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|10th September 2008, 19:49||#31|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jun 2006
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|10th September 2008, 20:37||#32|
Join Date: Feb 2007
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You're so right... the widest of wide-angle lenses don't even come close to capturing the breathtaking beauty of the GC. The first time I got a glimpse of it, I just stood there for 5 whole minutes with my mouth wide open. Thankfully there were no bugs around, or else I would've had my fill that day
The pictures are simply awesome!! Which lense did you use with the D80 - is it the 18-200mm DX VRII by any chance? I remember cursing my luck as my current lense hadn't arrived yet and I had to fall back on my BIL's standard 35mm, which converts to totally useless 52mm on a digital SLR.
Keep the pics coming...
|10th September 2008, 21:00||#33|
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: NYC / BOM
Thanked: 1,752 Times
Excellent pictures and report!
1100D and your threads have helped me see parts of the Grand Canyon that I never saw during my rushed visit there a few years ago.
|10th September 2008, 22:51||#34|
@Wim : I had pretty much the same experience when I came face to face with the GC. Its simply awesome.
As for the lenses, most are taken with a 18-135mm DX ED (non VR). Occasionally, I have also used an old 70-300mm (non VR) lens from my old film SLR, which is compatible with the D80.
@aah78 : The pics yet to come are even more dramatic. Just not finding enough time to post them in one shot.
|11th September 2008, 02:49||#35|
Day 3 - South Rim
Today we left early from Flagstaff, as planned. The plan for today is to visit the South Rim, spend a couple of hours there and then move on to Monument Valley, via the East Rim.
It was 7am and we were already on the road. We tank up at the next door pump and soon we were on I-40W that finally leads to Los Angeles. The initial part of the journey remained uneventful and we reach the South Rim visitor center by 10:30am.
If you are not living on the edge, you are probably taking up too much space
The majestic view from South Rim
At the South Rim, you can either choose to walk along the paved rim trail that runs along the rim, or opt for a couple of bus rides that would take you to some of the other view point, which are quite far off.
Wonder who lives there!!
The usual crowd at South Rim
We chose to nudge along the rim trail for about a mile or so, but, it was too crowded with the usual crowd hanging around all over. So, we decided to go back to the visitor centre and took one of the buses that would take us on the Kaibab trail and touch upon 3 view points.
View from one of the Kaibab Trail view points
She is tracking Eagles. Efforts are on to bring back some of the eagles, like the Bald Eagle, which is almost extinct today. The Conservation society has brought up a few of these species and then released in nature. This lady is trying to gather data from these radio-collared eagles.
This may be one of them
We boarded one such bus. These buses are CNG powered and helps keep the environs clean. It’s a hop-on hop-off kind of a trip, with buses doing the rounds every 15 mins.
Time to get back to the bus
We spent some time at each of these view points and finally decided to get back.
View of the Colorado at last, from Navajo Point
More of Navajo Point in the next post.
|11th September 2008, 04:26||#36|
Day 3 – East Rim
One of the most scenic drives one can do here, is by taking the Desert View Trail. This trail is at the end of the East Rim and the road (Hwy 64) finally leads out of the Canyon. There are buses on this route, but you can take your car as well. We decided to drive along as this would be the route we would have to take anyway to reach Monument Valley.
The watch tower at Navajo point
The interior decor at the tower.
The Desert View trail presented some of the spectacular sights of the South Rim, the last being the Navajo point, where you have the famous watch tower overlooking the Canyon and the Colorado.
Adding some color to the arid surroundings
The watch tower at Navajo point provides a breathtaking view of the Canyon.
View from the tower
There are ancient (Red) Indian drawings inside (though recreated later). You can also buy Indian pottery and other mementos.
East Rim comes to an end. From here, we leave Grand Canyon National Park and take Hwy 64 towards Monument Tower. It was already 3:30pm and we wanted to reach Monument Valley before sunset at any cost. So, the race against time starts all over again Thank god there are not many cops around and I was happy I had the Mustang at my disposal. We pass through Red Lake and the topography starts changing gradually. Soon, your surroundings are copper red in color.
On way to Monument Valley
First view of Monument Valley
Still to come - Monument Valley. I would like to devote one post entirely to Monument Valley. I just could not have enough of this place and has become one of my favourite. Its a place where you should camp overnight, watch the landscape in full moon, and get lost in bliss.
|11th September 2008, 21:37||#38|
Day 3 - Monument Valley - The Silent Sentinels
In this post, I would prefer not to be very narrative. Monument Valley, at the border of Utah and Arizona, is undoubtedly, one of the must visit places. We reached MV by 6pm and still had about 1 hr before the sunset.
There is a road, unpaved, that's 17 mile long and takes you nearer to the rock structures. You can also enjoy the views from the visitor center.
