Broad Views (Landscapes)

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Monument Valley

During a trip to Arizona and Utah that included stays along the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and in the valley of Zion National Park, Monument Valley made the greatest impression on me.  Sandstone buttes that reach as high as 1,000 feet  stand like red giants above the valley floor.  Featured in films by Director John Ford and others, these “monuments” are icons of the American West.

We arrived to Monument Valley on a late afternoon and checked into The View, a hotel run by Navajos that overlooks the East and West Mittens, two of the most well-known buttes in the valley.  I set an alarm for 5 a.m. the next morning, hoping to catch the sunrise from behind these buttes.  I set up my camera gear amid a light rain.  For those who haven’t been there, this is an arid, desert area that averages less than 6 inches of rainfall per year, so I was feeling pretty unlucky, and regretting the early wake-up call.  But as the storm moved away while the sun was rising, that all changed, and I – along with four other now giddy photographers – were treated to spectaular colors filtered through the passing storm.

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