••• tiff firth photography •••

Thursday, February 2, 2012

grand canyon 2.2.12

Last night was my last night in LA before heading to the Grand Canyon to photograph it over a few days, during its winter.

So last night I tossed everything out of the suitcase to repack it making sure the two super warm jumpers were in there, as well as a pair of thermal leggings on lend from Lee-Anne. And made double sure I had set the alarm clock for the morning.

I had the shuttle bus booked at 9.50 to pick me up and it was with regret I had to say goodbye to Lee-Anne and Danny. I can't thank them enough for providing me the chance to visit CHA, take part in the classes/seminars and for letting me stay with them for 6 days. They were probably glad to see the back of me as they both were feeling fluey the morning I left, and I've since heard from them that they are crook. :O(

Arrived at the airport without any dramas and picked up my boarding passes. I nearly had a fright when I couldnt locate my passport. I got all hot and sweaty and slightly in a tizz. Then I stopped. And thought. And found it. Phewwwww.

Walked thru security without any dramas (Gina- I've been keeping a beady eye on my laptop since you told me that story!!!!) and made my way up to the gate.

I had a little laugh to myself. I had a couple of sneezes (no, its not flu, its the smog) and 4 random people said 'bless you'. Just like that. I later had another couple of sneezes and 'bless you' was said again. I've been pleasantly suprized over and over with the politeness of people so far. From holding doors, to giving way in traffic, 'bless you', from stepping aside, saying excuse me or pardon me, thank you's. It's a lot more socially polite here than home. We are a bunch of rude people compared to the people of LA. I have no idea if this is the same the whole States over. Wouldn't it be wonderful if it was.

We had a 1 hour 20 min flight to Phoenix ( I sneezed a couple of times and 'bless you' was heard) and I took so photos with the iphone on the way. The lady next to me in the window seat fell asleep, so I just carefully lent in front of her to take the shots.

30 min turn around and I was on my way to Flagstaff.

35 min flight and I went from perspiring warm to snow!!! I haven't seen snow since my Year 9 school trip to Victoria, so that's a long time ago (you do the maths!!)

I walked into the airport building after taking a couple of shots with the iphone. The staff must have thought I was nuts lol.

Then I started having a panic attack. My heart was racing, I was hot, I was bothered. From this point I had to drive up to the Grand Canyon. I've purposely not given this leg any thought at all, as I'm terrified of it. You see I'm claustrophobic and I can't handle driving Adelaide, let alone in a strange place, on snowy/icy roads, in the dark, on the wrong side of the road to what I'm used to, with foot pedals back to front and sitting on the wrong side of the car. You see now the reason for my panic attack.

I had the nicest fella about my age reassure me so much. I didn't need to drive thru Flagstaff (which was much bigger than I thought), suggested I upsize vehicle to have 'all wheel drive' instead of a little 4 door sedan, set up the GPS to get me to the door of the Canyon Plaza Resort. I only rented the GPS as a last minute thought before I left. In fact he went back inside the airport building to get it for me and set it up. I've never used one (never needed to), but thank goodness I did. I still managed to miss a turn off from a freeway and it took me round a few streets and hey presto I was back going in the correct direction. Without it, I would have been a big blubbering mess. That's how damn scared I was.

The sun set as I drove and as much as I wanted to stop to photograph it, there was no way I going to. Hell no. I had a vice like grip on the steering wheel and my concentration fixed on the road for ice or wildlife. And my mind was saying stay right, stay right, stay right, stay right............

I made it in one piece. I passed a number of trucks and had a few pass me. But I made it. In time for late tea, unpack, plan my day weather pending for the first one here, took a few night shots of the heated atrium, and blog the previous day experiences.

And I had the deepest sleep. Relief I think.

nitey nite.

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