We drove for about 1 mile on this dirt track. This was the only time when I felt that I should have had a 4WD SUV with me. The Mustang was just not suited for this road. I managed to scrap the bottom twice and decided to turn back.
Here are the pics of Monument Valley. We stood there and watched in awe as the place was gradually getting transformed, as the sun went down.
The road below is the dirt track that winds through the monuments
A closer view
At Ground Zero
The best vehicles suited for the terrain
Can it be more dramatic?
Back to the visitor center
Cars returning as it gets dark
The last rays of the Sun
The play of colors
It got quite dark as the base. Almost all the cars had left. However, my feet was kindoff glued to the ground, thinking, whether I would ever be able to come here again. I was taking in as much as I could. I was almost in paradise.
It got darker and we had another 175miles to drive back to Flagstaff, through the desert and hilly terrain. With a heavy heart, we leave Monument Valley.
The hint of the new moon..it was time to go :(
Our tour is gradually coming to an end. We still have Day 4 where we will take on the West Rim, Route 66 - the heart of the true Wild Wild West and then Hoover Dam, before we return to Las Vegas.
|12th September 2008, 02:41||#40|
Day 4 - Route 66
Today is the last day of our journey. We plan to cover the West Rim and portions of the historic Route 66, cross the Colorado at Hoover Dam and return to Las Vegas. The flight from Vegas leaves at 1:30pm. We should be able to reach the airport on time and return the car at the airport. We have a total of 265miles to cover in 5 hours with usual photo stops in between. So, the mad rush begins all over again !!
We check out of Flagstaff at 7:30am, as planned. Again, we were on I-40W, towards Los Angeles. We leave the Interstate at a town called Valentine and bang, we were into the heartland of the American Wild Wild West.
The tour coming to an end
The Route 66 is just about any other US highway. It is undivided and 2 laned and runs through the stark country side. We came across some of the vistas, so typical of the Hwy 66 that we have seen in various movies. The old world American charm is still preserved here.
The Mustang still going strong
Some of the sights reminded us of the hay days if the Native Americans.
A Motel site
Street lined with letter boxes that belonged to the buildings visible in the distance.
A Saloon on Hwy 66, capturing the true spirit of the place
You have not seen the real Wild Wild West, if you have not seen this. What a lovely sight!!
Every minute detail reminds you of the land you are passing through
You should drive this if you are here
The time we reached the end of Hwy 66, we were already running late. We decided not to spend much time at Hoover Dam as that would have meant that we would definitely miss our flight.
We made up time by doing some seriously fast driving. I was fortunate that there were no cops around.
Traffic was slow at the Hoover Dam with the usual touristy crowd hanging around. We drove by the dam and onwards towards Vegas.
A passing shot of Hoover Dam
Dropped the car at the Hertz return terminal and were on time for the flight. The rest of the journey was smooth.
I picked up my car from the Atlanta parking lot, dropped my friend at his place and reached home at 1:30am.
|12th September 2008, 03:03||#41|
Senior - BHPian
Join Date: Jun 2006
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You could have driven the entire 17miles on the Monument Valley. Our Chrysler 300 easily took it, but I had the confidence of already knowing its undersides. It was fun, especially pushing it thru a lot of the corners on the red dirt.
Although Insurance does not hold good on unpaved roads.
To be honest I was waiting for pics of red dirt smeared on the sides of the white car.
Last edited by 1100D : 12th September 2008 at 03:06.
|12th September 2008, 03:10||#43|
Join Date: Nov 2007
Thanked: 126 Times
Saurabh. Thanks, it was as if you were my eyes, I have had very strong resentment to all things american since a while, but after viewing these pics, I feel a change of heart.
Awesome and yes this was close to paradise.
|12th September 2008, 03:14||#44|
The tour ends
At the end of the 4th day, I was extremely tired but very satisfied with what I had experienced. This is undoubtedly one of my best travels that I have done so far and these 4 days were probably one of the best 4 days of my life. I surely wish that I could go back and experience the GC once more, with some time in hand, may be camp at Zion NP or in Monument Valley and experience the brilliance and bounty of nature closely.
Hope you have enjoyed this travelogue as much as I enjoyed bringing it to you. The photographs simply do not do any justice to the grandeur of the place and the exhilarating experience that one goes through at each and every corner.
Before signing off, this is something for you...
This is what happens when you have 210 horses at your command
I THINK I AM READY TO DIE TOMORROW
|12th September 2008, 03:15||#45|
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Hyderabad, New Delhi
Thanked: 67 Times
What a beautiful beautiful car!!!
Amazing pics man!
Now I am adding this place on my list of things to do within 6 months.
Im so impressed with the whole trip man..loved the pics. So much so that I'll probably rent a White Mustang and do the same thing!! Or maybe a Jeep Wrangler.
Im saving up from now buddy!!
thanks for the excellent visuals man.
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