Fall 2008 Photo Trip

Zion, Bryce, Escalante area, Page area, Grand Canyon

For the twelfth consecutive year I journeyed to the Arizona / Utah border region to photograph canyon country. The adventure begins flying into Las Vegas on October 27 and immediately driving to Springdale, UT where I always enjoy a nice dinner at the Zion Pizza and Noodle Company and then a visit to the Fatali Gallery for renewed inspiration.


Next morning it was off through the tunnels to the Zion Upper Plateau where I like to poke around the creek bottoms looking for Fall leaves and abstract wall details. Later that day I met Steve Peterson near Hatch to tour the land where he and Maria will build their retirement home. A wonderful hilltop spot, we saw Elk and Mountain Lion tracks which will make for interesting company once the house is built.


Steve and I then set out for Escalante with a stop at Bryce Canyon on the way. While we've both been there multiple times, a particular 'Walking Tree' on the rim, that had previously eluded us, was our target.


The next day I set out to visit Neon Canyon. The 1500 foot elevation change was just too much for Steve's knees to attempt, so I tackled it solo. Not my longest solo hike in the area, but it was right up there. In retrospect, the route was quite straightforward; being equipped with multiple guide book recommendations, maps and GPS. However, in the midst of it, first time seeing the route and being alone; it all made for an exciting hike. Like many routes in this area, you start at the rim and decend to the river, so that long climb out at the end of the day is always hanging over you. The center piece, and ultimate goal of hiking Neon Canyon is the Golden Cathedral. Truely worth every step, it is just as wonderful as all the pictures you've seen. Just as exciting to me however, were the other abstract details that allowed me to make some more original images.


After successfully negotiating Neon Canyon, Hole in the Rock road and the Egypt trailhead road, the following day was a 'rest day'; only photographing locations that were close to the car. These entailed Anasazi State Park and Long Canyon near Boulder, as well as the Cedar Wash Arch near Escalante.


The following day Steve and I set out to hike along the Escalante River to see the Escalante Natural Bridge and Arch. A really neat hike with 12 river crossings. The Cottonwoods were at the peak of color and the graneries and petroglyphs were amazing. After completing that hike we decided to risk the long and bone jarring trip down Hole in the Rock road once more to see if we could catch good light on Sunset Arch at the end of the day. We were successful and Steve vows it was his final trip on that washboard Super Highway.


The next morning was the last for Steve on this trip. We headed west from Escalante and stopped at the Mossy Cave section of Bryce. Parting ways there, I decided to hike the 'Wall Street' section of Bryce's Navajo trail to see the pines growing up between the narrow canyon walls. The light was perfect and the place was aglow. Back on the rim, some burned tree compositions tempted me before heading down to Page, Az.


Checking the weather forcast the next day for Page, it looked like storms and rain; not a good time to venture into the canyons. So a quick change of plans led to a wonderful day at the Grand Canyon south rim. Brooding clouds most of the day allowed for some moody images from the overlooks and a nice forest detail. Then, at the end of the day, the storm clouds broke and a beautiful sunset from Desert View yielded some colorful images.


Stay tuned...




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