••• tiff firth photography •••

Monday, February 6, 2012

grand canyon 6.2.12

My last full day here at the Grand Canyon. I decided against going out for sunrise shoots mostly because its soooo damn cold and I don't want the knee to ache more than it already is.

So I set the alarm clock for 8am. Sunrise is at 7.30am atm. When I woke up I was very chesty and phlegmy. I had a little cough last night when I finished shooting sunset and thought then 'uh-oooo'....  So I was not surprised  when I woke up less than bright eyed and bushy tailed. I popped an antihistamine to see if that would help. And I thought 'what the hell' rolled over and went back to sleep.

When I woke up later I did feel a bit better. And the knee didn't ache so much. I did elevate it for ages last night while blogging and processing shots, so that might have helped it a bit.

I wanted to visit the Grand Canyon Village to pick up a sandwich and some fruit. I haven't been to the village yet so wanted to visit that in daylight. I had to laugh to myself. Being in an American car, not only am I sitting on the other side of the car and driving on the wrong side of the road to what I'm used to, the indicator and the windscreen wiper stalks are back to front. I've lost count how many times I flicked on the wipers to indicate that I'm about to turn. Thankfully the foot pedals are still the same as ours. Phewwwww, at least they've got one thing right ;op

Saw this pink monstor in the village and I just couldn't help myself. I had to laugh when a big burly bloke got in it.  Only in America huh??!!

After the village I headed east to start on from where I ended up yesterday. On the way there I saw this signpost and just had to stop to capture it.  Did think of the footy club at the time.

And while I had stopped I wanted a quick pic of the pine forest and the snow just for memory's sake.

My first major point of call was Lipan Point.

From there I travelled onto Navajo Point.

I had thoughts of coming back to this spot for sunset, depending on what I found at Desert Point which was next.

The interior of the Watch Tower had wonderful curved stone staircases that made for sweeping lines photographically speaking, so I went back to the car to get the tripod as it was low light photography. On the way back to the car I stopped at the gift shop/bookshop and came across a couple of photos of that area that were for sale. I dumped the idea of the Watch Tower interior shots and grabbed the gear (tripod, extra socks on, beanie, gloves, fruit, water) and headed out in search of the spot where those photos had been taken.

Found it.

Also found a cougar paw print in the snow too. That kept me looking behind myself all the time, let me tell ya!!!!!

I decided to stay put and see what the setting sun would do to the Watch Tower and the Canyon walls. Just as well, as another fella with camera and tripod wandered up to try the same shots that I was doing. He had seen the same image in the shop.

It's a gentleman's agreement in the photog world, that if you are on the spot first, you don't have to shift for another. It's a matter of getting to the spot early enough to 'claim' it. So I waited until I had the shot I wanted and then moved. Unfortunately for him, the best of the light had gone to do the same shot that I had done.  We got chatting away about different things. He would have been there for about an hour or so, before he went to his next spot to face west for the setting sun. I stayed put as the full moon had risen by the Watch Tower.

I have wondered a number of times what someone must think when they hear me say " I'm here on my own", " its a solo venture", " or that I'm living a dream". Not once have I felt uneasy with someone else around, not threatened or felt wary of. It's been quite the opposite. Lots of little things stand out in my mind that people have done or said that seemed to applaud my trip. I feel so very lucky for this and blessed too.

When I was talking to the lady in the gift/book shop, my voice was rather croaky (I hadn't spoken a lot today) and she gave me her throat lozangers to help.  This kind of generosity seems to be everywhere I've been so far. This includes the fella where I had tea tonight when I asked him for a lot of small change so I could give it to my kids. He couldn't help me enough. And the fella at the Hire Car place a few days ago, calming me down when I was shitting myself about driving. I could go on and on and on.

I digress......

The winter full moon rose by the Watch Tower and as I was walking back up to the car to pack up for the day, I had an idea. So I turned around and headed back to the Tower for a shot in the very last light of the day.

It worked.

This was how cold it was according to the car when I had packed up and ready to head back

It was when I was getting back into the car I discovered that my glasses, that I had put in the top pocket of my big warm jacket, were broken. It was too dark to see what was up with them, and so I drove back to the Canyon Plaza Resort without them. I need them for driving, and doing so without them made me rather tense. To my relief when I was inside my room in good light, I found it was just the screw and come loose on the frame, and the screw was still there. All I had to do was to put the lens back in the frame, hold the frame closed and screw up the screw. Fixed. Yay.

I've packed my bags ready for the morning. The tripod bag is stuffed full of things, including boots that have things stuffed inside of them. Man, can this girl pack or what??!!!!!  My suitcase feels lighter than when I got here, thanks to a bit of rearranging. I'm only allowed 50 pounds (22 kilos) and the excess per pound is really hefty, so I reckon I'll be ok in that department.

I'm driving to Flagstaff in the morning, with help from the programmed GPS (thanks STAR), flying from Flagstaff to Phoenix, Phoenix to LA X. I have a 6 hour stop over there. LA X to Auckland. This flight is mostly overnight so I should sleep on this flight. Auckland to Adelaide. Meeting Pete Dobre with some camera gear for me, and Sam for lunch at the airport. Then Adelaide to Pt Lincoln. All being well, and no delays to miss connections, I should land Pt Lincoln on Thursday.

Can't wait to hug the kids, snuff that special spot on their necks and give Kym a big cuddle.


Deb said...

It all sounds so wonderful, Tiff. What an amazing time you have had and so many gorgeous photos. Eeeekkkk to the cougar paw print in the snow though!

:) Tiff said...

Did make me paws for a moment. Hahahaha