Grand Canyon – grand: setting, view, restaurant, food, fun… Why not? The first time we tried; the kitchen was closed – broken. A year later we succeeded in having a fine meal. Grand, indeed. Colleen loves dessert – flan. And, she loves beer. No Bud, craft beer, and, let it be dark beer, more flavor. To me it is like bitter beer medicine. She laughs; such a sweet woman. You can sometimes order a sample of beers – it’s called a flight. Fun! I watch. I photograph. That way you don’t get to see my face scrunch when I taste the beer. No!
Sunset – Grand Canyon
How often does that opportunity arise? To demonstrate how mellow I’ve become… we ate a leisurely dinner in El Tovar. It was a superb meal. We finished just as the sunset was in progress. I would have set up with a tripod in an ideal spot if it were years ago. But I have become more of a photo opportunist. If the situation presents, otherwise I am content to let life happen. So, I got color. My sunset was not a sweeping vista. We had an excellent meal overlooking the canyon. Dinner with Colleen was priceless.
When I go to a tourist attraction I do my best to avoid the crowd. An oxymoron? Well, I do my best not to have people cluttering my picture. I can do this for the most part. But the time to be there is offseason. When? Not April. But December works. The only thing is that it is cold! Your choice. I was happier cropping out tourists in April.
Quintessential shot? It’s a big hole in the earth. You really can’t do it justice shooting from the rim. There are lots of photobooks in the bookshop. Sunrise/sunset shots are nice. I’m still searching for a better shot. Otherwise, pick one at random. They are all spectacular.
Jump? This is a trick my kids taught me. You look like you are jumping out over the Grand Canyon. Isn’t that grand? Bend your knees. You look higher. (They neglected to mention that part.) And you need a willing photographer. Colleen does not like heights. She objected (strenuously) all the while she was shooting. Hey! I was the test dummy.
I’m a photographer? The Kolb brothers were daredevils that filmed the Grand Canyon. Their feats were something to make the heart faint. Colleen is the reader. She read and told me about their exploits. The wood home/studio was perched precariously on the canyon rim.
The railroad and Harvey company tried to compete and put them out of business. They commissioned Mary Colter to design a stone building on the trail ahead of the Kolb house. Tourists would stop there first and miss the Kolb studio. And to make things worse the company put their mule waste station upwind from the Kolbs. Yup, a shitty situation. The Kolbs prevailed and the building stands. Who knew the histories and how they intertwined? I should read more.
On the edge
My kids taught me this trick. Jump. If you frame it correctly it appears you are jumping over the canyon. It’s a nice trick. It scares Colleen – a lot! She doesn’t care for heights and won’t venture near the edge. I do it and she will at least take the picture – sometimes. Sometimes she refuses. Those times you will never see what I tried/wanted to do. Grand Canyon – silly trick in progress. Then someone told me that people fall into the canyon every year. No, you say?! Yes? They do! And someone fell the very day we visited. We did not see nor hear of the accident. The South rim is very long and one cannot put up barriers at every possible point. You are on a cliff and can indeed fall. If you are lucky you will survive. And if you are smart you will not fall. Me? I’m careful. I take an occasional risk. I have not fallen. I hope I never will.
Iconic. Bucket list! It’s something you gotta see! A must! I took it (this pic) the same afternoon as starry night (see yesterday’s post).
It’s been done before (this picture). I’m not the first one in this spot taking this picture. But it’s my picture. I did it. I took it. When you stop to think about things, the Grand Canyon has been around for a very long time. Ginny pointed out something casually when she mentioned that it’s people who matter. That’s unique. That comes around once. In the scheme of history people are forgotten except for heinous war lords, assassins, etc. However, this monument to nature will endure. It’s my pic. The metadata says that I was there with my camera. I suppose a nostalgic pic of the kids or… Ginny would be more sentimental. “Priceless!” as they say in that current credit card commercial.
The kids taught me to do this silly pose. I’m too old and can’t jump too high any more. But here’s the secret. Bend your knees under you. Even a few inches of elevation will look effectively dangerous scary. The trick is to look like you are hovering in air without the ground beneath. Someone thought of this. Who? And, I did it. The significant other in my life is afraid of heights. She took this.
Did I mention that visiting the Grand Canyon was on my bucket list too? As with most things it/this happened spontaneously. I don’t recall ever going somewhere specifically because of a such a desire that I planned it. Mostly, I fit life into what is happening at the moment. We were on a cross country trip. You have to cross over somewhere? See the hat? Gloves? It’s was da** cold! I got mittens which allow my fingers to hold/feel the camera controls. And for those who know me, this is probably the last photo of my beloved pair of jeans. Kaput, three years, alas, poor jeans.
Simple. Sometimes simple is good. Backlight, detail, close-up, it just comes together. It was but a moment. I’ve taken numerous nice shots like this before. Someone no longer dear to me once said, “You’ve hundreds of flowers and sunset pictures, what is the point of stopping to take one more.” I never listened. At the end of the day I regret that I ever did. Call me stubborn. At least I feel enlightened now.
We Got Elk
We took a bus around to some viewpoints along the Grand Canyon. At one stop there were elk grazing right by the stop. We did not get off the bus. So many things to see, too little time. Drat! I thought I could see them on the way back. No such luck. The bus did not stop there on its return trip. Double drat! I got lucky. In the parking lot was a male rubbing his antlers. He was there only mere feet away. And, I had my camera and my images! It’s off season. The elk don’t mind tourists. They trot along the roadways in groups. Yes, I got lots of shots. Yay!
Big Horn Sheep
It was through the kindness of strangers that I saw the big horn sheep. They were mere dots on the mountainside. It’s sheer cliff. The distance was at the limit of my big lens. Dots, they were just dots. But I saw them. And I got a shot(s). There was group of loud Korean tourists ahead of me later as we walked. I decided to return the kindness and pointed out the sheep. They could not see them nor could they see them even when I pointed. I pulled out the trusty iPhone and enlarged the image. Immediately one of the men walked forward toward the cliff as he pointed excitedly to his companions. Oh my! I pulled him back and told (gestured to) him not to fall off the cliff. He grinned … and held back. Yeah, I wondered, if no good deed goes unpunished.