Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Travelings and Ramblings

Since my camera had been in the shop for repairs almost 2 months, I have not composed any new pictures. Not that I've felt like it. It's been a bitter cold winter until recently and the prospect of going outside hasn't been appetizing. In the absence of the outlet photos have provided me, there was a void. So I went back to some older files with new eyes and picked some rejected images out of the trash pile and tried to resurrect them. In the process I relived my experiences of being in  such magnificent places. Here are some of them:

*Click on images to enlarge

Freya Castle & Rainbow

(1 - 4) I think it was late August, on a day I hadn't planned on leaving the house. I read online that an intense monsoon storm was to hit the canyon, and gathered my camera gear hoping to get something good. I drove out to Cape Royal, a place I hadn't really photographed yet in stormy weather. I hoped to do something completely different from the other canyon images I had. The ideal storm in my mind is one in which there is broken clouds, which allows some sun in to light up some parts of the canyon, while leaving others in the storm's grasp. The sunlight works magic in the canyon when it is slightly obscured and focused onto individual formations. It has the effect of a spotlight on a stage. The Grand Canyon may be the grandest stage on earth. Walking out to Cape Royal from the parking area with a lightening storm bearing down was a little unnerving, Especially when holding a metal tripod and being on exposed edges. Seeing a girl's hair stand on end as if she had finger in an electrical socket didn't help much. However, the storm seemed a few miles off yet and I was determined to get my shots. Luckily, I was rewarded with an awesome show and hoped to portray what I saw unfold with as much accuracy as I could. These may be my favorite images I had done of the canyon. 


Fog & the View Below Cape Royal


Silhouetted Shapes - Cape Royal


(5 - 6) In early August I hiked the Tanner Trail down to the river. The Tanner Trail leaves from Lipan Point, near Desert View on the South Rim and winds down to the Colorado 7 miles and 5,000 steep feet below. It was a hot and sweaty journey, but with terrific rewards. Some of the best and lonesome scenery in the eastern end of the canyon to be had. The problem I had was that when I returned home, achy and sore, and uploaded my pictures from that trip I was disappointed. Only a few I really liked. Most from the night before I started the hike. I stayed at the Desert View campground and went out to the overlook to get these pictures. There was a lot of smoke in the air due to wildfires on the North Rim, hence the haze: 


Desert View at Sunset


The Colorado River Below Desert View Lookout

(7) In mid-September, I hiked out to the remote Tiyo Point. The Tiyo Point Trail is another seldom hiked trail on the North Rim. It is a flat trail, 7 miles through the dense ponderosa  jungle west of the North Rim Lodge area. It is found about 1/3 of the way to Point Sublime and is not marked. We found it by using a Forest Service map. The trail is overgrown in many areas, but easy to follow and easy to hike as there is virtually no elevation change form beginning to end and plenty of shade. Hiking seemingly endlessly though the forest, one starts to see a wide open space in the distance through the trees. I pretended to be an early explorer, seeing the canyon the first time. The way Hamblin probably saw it. Soon enough one sees some familiar colors and shapes that make up the canyon, and suddenly there it is. The abyss sprawled out. This far away from civilization and lonesome, we had the canyon to ourselves and set up our camping equipment. Not until dark did we realize we were not alone on the planet when we saw the shimmering lights of the lodges on the south rim appeared across the divide. Here was the scene around sunset:

The View From Tiyo Point

(8 - 10) In October, I had to leave my home on the North Rim unfortunately and head back to Pennsylvania for the winter. I was determined to see some places I had never been to before and picked Natural Bridges National Monument off the map and headed there. I had never even heard of it before. It's located just south of Canyonlands National Park in southeast Utah. I was pleasantly surprised. I picked a good time of year to go, as the trees in White Canyon where changing color, and there were very few others there. I had these narrow canyons to myself. A storm recently passed through and left some pools and provided reflections. This will be a place I revisit in the future.


A Dry Waterfall in White Canyon


Kachina Bridge Through a Pond


White Canyon in Early Autumn

(11) This is Bryce Canyon in mid-August. Beth and I spent a day here on our way from Great Basin to Zion. Got to hike down in a little, and returned to the rim in time for sunset:


Bryce Canyon