Grand Road Trip of 2013 – Part 2

Yeah, a busy semester left me with little time to write this trip. But I’ll try to finish it.

The four-corners is indeed the most suitable place for astrophotography. After I got back home, it becomes clear when I looked up the dark sky finder and the monument valley is one of few Bortle Scale 1 dark sites in the US. It’s a shame they had so many spot light at hotel.

image

Light grey for scale 2 and dark grey for bortle scale 1 excellent sky

That afternoon we actually drove into the park on the sandy and gravel road. An all-wheel-drive SUV is highly recommend even in dry weather like this. And something should never be missed, a colorful sunset at the valley.

Colorful Sunset

The next morning we open up the curtain and witness in awe as sun rises above the distant valley and buttes, right at the doorstep.

Dawn at MV

Leaving the valley behind, the road ahead still challenges as we go into the grand canyon. We planed to make a stopover at Page, AZ for lunch and meanwhile viewing the horseshoe bend and the man made marvel – Glen Canyon Dam.

Horseshoe Bend

The horseshoe bend

I just could not risk another step before falling off the rim. Standing there, it’s utterly silence except the sound of your heartbeat, breath and the circling vulture.

Glen Canyon Dam

The Glen Canyon Dam view from the bridge

Quite unexpectedly, the AZ-89 had a landfall at echo cliffs and we were forced to take the additional 90 minutes detour to reach AZ-64 before climbing onto the south rim of grand canyan.

Grand Canyon Watchtower

The Grand Canyon Watchtower

The previous night’s observation overdrafted my energy, where I ended up photography the milky way in the village. It was until I got the photo that I found a overhead power line ruined my shot… Yet the rising milky way behind the clouds are absolutely gorgoues. The next morning, the sunshines the towering cliff in this way.

Sunrise on Cliffs

Morning light on the cliffs

I still remembered the first time I got here and viewed a sunset at Hopi point.

HDR at Hopi Sunset

HDR Composite taken last year

Foggy Valley

And foggy river valley at twilight

Well that’s just the best memory I had. We left the grand canyon and headed back down where we came and took the AZ-89A northeast to cross the Marble Canyon.

Map

Half way down the 89A I took a 360° panorama of the echo cliffs.Panorama

Click on image above for 360 city interactive panorama

Echo Cliffs and Navajo Bridge

Navajo Bridge and the Echo Cliffs

Marble Canyon

The Marble Canyon

Then it’s climbing up to the north rim again, crossing the national forest and finally arrived at our next stop in Kanab.

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