Sunday, 21 February 2010

The weather closes in

Awakening in El Tovar that stands on the rim of the Grand Canyon, was exciting in more than one way. Within twenty yards of the front door you are standing over one mile vertical drop, but his morning there was an added dimension, an atypical heavy fall of snow had begun and the forecast was that it would last for the day. The day took on an air of urgency as we set about ensuring that we were able to get out of the Park before the roads required the sort of treatment that has been the winter’s story at home.

Just out the front door

It wasn’t so much of a rush that we couldn’t enjoy the atmospheric dining room of the hotel before leaving and also get one or two more shots of the Canyon when there was the slightest let up in the snow.

El Tovar Dining Room

El Tovar Lobby

Snow coming in

More snow on the way

Last view of the Canyon

From Grand Canyon Village our route was to take us on a fascinating route that crossed land that was Native American Reservation and to have glimpses of the settlements that were strung out along the barren landscape that lined the road. The landscape began to change as rising hills of coloured sandstone became the norm. Page was the next town on our way and as the gateway to the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Glimpses of Vermillion Cliffs and Paria Wilderness made sure that we would promise ourselves a return trip. For years I have enjoyed the images produced by my good friend Les McLean, a fine photographer, who had spent many working trips in Arizona and Utah, and now I had the first hand experience of placing those images into the context of my own visual memory. Thanks Les.

A little shaft of light before the storm catches up

Deteriorating weather seemed to be following us so we kept moving and missed numerous opportunities to fill more of our memory cards. We arrived in Kanab, venue for the making of lots of cowboy movies by all of the big names of the genre, including John and Clint, to hear that there was a really heavy snowstorm forecast over the next twenty-four hours. Sky watch was the order for the evening.

Kanab Main Street

Memories of the Movies

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