Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Ongtupqa is the Hopi name for the Grand Canyon.  The Hopi are one of eight tribes that inhabited or still live in the vicinity of the Canyon.  The others are Navajo, Apache, Yavapai, Hualapai, Havasupai, Zuni, and Southern Paiute.

I won't go into the history, geology or archeology of the Grand Canyon.  You can read all about it here and here.  Suffice to say that its designation as one of the seven natural wonders of the world is well-earned.

When you go to the Grand Canyon and you are a photographer, there are two things you have to see: sunrise and sunset.  Due to technical difficulties, we missed the sunset, but did manage to capture the sunrise on our second day there.  We had woken up to take Pandora out, and realized that if we left within a few minutes, we could be there in time.  And we were.

After sunrise, we went back to the hotel for breakfast and forty more winks.  As we left the parking lot, we saw that we had some company.

A small herd of elk were grazing by the side of the road.  I think we saw about eight or ten altogether.  Definitely one of the highlights of the trip.

Later on, we drove back to the park, where we decided we would walk the Rim Trail from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center and Mather Point to the Grand Canyon Village and the El Tovar Hotel where we had dinner reservations. 

These images don't even come close to doing the place justice.  You just can't imagine the scale until you've been there.  My dream is to go back to the North Rim and take the guided tour down to Havasu Falls.  Someday....

(Not) Just a Hole in the Ground

Before we left Sedona, we walked around the Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts Market for a little while.  I had wanted to go back there in daylight to see what I could capture, since architecture is one of my interests.

 We left Sedona around mid-morning and headed for the Grand Canyon.  On the way, we stopped at Slide Rock State Park, in hopes of being able to let Pandora go swimming.

Unfortunately, when we got to the top of the steps overlooking the creek, there was a big sign banning all dogs from the creekside.  Pandora was none too pleased.
So we kept going up to Flagstaff, then turned west on I-40, the freeway that basically parallels the old Route 66.  We turned north at Williams, and after stopping for lunch, headed up to the Canyon, which neither one of us had ever seen before (!).

Totally. Amazing.  The colors, the light, the vastness.  Too much to take in all at once and we were glad we had the whole of the next day to experience it.