Category Archives: Page

Roadside Views from HWY 89

Until our hiking trip through southern Utah a few summers ago, I disliked driving. Previous to that summer, my long distance automotive experiences had been heavy with interstate hauls through billboard jungles and carpool driving that racked up almost as many miles but with more predictable signage. Bo-ring.

Utah’s mesmerizing Highway 12 changed all that for me. And a couple of years later as we zipped up SR 17 and Highway 89 toward Flagstaff, and eventually, the Grand Canyon and Page, Arizona, time once again lost shape and substance.

As the landscape shifted from a flattened desert dotted by saguaros, prickly pear cacti and ocotillo plants into the more vegetated Verde Basin and then to the exposed sedimentary rock of the Colorado Plateau, my mind decelerated, simply absorbing the transitions.

I found my pause button.

Photo ops diminished as the landscape shifted from vast expanses to don’t blink cuts through mountain passes, but I imprinted enough beauty in my brain to make it a lasting memory—and began savoring the simple pleasure of driving from here to there.

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Flagstaff Things To Do

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Sun Beams of Sand


Deep shadows and bursts of overhead sunlight, paired with limited sight lines and cramped spaces, created some interesting photographic challenges in Lower Antelope Canyon. At times I found myself flush with an on-the-edge exhilaration similar to that felt at cliff’s edge on a steep climb. Anchored between sandstone ledge and sandy floor, bent to catch an image that would live only in my own mind until the shutter snapped…it was an intense yet fun way to spend a morning.

More than once, light became the subject, not simply an essential element to creating the photograph. Here, as the sun makes its daily route from east to west, its rays thread sandstone windows at anticipated times. A handful of sand tossed into the light beam highlights its path creating an awed hush amongst observers, broken almost instantly by a flurry of camera shutters.

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Launched

Thankfully, the nifty green “Lego Man” helmets we wore were only necessary for our dock walk from bus to boat.  Safety first, right?  Or maybe it was more like liability first.  I’m fairly certain it wasn’t motivated by anyone’s sense of fashion.

The boat was actually a blue raft, bobbing gently on a calm stretch of the Colorado River.  Climbing aboard, we settled ourselves as close to the cool green water as possible on an outer edge and watched the world of the canyon unfurl before us.  Through the shallower stretches, we had the same clear views of the river bed as the silent trout fishermen we passed throughout that lazy afternoon.

One of the better stories we heard that day involved kayakers sneaking onto the river during a high volume water release and setting a new speed record.  Flaunting their success resulted in being banned from the canyon for a time.  Needless to say, the adrenaline chasers worked to set things right and have been a bit more discreet in revealing any subsequent triumphs.

Page Things To Do

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