The Grand Canyon .... The name pretty well sums it up. Although I have been to the Grand Canyon before, this visit was more focussed on photography. I arrived around noon and as I walked from the parking lot to the rim i was greeted by a group of Chinese tourists armed with more photo equipment than a National Geographic supply house - carbon fiber tripods, lenses as long as my arm, expensive cameras and of course all wearing photo vests and safari hats as part of a fashion statement. Yes, I’m being smug but I had to laugh. Despite the haze and the position of the sun on this summer day the view of the canyon was still impressive. I intensionally left my equipment in the car - I was pre visualizing views and best times to return. The south rim has many potentially good locations for photography - the trick of course as with all landscape photography, is being in the right place at the right time. Some of this is luck and some is the result good planning. I admit, i was lucky on this trip. Most of my favorites came fro ma 2 hour stretch of time in an area on the eastern edge of the Park called Desert View. What made the location so visually powerful were the afternoon thunderstorms fueled by strong monsoon weather from the Gulf of Mexico. It was exciting and energizing to be out there on the edge of the world surrounded by powerful forces of nature. The dark clouds and heavy rain sweeping the canyon to the west added intensity and drama to the scene.
Perched on the edge of the canyon stands a 70 foot stone structure known as the Indian View Watchtower. The tower was built in 1932 and offers some great lookouts as well as Hopi Indian art and jewelry making demonstration. You can see the Colorado River winding through the canyon.