Early awakening to rip the curtains open as the sun was rising to be met with a warm glow at the horizon silhouetting the buttes. It was enough to postpone the morning shower until after a quick run out with the camera. Back to the Lodge to clean up and have breakfast before our planned excursion. We’d booked a package that included a day in the Valley guided by a Navajo who rejoiced in the name of Larry. We were picked up at 9.00 and found that there was another couple booked on the trip as well. This made it very comfortable, as the vehicle we travelled around in was able to accommodate twenty that would have been a nightmare if it had been full at summer levels.
From the bedroom
Back in the tripod holes
Our next stroke of luck was the weather, bright clear skies were the order of the day and whilst cold we had wonderful visibility. The quality of the light in this part of the world is a joy and I am determined to return and take advantage of it with a full painting kit. It is no wonder that the region is a Mecca for artists and photographers.
Sheila, Mick, J.J. and Carolyn
Larry was the ideal guide, born and bred in the Navajo Tribal Lands, a Navajo speaker as his first language and well versed in the history and mythology of his people as well as intimately familiar with the geology and biology of the Valley. Besides all that he had a cracking sense of humour. The other couple, J.J. and Carolyn were also good company so the whole day was a joy from every perspective. J.J. and Carolyn had an interesting story, having attended school together, they were reunited by the miracle of modern technology, both having led lives without seeing one another for decades. They were now carrying on their relationship at some distance, Carolyn living in San Diego and J.J. in Illinois.
Larry cooks the lunch
This is going to one of those occasions where the pictures should do the talking so I’ll shut up for a while.There's a magnet at this spot
The references in the title are mixed, the first being very easy to understand, I’ve been reliving the cowboy fantasies of childhood but the second relates to the patina of red dust covering everything up here. Those of us brought up not too far distant from Consett remember well the layer of red dust that covered the town as a result of the activities at Consett Iron Works.