|Rattlesnake Canyon Detail|
It started well, with the call of a canyon wren. Actually, it started the night before with Harley engines and loud voices into the night in Boulder City, NV. If I was inclined to the literary, I’d say they foreshadowed a week of sleep deprivation.
There were five of us including one of my mentors, Kerrick James. The small group kept us nimble, and we got on well. Though they say that there’s one in every group, and if you don’t know who that is it’s probably you. I’ll not dwell on that either.
|Kayaker Harry Ford, Emerald Cave, Colorado River|
We dropped kayaks into the Colorado River just below Hoover Dam (now THAT was a different vantage point) and floated 11 miles in nine hours or so. We saw some pretty side canyons as well as bighorn sheep and a pair of Bald Eagles. The highlight of the day, though, was Emerald Cave. Words fail me but, not surprisingly, I have a picture for you. This is Harry modeling for me in the cave. The green, which is so vivid that it looks fake, is in fact real.
|Dawn in Monument Valley|
We were all over southern Nevada, Utah, and the Arizona Strip; often disappointed by heavy rain (we sensibly scrapped a much-anticipated trip to Toroweep) and socked-in skies. Conditions got much nicer in Monument Valley, where we had classic sweet light on the dunes. Here again, if you hadn’t been there you’d think the color was an invention, but it too is real.
|Sunset from Hunt's Mesa|
I’d been to Hunt’s Mesa once before, with Navajo Photographer LeRoy DeJolie. His heartfelt words about the deep significance of the place to the Navajo has stayed with me and came rushing back as we crested the last of many harrowing rises and all of Monument Valley was laid out before us. The clouds and the light were extraordinary. And real.
In the end we traversed 1500 miles, 8 different beds in as many days, big rain, mud, rocks, minimal sleep and the whole range of food. It doesn’t get much better than that, or more real.
More images are on the website. As always, I appreciate you stopping by.