Grand Canyon & Monument Valley

Since I was driving up to Denver for the NHRA Mile High Nationals I figured it would be a great opportunity to spend the day prior driving up to the Grand Canyon & up through Monument Valley in Utah. I had not been to the Grand Canyon since I was a kid and I have never gotten to drive through Monument Valley it would be a great new experience. I also had the great experience of making this trip with my good friend Gil Rebilas which made it even more enjoyable

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Right at the turnoff onto Hwy 64 we saw some nice classic cars sitting outside of the Grand Canyon Inn so since we had some extra time we decided to snap some photos

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Here is a beautiful Thunderbird grouped in with the collection. The neon lights and a flash being held low and to the right provided unique lighting.

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Here was an old Chevy police wagon. I believe this was modeled after a 1940's Chicago police car

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Beautfiul 29' Ford that was probably the highlight of the collection. I think Gil also liked this car a lot

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There was also this Army keep from I believe the Korean War out front. I played around with lighting in this photo as the image on the left the flash was mounted on the camera while the image on the right the flash was handheld from the right of the vehicle

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We finally made it to the Grand Canyon about an hour later and setup up at Mather Point. There was a full moon that morning so there were no star shots like I was hoping but there were beautiful shots of the Canyon lit up under the moonlight

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A random shot I liked of the full moon peeking through a tree

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Just a bit north of where we were setup there was a pretty cool rock formation that was the base of a popular lookout point

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Peeking through another tree shows a bit of light coming over the southern edge of the Mather point lookout

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The first bit of color in the sky over the canyon

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Used the 300mm lens to get this shot of a silohuetted mountains with wispy clouds in the sky

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Mather point lookout with a beautiful pink and blue in the sky

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The size and scale of the lookout compared to the people standing at the top

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Low lying trees provide a cool foreground for a shot of Mather point. Also a cool rock formation at the leading edge of the point

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The sun begining to peek over the canyon

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The sun glistening through a tree

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Another steep canyon face South of Mather point

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A really cool silhouette of Gil shooting some photos

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Some early risers at the lookout with the canyon as a backdrop

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A tree lined walkway leading from the Mather Point lookout to the parking lot

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After a couple hours at Mather point we drover down the road a bit to Bright Angel trail for a different view. Gil let me borrow a 10mm wide angle lens that I immediately liked. It provided some unqiue shots

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Old Glory being raised over the canyon

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There was a fire burning near by that caused the canyon to fill with a light smoky haze. It provided interesting light

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Like I have mentioned before I love multiple layers in my shots. A low tree and the walkway wall provided layers to the canyon background

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The steep canyon wall on the west end of Angel trail

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I broke out the wide angle lens again for some more shots

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After coming out of breakfast I noticed this squirrel enjoying the breath taking views

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A final few shots from the Grand Canyon. It was interesting in the short few hours we were there we had met and talked to people from as far away as Japan, Norway, Netherlands & Australia. It makes you realize how lucky I am to have such a natural wonder basically in my back yard

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After making the three and a half hour drive from the Grand Canyon we arrived in Monument Valley. This was a treat because it was the first time I have visited this amazing place

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A wide shot of the three buttes from next to the visitors center

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Isolated shot of the West Mitten Butte

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Here is Merrick Butte

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East Mitten Butte

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Gil posing for a shot in front of the two mitten buttes

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Shot of two of the buttes from the valley floor

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Here is a couple shots of Spearhead Mesa

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Here is a shot I took from the drivers seat. I think this was right before I got stuck in some soft sand. Luckily I had a random piece of plywood in the back of the truck and used it to get traction so I could get out. Lesson is always carry random stuff in you truck, it may bail you out.

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A Shot I really thought was cool of a man riding through the valley on horseback

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A rock formation I thought was really neat looking.

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A pack of wild dogs that were roaming around came right up to the track but seemed friendly enough

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A couple more shots as we drove around

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One of the coolest things that we saw driving through Monument Valley was a pair of wild horses roaming around. Horses are majestic creatures and it really made for a awesome shot with the mountains in the background

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And what is a trip to monument valley without pulling off to the side and standing in the middle of the road Forrest Gump said he was tired on. While I did not do any running I am pretty tired as I write this blog so I think I am going to go home now.

Well that wraps up my latest blog on this amazing trip to the Grand Canyon & Monument Valley. If you ever have the chance to visit these breath taking places do it, you will always remember the amazing views you will see