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On the road again ... Final Stretch

Discussion in 'Wanderlust and Travel' started by Minuteman3, Jul 12, 2018.

  1. For the final installment in this saga, we left Monument Valley and headed home ... with a couple of notable detours along the way!!

    First up, was Canyon de Chelly National Monument. We didn't have a lot of time, and so we barely scratched the surface. Basically, the canyon is cut into a large section of desert south of Monument Valley. It was the home of some native peoples long ago and there are some interesting dwellings built into the sides of the canyon. I think the better way to see this area is on the floor of the canyon and that apparently requires the use of a guide service. Next time, I will probably give that a try.

    Canyon de Chelly.
    NIKON D750    ---    200mm    f/4.0    1/1000s    ISO 100

    Canyon de Chelly (1).
    NIKON D750    ---    200mm    f/3.5    1/800s    ISO 100

    Canyon de Chelly (2).
    NIKON D750    ---    52mm    f/7.1    1/200s    ISO 100

    After leaving the canyon, we went to Phoenix and met up with our son, Ryan. His best friend, and an adjunct member of our family, Sammy Abbott had twin loves in his life ... swimming/water polo and baseball. Sammy was set to play water polo at a college in California after graduation from high school when the Chicago White Sox drafted him last year as one of their top picks. Sammy's playing in the Arizona Rookie League and we went to one of his games.

    Sammy copy.
    NIKON D750    ---    120mm    f/4.0    1/250s    ISO 2000

    NIKON D750    ---    38mm    f/6.3    1/60s    ISO 2000

    The next day, his family (who were also down to watch him play) setup a chance for Ryan and Sammy to swim with some dolphins at an aquatic park in Scottsdale.

    Sammy (1).
    NIKON D750    ---    120mm    f/9.0    1/1000s    ISO 800

    (Sammy is with the dolphin and Ryan is watching from behind. This is an interesting shot ... the park was photographing the folks in the water and on this one frame I "sync'd" with their flash!!!)

    Our final stop was at Crater Lake National Park, Oregon. We spent the morning there on our last day of driving, and we clearly needed more time. The weather was wonderful but I really don't think I found the best vantage point to capture the view properly. Next time ...

    Crater Lake_030-Edit.
    NIKON D750    14.0-24.0 mm f/2.8    19mm    f/10.0    1/400s    ISO 100

    Crater Lake_056-Edit.
    NIKON D750    24.0-120.0 mm f/4.0    24mm    f/9.0    1/320s    ISO 100

    Crater Lake.
    NIKON D750    ---    14mm    f/9.0    1/320s    ISO 100

    Thanks for following along during this odyssey. We had a blast and it was well worth the time we invested. I must also shout out to our wonderful truck ... our F-150 made this trip a more than enjoyable drive!! (The massaging seats may have had something to do with that opinion....)


    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
  2. Great set Ken, and stories to match!
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  3. This has been an interesting journey, Ken. I've enjoyed following along with you.

    I have a photo of Spider Woman Rock in Canyon de Chelly which looks almost exactly like your third photo, but mine is a Kodachrome slide from 1994. Glad to see the old girl is still hanging in there.
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  4. All my Canyon de Chelley pictures were on film too. We've hiked down and back a couple of times, and also taken the Unimog ride with a guide---that was a treat. On one of our trips as we crested the rim at sunset on our way out we heard an Aussie didgeridoo being played. One of the most haunting yet uplifting sounds of my life!
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  5. We did the hike once and also drove it in our '90 Jeep Grand Wagoneer with a Navajo guide in January '94. That was quite an experience as we had to ford the stream several times and it was frozen pretty solidly. Occasionally we would break through the ice and have to climb out, but the Jeep sailed through like a champ.

    Hearing the didgeridoo would have been unique.
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  6. I definitely think the canyon is worth a return trip. You'll note there is a person on the floor of the canyon in the middle shot ... their view would have been much better!! To be honest, as we drove around the rim, we were not really all that impressed. Looking at my photos when we got home, especially zooming in on the dwellings, really piqued my interest.

  7. My photo of Spider Woman Rock was digitized and posted here on the Nikon Cafe. I think the similarity is striking.
  8. rick_reno


    Dec 3, 2012
    N Idaho
    ^ doesn’t look like its weathered much in the 24 years since your photo Jim.
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  9. Neither have we :rolleyes: 
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  10. I'd bet we were both standing in the little parking lot on this over look!! :D 

    Canyon de Chelly.

  11. The name is Spider Rock and it's based on the legend that it is the lair of Spider Woman. My film photo is from 1991.

    The rim drives are great if you do the ideal side early in the morning and the other side in the afternoon, though I don't remember off the top of my head which drive works best in each time of the day.

    I've been there twice but didn't take the guided drive on the canyon floor the first time. We arrived early enough in the spring the second time that the water was still high in the canyon. Though the guided drive wasn't prohibited by the National Park Service, the rangers were told to advise tourists to take it at their own risk. I asked the ranger whether he would tell his mother to take the drive and he said he would. I, my wife and my mother took the drive and the guide kept us out of trouble. We had a great time!
    • Like Like x 1
  12. jbird


    Jun 22, 2016
    Sugar Land, Texas
    I love the shots of Crater Lake NP. I need to go there.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. My 1991 Canyon de Chelly story that I'll never forget:

    My wife and I parked at one of the many overlooks on one of the two rim drives. As we got out of the car, a group of goats entered the area. A little girl about 8 years old had wandered off away from her parents. She became afraid of the goats and began walking backwards away from them, not realizing that she was getting perilously close to the edge of the cliff where the canyon was about 800 feet below. I was too far away to stop her and my heart jumped into my throat. Suddenly the lead goat lowered its head, ran toward her and knocked her in the chest to the ground. Just as suddenly, the goat then ran in the opposite direction and returned to the other goats.

    I'm absolutely certain that the goat sensed the girl's danger, knocked her down to save her life and immediately retreated. The girl was frightened by the ordeal but was physically unharmed.
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018
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