From Utah I traveled the Grand Canyon. I got to the Desert View campground(a new one for me) before noon on a Wednesday and was able to get a very nice site. This campground is small, 50 sites, all paved with a nice bathroom and plenty of water spigots. It’s also quiet and sort of out of the way compared to the much larger campgrounds in the park. I’ve spent time at the Grand Canyon before, so I didn’t take a lot of images here. Tried to get some night images, though. When I first got here the moon was full and lit up the canyon.
One of the great things about this campground is that it is away from the central/busy part of the park. I can stand outside my trailer after dark and see the Milky Way from one end to the other in the sky above me, a fantastic sight.
As time went on the moon came up later and I was able to get a few images with the Milky Way over the canyon. Needless to say the canyon doesn’t make much of a foreground, being a big black hole so one night I took my high power spotlight with me and tried lighting up the nearby canyon walls at a couple of overlooks.
I did take a few daytime images, but except for one day the skies where totally cloudless which makes for pretty harsh light.
Click here for more images
With record high temps and dry camping we’ve been taking it easy. As always the canyon is awe inspiring. During this trip we’ve seen the Colorado River many times,sometimes up close, but this is the furthest we’ve been from it I think while still viewing it.
At one of the overlooks I spotted this colorful bush (I suspect it is a weed) as as I stood taking a photo I realized there was a humming bird nearby. Turns out there were about 4 of them zooming around, chasing each other off, etc.
Since the nights have been clear I went out to capture the Milky Way. The MW is oriented in the east, roughly north to south right now and the canyon pretty much runs east to west, with most pullouts giving you strictly northern vistas. This was taken at Moran Point, looking east. Even if it was over the canyon since there is no moon the canyon would just appear as black as a foreground. But It’s always fun to get out at night and see what I can find.
Bison licking my truck, taken through the windshield.
What would Yellowstone be without bison? And how many folks have a bison get as up close and personal as this? This one was causing a jam, had many cars stopped as it stood in the road. Finally it moved so some cars could pass by moving in front of my truck. As I sat there it moved closer and closer and then started licking the truck….. After a few licks he moved to the passenger side, gave a lick or two then moseyed off onto the grass. Needless to say I was dumbfounded and the folks in the approaching lane were cracking up, getting quite a laugh from it all. I think this was a yearling, guessing by its size.
Bison calves (red dogs) playing
The calves sleep, eat, play and follow along where their mothers go.
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is impressive in its own way.
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, looking west to the waterfall
Click here for more photos
Last time I visited the Grand Canyon was close to 20 years ago for a 1 night stay. Except for being awed by it I remember very little else so staying here 4 nights has been a good experience. Checked in at Trailer Village on Thursday, April 25. Nice campground with full hookups. I’m in row L, last row, which is great because across from me is a very nice park like area for walking the dogs. Some shade, no underbrush and lots of woodchips in places, it smells great! Have to keep my eyes open though because there are lot of elk cows around and they mosey everywhere.
Several years ago Grand Canyon NP started a free shuttle bus service with stopping points at all the overlooks and places of interest. There are 3 routes, a central one that connects to the east & west ones which go out along the canyon rim and stop at the various overlooks. One of the stops is at the campground entrance, very convenient. They run 12 and 15 minutes apart so hopping off and on is really easy with no long waits. Except for a few of the overlooks on the east end of the canyon there is no need to drive at all. Very handy! It remnds me of staying at Ft. Wilderness in WDW with their shuttle service, have t wonder if they used that as a model. I did go out of the park on Sat. 4-27, to the small town of Tusayan to see the Imax movie at the National Geographic center, well worth the trip.
One of the things I’ve been trying lately is night photography so I’ve been out a couple of times trying to capture the night sky and stars along with some of the canyon.
Click here to see more photos