Monday, June 28, 2010

Grand Canyon South Rim Visit

I traveled with my wife up to the Grand Canyon in mid May to first and formost visit the collections archive.  I am researching Thomas Moran's artwork of the Grand Canyon and had arranged to see an original painting and reproductions of his sketches at the archive.  Since we were up here, might as well make a weekend out of it.  We tent camped at Mather Campground and took the bus to Yavapai Point, following the Rim Trail westward.  I am familiar with this portion of the Grand Canyon but I am always amazed at the rude behaviors of other tourists, most of whom I assume are from Europe.  These people walk in a mass, hogging the entire trail.  The Rim Trail is paved and handicap accessible but the bulldozer tourists wouldn't give a wheelchair room to pass by.  With this in mind, I yearned for a quiet view of the Grand Canyon.  For sunset, my wife and I hiked to Shoshone Point, one mile each way.  The short hike was well worth it, we practically had the Grand Canyon all to ourselves.  Here at Shoshone Point, we had seclusion and waited for the setting sun to play with colors on the Canyon walls.  We were rewarded with pinks, lavenders, blues, oranges, ochre, soft blue, and many colors in between.  The next day we drove to Desert View, scrambling up the stairs of Desert Tower.  This historic building was designed by Mary Colter and constructed in 1932.  Here is a view looking up at paintings on the ceiling.  Colter designed buildings to blend with the surroundings.  I always find inspiration at the Grand Canyon, experiencing exciting views.  I never tire of the place and will continue attempting to portray my impressions of the place. 

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Clear Creek

A hot Sunday afternoon means a trip to Clear Creek. My wife, myself, and some of my family drove from Prescott to the Verde Valley to visit one of our favorite swimming holes at Clear Creek. The hole is a short hike from the Bull Pen. Bull Pen is about four miles from on a washboard/rocky road from highway 260 just out of Camp Verde. This swimming hole is rimmed by ferns from a dripping spring from the cliffs above. The kids (and myself) enjoy jumping off a rock ledge into the seven foot deep pool. This pool is long and shaded bringing a refreshing cool to a hot day. I usually take photos without people in it but this day was all about the kids having a gool 'ol time, so many of my photos have my nieces and nephews frolicking in the clear waters. Clear Creek is a real gem; featuring a gallery of cottonwood and sycamore trees. The only disappointments are from were a smattering of litter and biting flies that left a few big welts on my allergic prone skin.