Thursday, June 26, 2008

Road Trip with Anne: Day 3

(Tired of the long, photo-filled posts, yet? Here's another! :-))

Despite my less-than successful sunrise photo shoot a couple months back, I was determined to try again at none other than the Grand Canyon. Talk about setting one up for failure! The Grand Canyon has to be one of the most majestic and photographed places in the world, and I dared to try and capture it? Without a tripod?! Yeah, as I discovered, not the smartest thing to do.

Up at 3:30 am (sunrise was around 5am), we hurried to get ready and then drive the hour or so to Point Imperial, the location inside the North Rim that was considered (by my National Geographic "National Parks Guide") to be the absolute best spot in all the Grand Canyon for sunrise watching. As with Zion, the sheer grandeur and beauty of this place is not easily captured. But again, I tried, if for no other reason than posterity and to say, "I was here. I stood here and observed the night become day." Sunsets are beautiful, no doubt, but there is something so fresh and inspiring about watching the sun rise, watching as the shadows slowly--and yet quickly--disappear, revealing various shapes and sizes. The Grand Canyon with it's many crevices, rock striations and vivid colors, was especially awe-inspiring to watch fill with light.

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After an hour or so of sunrise-watching, photo-taking and breakfast eating, we backtracked and drove the 23 mile Cape Royal Road, stopping at various points to see the canyon from other angles.
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The North Rim, with it's forests and only occasional cactus-like foliage among the tall pine trees, is vastly different from the desert landscape of the more-visited South Rim.
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Having gotten up so early, we had seen all we planned to see by 9am. Our original intent was to drive several hours north-east to Arches National Park, but we decided the amount of time we'd have left at Arches wasn't worth the long drive. Instead we drove south-east to visit Lake Powell and then on to Flagstaff, where we'd spend 2 nights instead of just one as planned.

Along the desolate road to Page, AZ & Lake Powell, we passed ramshackle motels and cafe's, and each time wondered "WHO lives out here?!" So we decided to stop at one of the motel/cafes to see for ourselves. The Lees Ferry Lodge, at the base of the Vermilion Cliffs, was just what we expected with it's rustic exterior and interior and 'colorful' (read: quirky) proprietors. The biggest surprise was inside the cafe, where an entire wall was lined with a selection of beers that rivals The Yard House. They even had Lambic, a Belgian fruit cider beer that I like. As we had to be paying customers to use the restrooms, we decided to take a break and enjoy the shady porch and a beer.
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We were soon on our way again and after a few wrong turns, found our way to the beach at Lake Powell's 'Lone Rock'. Anne took advantage of the sunny skies to work on her tan, of course. :-)
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After an hour of sunning and standing in the cool water, we got back into the car and headed to Flagstaff, where we'd stay a couple nights to explore the Flagstaff & Sedona area.

(For more Grand Canyon & Lake Powell photos, go HERE.)

1 comment:

TheWinnFamily said...

W.O.W. I really love that b/w one -I think its #5 and that one of the bike is my FAVE. Lovely pics Kel.