On my first stop here a year before, the wind was blowing so hard that I couldn't even get out of the car because of the sheer force and the blowing blasts of sand that would have ruined my camera if I had decided to try. Those same winds turned out to be the ones that nearly caused all of San Diego to go up in flames, as we discovered while driving home a few days later. So, last year while foliage hunting, I was determined to get back to this spot even though this time rain was the problem, but the weather broke overnight and I was able to catch some soft post-dawn light filtered by the remaining storm clouds. On the drive out here before dawn, I experienced the awesome sight of leftover clouds from the storm literally pouring out of the vermillion cliffs to the north, along the ground and across the road, backlit by the rising sun. Something I was unable to stop and capture photographically then or to describe adequately in words now, but believe me a sight to see, so this will have to do for today.
The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders. -- Edward Abbey