Canyon Country Photos

Monument Valley

Here are  the photos from the last week travelling through Arizona and Utah’s canyon country and the Navajo Nation.

For accompanying story behind the pictures see my last post Deserts deserts everywhere.

The start of the week was in Flagstaff where we visited the Lowell Observatory

Lowell Observatory

The home of the telescope that discovered Pluto and the site where dark matter was first stumbled upon by accident!

And got to witness with expert commentary the rising of Earth’s shadow in the East as the sun set in the West.

waiting for earth's shadow

waiting for the shadow to reach the horizon. You see how there is a point in the middle where the trees have no shadows… that’s directly opposite the sun setting behind us.

Earth's Shadow

Earth’s shadow nearly full before dispersing into the dark night sky.

We moved onto the Grand Canyon, one of the seven wonders of the world.

Grand Canyon

There was a slight hazy in the air thanks to pollution from the west coast cities but it was an impressive sight none the less.

Muma Dean and team at Grand Canyon

Us all at the Grand Canyon

Elk at Grand Canyon

We spotted a cow elk while there, just chilling in the shade

Patrick Dean mooning at grand canyon

And strangers enjoyed Patrick’s very own Grand Canyon

We moved on through the desert and driving late we got to enjoy some spectacular sunsets over the next few nights

desert sunset

Desert Sunset over a vast landscape

The drive to Monument Valley was fantastic… just as imagined from films (picture at top) and we passed various interesting points

Mexican Hat Rock in Navajo Nation

Mexican Hat rock in the Navajo Nation country

Image

Delicate desert flowers in this harsh habitat

Monument Valley

Team Dean at Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Wild country at Monument Valley. A 4×4 is required for the 17 mile track.

We moved onto Bryce Canyon on Thursday. Now this may be a little controversial but I, personally, think that Bryce Canyon is a little bit more spectacular and special than the Grand Canyon. Yes, the Grand Canyon is vast on an almost unimaginable scale even when stood there looking at it but Bryce… well Bryce is eye poppingly, brain frazzlingly, skin tinglingly beautiful. It’s colours are more vibrant and it’s geology more unique and interesting… Well I think anyway. On top of there there is more wildlife easy to spot with fewer people and the subsequent need for less car parking and so on and due to the extreme conditions at Bryce the plants have adapted in fascinating and incredible ways. We spotted prairie dogs and chipmunks as well as various birds and interesting flora.

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

Bryce Canyon

The day was perfect for viewing the Canyon and there weren’t many people around

Bryce Canyon

The boys looking over the edge at Bryce Canyon. There is a fair element of stress visiting canyons with such little children… we had Orla on a lead but the boys were hard to control at times!

tree at Bryce Canyon

Check out the roots on this tree. It’s incredible how they can adapt to thrive in these challenging positions

twisted tree at Bryce Canyon

A tree which has grown twisted on the edge of the Canyon

Grottos at Bryce Canyon

Grottos are an interesting feature of the canyon edges

road to bryce canyon

Even the road to Bryce Canyon, through mountains and little villages, offers impressive views and magical landscapes

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