Saturday, September 5, 2009

North Rim and Wall of Sand

We decided to take the drive to the North Rim and enter the Park on our last full day at Marble Canyon after all it's only an hours drive. We never actually entered the Park.

We took a side road a couple miles from the park entrance and drove out to an area near Saddle Mountain and hiked out to a view of the Grand Canyon we hadn't seen before. The hike out took a little over an hour before we realized we missed the turn so we doubled back eventually finding the correct turn; from there it was less than 10-minutes going uphill. Once we got to the plateau we were greeted with a beautiful sight of the canyon facing east with a great sky full of clouds. We both sat down on the edge and just took it all in for several minutes before either of us took the first image. All told we spent the better part of an hour just sitting and soaking in the beauty.

Our hike back to the jeep took less time with us making it back within 30 minutes. It sure helps when you know where you're going!

Once back in the jeep we decided there was no great need to visit the actual park and have to deal with the hoards of visitors; so back to Marble Canyon we went.

We found this sign earlier and wanted to share. Remember Don is 6-9 so his arm span is equal to his height - looks like he's in-between a Golden Eagle and California Condor (he was born in California after all).

We were watching the sky as we were driving east and the closer we got to Marble Canyon the more the sky was taking on a pinkish tint. There's a scenic overview on the 89A just before it drops back into the lower elevation. We stopped there and were greeted with a sight we had only seen in movies. Have you ever seen a movie where they show a dust storm? How about a wall of dust moving towards the actors? That's exactly what we saw. In a span of just a few short minutes we watched as this wall of dust traveled and obscured the cliffs. We had several thoughts all at once. WOW! And lets get out of here. We spent a couple minutes attempting to capture the dust storm then we got back into the jeep and drove down the hill into the storm itself. Surprising enough we found the dust storm to be rather tame as we first met it and later drove through it to Marble Canyon. By the time we got back to the hotel the wind had died down. We later found out from a local that this was a minor dust storm.

This ends our time in what we have become to think of as Navajo Land. We left Marble Canyon the next day driving south on the 89 to Flagstaff and later back home to Tucson.

Once again we thank you for allowing us to share our experiences as we photograph the Southwest and other locations, and as always we welcome your comments.

Sandy & Don


  1. Good morning Don -

    I am trying what you showed me yesterday. This is only a test.