After the first go round of the 3200 or so images taken on the trip, I began to go through them again to see what else I might find. When I was originally doing the blog, many times I was just looking for a particular type of image to fit the theme of a post and didn’t want to overload each one with too many photos. So now I am free to browse around them all and search for a bit of buried treasure. Sometimes I’m surprised at what I missed and sometimes I can’t believe I haven’t already trashed it. But that’s the fun of it, you just never know what you’ll find.
Sometimes you find that moving just a little bit from where the throng is, you can get a shot almost as interesting as the one that is so sought after. After I had shot the scene through Mesa Arch with the sun burst, I moved off to the right where the “Washerwoman” could still be seen just as well, but of course without the framing of the arch itself, but still framed by the rock formations and canyon walls. I was not however, away from the maddening crowd; there were still plenty of people to try to keep out of the frame there as well.
After the mobs left to wait at the bus stop for the ride back from Mojave Point to the Grand Canyon VIllage, I stuck around the rim to the last possible minute to take long exposures in the growing darkness when the light was so much more even and really brought out the texture in the different layers of rock. And even though the sun was below the horizon, shadows still formed just from the remaining light in the western sky. It’s hard to believe that you’re looking down into a canyon that is a vertical mile in depth — about three World Trade towers deep!!
Each morning when I woke up well before sunrise, my routine was to look out the window to see what the conditions were in the sky in hopes of seeing stars. When I did, it was a great motivation to crawl out from the comfort of the sleeping bag to get to where I wanted to be in time for the sunrise. But when you didn’t see any stars, that meant there was significant cloud cover and the chances of a good sunrise were pretty slim. Those were the conditions I woke up to on the north rim of the Grand Canyon at Cape Royal. But the Grand Canyon itself proved to be motivation enough, plus the fact that there were no other cars around, so I would have the place to myself! Consequently, there was no sense of urgency as I walked the long path to Cape Royal, but that changed quickly when I saw a faint glow in the eastern sky. My pace probably doubled immediately and got a clear view east from the Angel’s WIndow area to see the horizon turn pink, but it lasted for just a few moments and it never made its way up into the clouds.
There was so much promise, but it just never materialized and after the short burst, it was back to the dull light from before. I was lucky though a bit later when the clouds cleared a little in the east and looking west, the sun shone through to light up the entire canyon that created such an awesome view with each of the arms from the south rim extending into the canyon lit by the sun and their shadows falling on the next successive arm, and repeated several times heading west. It just made the canyon look so much more vast (see Image No. 95). The view is well over 8 miles since the shortest distance between the north and south rims is 8 miles if you look directly south, but here the view is west.
Although I did become pretty obsessed with aspen trees, I did manage to take a few shots of other types of trees even though there are aspens or a canyon wall in the background. But there is nothing like the golden glow of aspen leaves when they are backlit.
And now it’s time to continue the treasure hunt.