On my last day hiking up Sugar Loaf it occurred to me most of the photographs were either up the mountain or off to the canyons. The actual trail was a beautiful adventure all to itself.
We have traveled over the years but this was completely different. Even the old weathered trees were artful. A first impression is rough red rocks and dirt. After a while you notice all the different greens and the abundance of tiny but colorful brush flowers.
The wildlife here is timid, I imagine life is hard.
However, one day off in the distance I heard a siren, perhaps an ambulance, sounds travels here. Anyway, as the siren sounded I could hear others sing along. Coyotes from different directions joined in. At home it would have been my dog. Here it was a reminder of where we were.
If I wasn’t so obsessed about getting photographs from above the canyons I would never have been there in the first place. Not only do you fly around in a picnic basket, there’s no way to steer these things.
Did I mention the flaming propane tank by your head? Wear a hat.
All that craziness changes once the people below let you go free. It’s hard to believe how gentle and soft you fly off. Not once did we feel any bumps, or even motion. A soft breeze, that’s it. Amazing but the height never occurred to anyone, not even me.
I got all the shots from above I could want. Sunrise, buttes, and hills.
It was so comfortable I took my time composing images and taking different exposures.
I have been wondering just how to show the beauty seen from Sugar Loaf rock. I had the opportunity to climb it several times 2 weeks ago. I have hundreds of shots taken during the hikes but have not gotten around to viewing them all.
I stumbled on 2 shots taken using HDR (3 images merged to capture all the color and light ranges). I will still work with my other photographs but could not resist adding these now.
Coffee Pot rock, elevation of 4,500 feet. This was taken from the back side of Sugar Loaf, around 1/2 to the top. Sugar Loaf is also 4,500 feet.
To the left of Coffee Pot is Capital Butte. This rock is at 6,300 feet elevation.
Considering I live at an elevation of 173 feet I have no idea how I got up and down! I did stop to catch my breath often, but glad I didn’t know how high I actually was.
Recently on a trip a friend was kind enough to pull off the road and show me the bridge we were about to cross. I’m not sure what I did to warrant this gesture but I did want to get a few shots of it before I died.
So of course I climbed down and underneath it, looked up, looked down, screamed, and took the photo above. At least this is how it looked to me at the time.
I did get a few others from below, hanging on the abyss, but they were a little blurry, hand shake maybe.
The rest of the shots were from a relatively safe distance from the cliffs. However, look at this. Who wouldn’t have second thoughts about driving across!
I now know how to deal with heights, bring my camera. I’ll try most anything for the shot. I might scream and wail a bit. But I’ll get over it.
I found it very hard to capture a different view of the Grand Canyon. First is the enormous size. Taking a 10 shot panorama on the edge of a cliff was not happening. At this elevation there is always wind. And I hate heights! !
The sun and distance gave every long shot a haze.
I did find an incredible beauty on the canyon walls. Just a small patch of earth was enough for a garden to grow.
A walk along the rim and changing light created an ever changing look.
The image above is my favorite. Instead of looking down and to the distant formations all I needed was shade and a small scrub tree garden.