I have been to the Grand Canyon three times. All three times I visited the South Rim in the designated tourist areas. All three photos above were taken at the South Rim. The top and most recent photo was in May 2010. The middle photo was taken in November 2006 and I took a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon on that visit, and the bottom photo was taken in March 2006 during a snow storm. The ones in the snow storm are my favorite 😉 because it's not something you expect in the desert.
I booked the photography 225 mile rafting trip through the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon with Friends of Arizona Highways in November of 2009, ten months ago.
I leave tomorrow. (I wished I would have worked out more :-(
I am both excited and nervous at the same time. (I hope I don't throw up on the boat). The activity level is listed as "moderate." I hope I can keep up with the photographer, Gary Ladd, and get some amazing shots. (I'm sure I'll get some pretty incredible shots.)
The air temperatures at the bottom of the Grand Canyon where the Colorado River runs through it are going to be in the upper 90s and low 100s during the day and in the low 70s at night. (You have to go to the NOAA website and check Phantom Ranch, AZ to get the weather forecast for the bottom of the Grand Canyon.) The water temperature is a constant 50 degrees (because the river water is released from Glen Canyon Dam on Lake Powell, 15 miles above the raft launch point at Lees Ferry. The water is taken deep from the lake and comes out of the dam at around 50 degrees. It only warms up 1 degree for every 20 miles.) Brrrrrrr…
Some of the items I have packed include:
- 4 – 16 GB Compact Flash Cards for my camera (which will allow for shooting well over 2,500 photos during the trip, while shooting in RAW (In raw mode, your camera will not compress the images at all when it stores them. That means you have the top-quality actual original picture, but the file size will be a lot bigger than other modes.) And the reason for 4 16 GB compact flash memory cards for my camera.
- Polarizing filters for all of my lenses which help reduce reflections and saturate color.
- A waterproof bag to hold my camera backpack.
- Purple, Yellow and Orange electrical tape to differentiate all of my stuff from someone else's at a moment's notice.
- External flash or speedlight.
- Tripod and cable release (which WILL be used on this trip, Mom)
- 200-500 mm lens
- Travel Drive
- My beloved compact Nikon S70. I gott a new one 😉 and a lovely new case as well. I have been lost without it. My quick catch a shot kind of camera. And at 12.2 megapixels, I love it.
- Swiss Army Knife
- Sketch Book, colored pencils and markers to journal and document this once in a lifetime event 😉
The things I will be without on this adventure include:
- Running hot and cold tap water
- Bath house :-(
- Flushing toilets (a portable toilet will be set up in camp morning and night, otherwise we are encouraged to urinate in the river — a smaller portable toilet will be set up during the day for those with other bathroom emergencies.)
- Cell phone service
- Internet service
- Missing the season finale of True Blood because of the mandatory meeting on Sunday night in Flagstaff, AZ from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. 🙁
Basically bathing and washing my hair in the freezing cold river every night or not.
But I can't wait to see:
- the billions of stars lighting up the night sky without any interference from city lights,
- the nature and wildlife that only has humans as fleeting visitors in its domain,
- the stunning sights that will inevitably take my breath away,
- the lens of my camera that will only capture a tiny fragment of its magnificence, but it will be enough to awe those that haven't ever been there.
I feel so fortunate to be able to take a trip like this, and I am so thankful.
Me and the blog will be on hiatus for awhile. I'll post when I get back, around the 20th or 21st of September.
Happy Trails, and thanks for reading… ;-)