I just recently returned from 16 days on a Dory trip down the entire length of the Grand Canyon. The trip was remarkable with changing scenes and moods around every bend in the circuitous meandering of the river. I’ve chosen the photo above as an example of one of those fleeting scenes. The sun just peeking over the canyon, the clouds providing some change overhead, and the quickly advancing rays of the sun greeting the canyon and a dry wash littered with rocks – all of these added to this quick flash in time – never to be seen again in this exact form. I was glad I was able to capture it and keep that morning alive in my (and hopefully your) mind.
I thought I’d continue the description of our time in the Grand Canyon with a few scenes from near our campsite. The first shot was actually taken just after breakfast from our camp – the rising sun lit the western wall of “our” pocket canyon turning the upper rocks a vivid reddish orange. We had been watching as the moon slowly sunk toward the top of the canyon and marveled as it approached this notch in the rocks….it was almost as if someone had planned it….
After breakfast, we hiked to Mooney Falls – the largest in the area at about 200′. We descended down an almost vertical path which became a cave within the rocks. We navigated through a variety of steps, footholds, and even chains to provide something to grab on to. Finally, at the bottom, we came back out into the open air onto a “ladder” of wooden steps. It was kind of challenging but all in our group managed to get down without incident (and climbed out again later….). At the bottom we were treated to this sight – I took this at a slow shutter speed to smooth out the falls but also managed to get a few “ghosts” as people moved around. I also wanted to point out the incredible rock formations carved in the side of the cliff – it was amazing how much it looked like a sculpture.
We spent the rest of the morning and early afternoon exploring some beautiful slot canyons and enjoyed playing in the turquoise waters of the pools and falls formed along the stream. Here’s a photo of our friend Ellen trying to catch me catching her…..
Another magical day!
I mentioned that we were visiting the Grand Canyon over the past couple of weeks. I went with my wife and two of our good friends Ellen and Sarah – yup….me and 3 women. The first part of our trip was actually just outside of the National Park boundaries on the Havasupai Indian reservation. Our main criteria for the Canyon hike (set by Ellen) was that we find a way to do it with someone else carrying the majority of our “stuff”. I don’t normally put commercial plugs in this blog but Wildland Trekking Company and our two guides, Rob and Jake, did a wonderful job of taking care of our every need. We met them and the other 7 “trekkers” in our party in Flagstaff the night before we started to get all the arrangements straight. It was a great group of people including several Canadians and even an Aussie – all of them were very interesting, good natured, and wonderful companions for our adventure. The next morning we drove to the entry point and started our hike into the canyon.
Almost immediately after leaving the top, we ran into a mule train coming up the trail. These animals carry all the supplies into and out of the Canyon for campers like us and also carry the mail to the Indian Reservation in Supai. It is one of only two places in the US (the other being Phantom Ranch – also in the Canyon) that still get the mail via mule! It was absolutely fascinating during the entire trek to look at and examine the various layers of the Canyon as we descended and came back out. Here’s a good example, near the top, of some of the sedimentary layers and how they have “morphed” over thousands of years.
Of course the main subject of interest is the astounding scale and beauty of the Canyon. Even in harsh mid-day light, you couldn’t keep your eyes off the details of every new turn as we descended. This photo shows the red rock that we would hike for 6 or so miles – winding in an out of the twists and turns of the canyon.
As we approached the bottom of the Canyon, we passed through the Indian village of Supai and as the afternoon shadows started to take hold, the views got even more spectacular.
As we neared our destination we started to pass alongside several of the waterfalls in the lower canyon. After 8 miles of arid landscape, the stream and especially the falls were most refreshing – both to look at and even more importantly, cool our overheated feet in.
All of the falls were made up of several “steps” and were stunning with a light aquamarine color due to the limestone sediment carried by the rushing water as the canyon carving continues. As we finally approached our campsite, we got our first glimpse of the Havasu falls which served as our shower and cool down facility. A wonderful scene to end our first wonderful day in the Canyon.
Stay tuned for more of our Canyon experiences…….
Not sure if this fits the challenge intent but here is one that certainly says twist to me. We’ve been in and around the Grand Canyon for the last few days. As any deranged (“twisted”) photographer would do, I got up at 4:30 am on two days to try and catch some good sunrise photos. As it happens there were a few low clouds and smoke from the Flagstaff/Sedona fires obscuring the first rays of sunlight so I tried some other types of photos. One of the things that caught my eye was a juniper tree out on a point looking back into the sunrise, I also was able to line up another juniper in the foreground to get some additional twisty branches. These two trees against the backlit and diffused sunrise provided this unusual “twist” on a Grand Canyon photograph. http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_photo_challenge/twist/