My date with the canyons
A few months after I came to the the US , my husband took me to the beautiful Grand canyon. I’ll be honest here it was too hot during the month of June / July whenever it was for me to enjoy anything at all. I hated being there.. I hated being outside at all.
I was a mountain lover (still am) and loved the lush and the greens of Seattle and Portland. My heart and soul was mesmerized by the colors of the tulips, the mesmerizing beauty of the wild flowers and the most beautiful Mount Rainier.
I had absolutely no interest in the beauty these orange or Red rocks offered.
The beauty of experience and age is that you start looking at things with a different perspective. My amazing camera and the knowledge to use it helps I have to confess:).
2014 was a year of canyons for me. Not only I was able to witness and respect the beautiful creations of nature but also to fulfill my bucket list.
Last year I was blessed to witness, photograph and understand the history behind Bryce National Park, Zion National Park, Antelope National Park and Grand National Park – the most amazing majestic Canyons..
We love family vacations, to hike and to teach kids to enjoy nature. Being out of the network helps you take your mind of the cellphone , the ongoing social and political issues.
Before we left for Bryce i told my friends that it was my wish to see the lovely Reds of Bryce canyon against the white snow. The temperatures forecasted were in 60ies and i remember checking that right when I was packing( a night before the trip). I knew I wasn’t going to see what i wished for but a woman and pray and hope :).
We stopped at Vegas, rented our car and along with two little ones started our on our trip.
Not too long into the drive I was out of network and it forced me to enjoy the sights outside without worrying about what my work emails were about.(Hail Sprint 😉 )
No long drive comes without kids asking you 200 times.. “Are we there yet?” :)).
It was late evening by the time we made it to Bryce.. Well almost made it. As we entered the area, the visibility went down. Car had to be slowed down as it was extremely cold and we saw dusty air… well took us a minute to realize it was snowing.
One can image how excited someone would feel about a wish coming true. I was dreaming about the reds and the whites already when i was gently reminded that the snow might not stick until morning if the temperatures went up.
Again.. hopeful, excited and praying hard I would not let that dampen my enthusiasm. We reached the hotel finally after extremely caution driving in our Sedan. We had no idea about the snow else we would have been wiser to rent an SUV.
The next morning made me the happiest person alive. The snow had not melted and i knew someone up there loved me so much. It was a wish come true. The hike to the Inspiration point was so worth it . Bryce NPS remains as my most favorite and the best places to visit among the canyons.
Here are some beautiful images I was able to capture on my trip. White on Red.
Next stop was Zion National Park. Not too far from the amazing Bryce but a drastic change in the rock formations. The trails are more accessible . The water from the mesmerizing “Narrows” was ice cold. We tried our best to cross… but it was freeezzziinng…
We were in the water jeans rolled up with a child in one side and my big camera bag in another. Which photographer would go to a National Park without a suitcase load of lens, filters and all the fun gadgets.
The sights Zion had to offer were beyond reality. I wish we had more days to hike and explore this fine park..but all good things come to an end.
My memories from Zion…
This one as clicked right outside the Visitor Center at Zion . Sun was at the peak but clouds gave me soft light and this image remains as one of my favorite.
The trip was over but my heart was still not content. So of course when the time came to meet our cousins during the Christmas holidays..off we went again to see the Grand “Grand Canyon” and my other wishlist..The HorseShoe Bend.
I knew how much i missed on my first trip to the Grand Canyon and i wanted to make sure i don’t repeat that mistake again. The day was perfect and we were ready.
People from California (Bay area) who have no clue how winters can be. During the trip we made Flagstaff as our base. The mornings were cold and the windshield was icy. The ice crystals decorated our car and the crazy photographer in me did a little happy dance.
Meanwhile my husband was trying to figure out how best to clean off the windshield and get to the park:).
We Bay area-ians are pretty bad with dealing with “harsh” winters. Cos were were in a rush to drive out, we threw some water on the windshield expecting it to wash away the crystals. Only to realize it froze into a layer of ice as soon as it hit the glass. We spent the next 10 minutes trying to scrape off the icy layer formed on the glass. As I said.. Bay area folks have no experience with ice.;)
The is the south rim of the Grand Canyon.
Next stop HorseShoe bend . Its a small little spot so easy to miss near a city called Page. Hidden away a 30 minute hike from the road. The only way we found it was cos we looked it up on google maps.
I had to go there. No way I would miss this place especially when am so close to the canyons.
Here is the memory from the majestic HorseShoe Bend. HorseShoe Bend is one of the place photographers love to go and click. We saw a ton of folks doing Selfies.. makes me wonder how they came out. The place is wide and a small camera won’t do justice esp. when the sun is at its peak.
One more canyon before we are done with our trip. I would say this was the most anticipated canyon for me but very disappointing too. The Antelope Canyon is extremely beautiful. It’s the sacred lands for Native Indians.
The access to the Lower Antelope canyons is via tours only. You cannot do this by yourself. I think its good that way. The sacred land is thereby protected. So disappointing why u ask??!!
Well the only time slot we had an option for was around 3.30PM. That is the time when sunlight is very very low during winters and the land get very very cold. The inside of the canyons are dark and no flash photography allowed. The human side of me is blessed to have seen that place but the photographer in me very sad. I wasn’t able to click a decent image without cranking up my ISO and even then am not happy with the pictures.
Oh well. Thats another excuse for me to go back some day and fulfill my dream yet again.(Big Grin 🙂 )
Last but not the least and i don’t have any pictures to share. I strongly recommend visiting the Lowell Observatory and doing a tour with Jim Cole.
His tours are not just educational but his style to tell you the history behind that observatory is amazing. Its like a story leaving you wanting for more information.
A absolute dream for a person to visit the place where Planet Pluto was discovered years back. In a time where there were no high end telescopes like today or even color and digital photography. Its amazing what astronomers did and how science progressed.
https://lowell.edu/ for more information.
A our final stop before we got back to reality. Amazing Las Vegas.
***If my blog helped you in anyway please do leave us a note. It would be great to hear some feedback and what else would have helped if included.
Bay area Photographer, Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, Horse shoe bend, travel photography, zion NPS, Bryce national park, Canyons