Gone to See America 2013. Nikonian Annual Photography Adventure Trip. Day 5: Williams, Chloride, and Oatman.
When we woke up, there was snow on the ground. Early winter — but Williams is 6766 feet above sea level. The government shutdown continued, and the closure of Grand Canyon National Park continued. Our van set out for opportunities at lower elevations free of snow. We traveled to Chloride, a one time silver mining town and now nearly a ghost town. Outside of Chloride, we visited a site where artist Roy Purcell created some modern rock murals back in the 1960’s. We also visited Oatman, another former gold mining town. Now a tourist destination. But the remaining local residents don’t want the tourists to feed the wild burro’s.
Gone to See America 2013. Nikonian Annual Photography Adventure Trip. Day 4: Page, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe Bend.
The US Government was in shutdown mode while we visited Arizona. All the National Parks, Monuments, and other “non-essential” government facilities closed. The organizers of ANPAT 13 scrambled to find other locations for the four vans of photographers to visit. The original plan was to spend most of remaining time in Grand Canyon National Park. Many folks signed up for the trip specifically to see the north rim of the Grand Canyon and not surprisingly disappointed and angry. Our van’s revised assignment for the day included Lower Antelope canyon, on Navajo land, and thus not closed. Horseshoe Bend, where the upper vista point is on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land — technically closed, but not preventing visitors hiking to the vista point. Finally, Glen Canyon Dam, where the visitor center closed, but the dam and power generation remained in operation. Like us, tourists from all around the world were looking for alternative things to do and see leading to overcrowding at some locations.
We first drove to Page, and then Upper Antelope Canyon. I’d been there before on a Photography Workshop with Winston Hall. It is a target rich environment for photographers. You can only visit Antelope Canyon with a Navajo guide, and this time we had to sign a release regarding use of images and safety. The sky was cloudy, so we didn’t have the light beams coming down into the narrow slot canyon — but it still was a wonderful place to get some very unique images. The next stop was Horseshoe Bend. I’d also been there before with Winston Hall. The parking area was nearly full, and the only evidence of the government shutdown were locked restrooms. We hiked to Horseshoe Bend vista point, and found many folks already there. Rather than fight for a spot at the favorite viewpoint, I found a different place with a good view. I mounted a camera Nikon 800 camera with a fisheye lens on a sturdy monopod, then held the camera over the edge. It’s quite a view. A bit later I saw a National Geographic photographer put a camera out over the canyon wall with an even longer pole. This was before the days of drones.
Individual images from theses slideshows can be viewed here.
Gone to See America 2013. Nikonian Annual Photography Adventure Trip. Day 3: Sedona to Williams, Arizona.
Prior to leaving Sedona, we spent the morning photographing the morning sun lighting up the red rock buttes. I set up a Nikon D4 camera and 16 mm f/2.8 fisheye lens to record a time-lapse video. I managed to walk in front of the camera a few times.
Gone to See America 2013. Nikonian Annual Photography Adventure Trip. Day 2: Gold King Mine and Ghost Town.
After Jerome, we visited the “tourist attraction” of Gold King Mine and Ghost Town. Or how to make money off a dump. Lots of derelict old cars and mining equipment, along with displays for paying tourists visiting a ghost town. It even boasts an old-time desert rat riding a Harley Davidson (for a fee).
Gone to See America 2013. Nikonian Annual Photography Adventure Trip. Day 2: Jerome.
Our van spent the morning in Jerome, a historic copper mining town. We then spent some time at the nearby King Mine and Ghost Town. The mines are no longer active, with tourism supporting the economy of the region.