibes my way. The way I see it, the sooner I get a job in a cool place, the sooner you all can come visit!





Dr. T(non-registered)
Beautiful work and so inspiring to know someone that pursues his passion. Will be looking for the next blog post and pictures. Cheers and all the best to you.
Thanks for the awesome photos! I love Arches in the winter - cooler weather for hiking and fewer tourists!
Charlotte Henson(non-registered)
Jake, Your photographs are incredible!!!!

I know you always have a full calendar but I'm home in Helena for at least the next month and would love it if you stopped by. We could cross-country or downhill ski or just tour Helena.

Gary Paul(non-registered)
Jake, I don't know anyone personally who leads a more satisfying life than you do. It almost sounds made up, but then, there are the astonishing and breathtaking photos. If I wasn't so happy for you, the envy would have eaten a hole in my soul. Glad you're blogging too. There's a book in here somewhere, or at least some of the chapters in it. While you're "free", try to jot down stuff from your earlier trips if you haven't already.

Retired two weeks ago. Now working Intern/Volunteer Services under contract, mostly working from home. Hoping it will even out to about 15 hours per week, except when new interns start. Also elected Friends of Nature Parks President on Saturday. Twins now 8, keeping me busy. Hoping for time to photograph now.

On You Tube, check out Jeni and Billy. Also Carolina Chocolate Drops. Also the Al-Andalus Project (Germans, Spaniards and a Moroccan singer). Cool stuff.

Fly high, buddy, fly high!
Joe Goodlife(non-registered)
Sending awesome vibes down your way! Great photos and story. It allows me to have a better insight as to what parts of the US I've been missing on. You will undoubtedly be a great candidate for the National Park Service openings and I can't wait for future stories.
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