Yosemite & Beyond - 2018
For Christmas 2017, my dear wife, Ellen, fed my wanderlust and joy of photographing in the west by putting together a most excellent adventure. Although there was no way to capture everything I saw along the way, you will find some of the most significant experiences below.
The best way to view the photos is to click on the first thumbnail in a gallery and then use the > arrow to the right of your screen to advance the slides.
Yosemite National Park
Unparalleled beauty is found at Yosemite National Park. A bold statement, I know, but it's true. I have had the privilege to have been there twice within this year. Such a beautiful valley (once you get there...ohhh, the approach drive to the park is so mercilessly winding, that even as the driver, I get a bit nauseated). By the way, I've thrown in a couple of photos from our trip this past October.
In planning my trip for me, Ellen arranged to have a photo guide from The Ansel Adams Gallery (located within Yosemite Village) take me some of Ansel's most famous view points. You will see a photo of my guide, Michael Wise, in the gallery below. Michael is oh, so knowledgeable of both Ansel Adams and The Park. His insights were a blessing!
Zion National Park
During my third visit to Zion National Park, I was fortunate to have crumby weather...that's right, it was a good thing. It was foggy and spit snow most of the day, but that was fine by me...loved it. Hope you do, too.
I love to drive, especially in the west. There is so much more to see than just tree after tree, as is often the case in the east. And as I also found in the highlands of Iceland, I do so love the stark beauty of desolate areas, like central Nevada. Driving through the Nevada desert is in the 'awesome' category for me...so strange...so barren...so eerie...an alien landscape, rumored to have been visited by aliens!
Along much of the drive, I found the monuments to lost dreams...so many old, abandoned buildings. Also along the way I found a derelict drive-in movie theater, the last vestiges of very-long abandoned motels and an RV park, old mining communities, and a town that seems to be obsessed with karaoke...like, what else is there to do in such a small town in the middle of such a large desert area. And fear not, if you are interested in some desert real estate, there is a plethora available, like the Bait Farm Saloon (karaoke Thursdays and Saturdays at 8:00, which may have transferred its allegiance to the Chestnut Inn Motel, where you could 'Come an enjoy' if you had been there on the right Saturday). Or, there's always 'vido poker' at Jerry Lee's Honky Tonk...after all, it's party time and there are lots of winners. And oh, if you are hungry, there's always 'Tacos of the Heart'.
The drive includes a bit of Arizona and Utah, also.
Navajo Slot Canyons
It was great to get back to the slot canyons on the Navajo Reservation near Page, Arizona. On several previous visits, I was able to photograph the light beams that stream into the Upper Antelope Canyon's sandstone 'slot'. This trip, as it was winter with lower sun angle, there were no light shafts. But, I was able to photograph in four different canyons, lead by Tony of Adventurous Antelope Canyon tours. As I wasn't focused on the light shafts, I spent more time focusing on the colors of these slot canyons.
In case you would like to see some of the canyon's light shafts, I've added a few of those photos from previous trips at the end.
My final words: "Thanks for doing this, Ellen!"