Drive-By America: Day 13 – A Canyon Beneath the Moon
One thing has been consistent throughout this trip. Rob and I are constantly finding that we are the only two people crazy enough to be [insert any activity here]. Crazy enough to be out in harsh winds shooting the summits from the middle of the icy road at midnight, climbing a mountain of sand in 5 degree weather at sunrise, or arriving at 3:30am to a cliffside in Bryce, to sleep only 2 hours in a frozen car in order to ensure we do not miss the sun rising. But despite the oppressive weather and empty parking lots, we do it anyway, for the photos and for the excitement. No matter how crazy it seems, as long as you stay curious, observant and optimistic, everything always “works out” in the end. In my short time I’ve found that it is not luck which finds you on your travels, rather it is a state of mind which allows you to recognize possibilities and brings you take advantage of the positive opportunities which, in truth, surround us at all times. Do not be disappointed when one thing does not go as planned, rather see the opportunity to do some other thing, which photos will undoubtedly prove to have been infinitely more interesting. Bryce Canyon was not a planned part of the trip. I’ve been there 3 times already, and was sure that I’d covered it quite well photographically in the past. Of course, this time was completely different. After our terribly short, uncomfortable sleep, we awoke to find snow dusting the edges of the hoodoos and shimmering white powder on the trails. A day of driving and hiking provided beautiful panoramic views, off-trail snowy climbing (and sliding), and a fortuitous happenstance as we were preparing to leave; a famous tradition was occurring that night: the early evening full moon guided hike along the canyon from sunset point. Not only is it an ethereal experience watching the full moon appear from behind the distant mountains 20 miles away, but soon enough it exudes a glowing silvery light on all the frosted hoodoos and formations in the canyon below, while making the starry sky above glow with a deep royal hue. Surely this the most beautiful Bryce Canyon has ever been. And as you no doubt have already guessed, there’s really only one thing to do in the light of the full moon once one breaks off from a guided tour.