Smokey Fall at North Rim

We’ve moved on to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. Our last visit here was in 1993. Things have changed a bit since then. We were not able to get a campground without a reservation in the park, so we chose to stay in a place called Jacob Lake, which is 40 miles outside the park. Strangely there is no lake here. There are a couple of other campgrounds to stay at in the area, but we chose Jacob Lake because what we are really looking for is fall color in the changing Aspens that are throughout the area. The canyon itself is spectacular of course, but due to the very hot weather and controlled burns going on in the area, it is very smokey. Visibility is still pretty good, but the haze is too too thick and it begins to look more like L.A. on a bad day that a wonder of the world. We did trek to the canyon edge because, well, we’re here – it’s just what one does. We hit a couple of view points then spent the rest of the day photographing Aspen. That was very fun.

We also spent some time looking for the area we camped at many years ago. It was also outside the park because we couldn’t get in then either. It is known as dispersed camping and it means on certain backroads, you can camp anywhere you want. So we set out to find a spot on the edge of the canyon which we remembered to be pretty special. I remembered which road it was on, but following it we could not find the spot. Finally, we stopped at a day use area and followed a paved path to an overlook. Surprise! This was the place. It had been converted from dispersed camping to a day use only. The park service removed the camping area. We would probably never had brought the motorhome this far into the backcountry anyway, but it was still a disappointment knowing a special place had been removed.

Tomorrow we’ve made arrangements for a guide to take us to Antelope Canyon. This is one of the “Mecca’s” of photography. Every landscape photographer wants to come to this place. I’m sure you’ve seen images from this slot canyon – the sensual curves and glowing light of the canyon walls is unmistakable. We have 2.5 hours in the canyon and are hoping for some consistently sunny weather to accentuate the glowiness of the canyon walls. I’ll be posting images from the excursion soon.

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