John & Anne Wiley

2014/05/25

Invitations

Yesterday I was avoiding the tragic Isla Vista events partly by posting more pix from our 4C trip with Zubair & family. Last night a dear friend came over and we all faced it together, watching the news with many tears and much thoughtful conversation. Today I’m contemplating a connection between the horrific events, and my post yesterday. For me, the common thread is Invitations. When someone says or does something that triggers anger or sadness in me, it’s an Invitation to those feelings. I then choose, still too often unconsciously, what to feel. My life is a long story of learning this, and transforming my choice of feelings from childhood reactive impulse to conscious compassion for myself and others.

So today it’s helpful for me to take this news that has so shaken our entire community, as an Invitation to reconnect with happiness and beauty. That’s already happening in conversation with friends and loved ones, so right now I’m also taking a moment to complete a review of the final Invitation we accepted on that one enchanted day that began inside Antelope Canyon and included an experience of earth and sky on the rim of Horseshoe Bend.

8292 Returning

8292 Returning

As we descended quietly over the high mesa between the Paria and the Colorado, warm feelings of Return washed over me. Returning to an ancient yet for us recent place, with new perspective. Beyond this tight bend in the river of time, looking to the right where it takes a turn in the other direction we saw the place we’d be standing in a couple of hours.

8295 Viewpoint

8295 Viewpoint

Coming out the highway from Page and turning onto the short road to a parking lot at top right, we’d hike that dusty trail out to the rim and watch the sunset at this turning of the river where millions of people have gathered in awe.

8307 Horseshoe Bend

8307 Horseshoe Bend

Down there we’d have a different perspective on this view, with solid rock beneath us and the thrill of a sheer ledge open at our feet. We’d feel our hearts soaring with a raven in the wind and remember being up here looking down. From that sunset viewpoint we’d climb the outcrop at the bottom right where I embraced a powerful invitation to capture a new fav pic of my lifetime fav person with a passing squall in the distance and the sunlight in her hair. An invitation to feel and release pain, as consciousness expands to ever more fully enjoy this gift of Life.

8456 Life Invitation

8456 Life Invitation

Advertisements

Second Invitation

So the second of our “Three Invitations” was when we looked up the Paria River that branches off the Colorado River at the top of Marble Canyon. We almost took a few minutes to fly up there for a look, but wanted to join Zubair and family at Page because they’d flown on ahead. Thus it was that on the same day as our trance-forming walk down into Lower Antelope Canyon, Tripp lifted us up over it and after a brief detour over Navajo Canyon we made the short hop West. In a few minutes we had this view back down the Paria River toward the distant top of Marble Canyon.

8181 Paria River Canyon

8181 Paria River Canyon

In places the river has carved a very deep and narrow channel through the rock, similar to yet different from the other carved gorges we’d seen.

8218 Deep & Narrow

8218 Deep & Narrow

The zig-zag in this spot really caught my eye. I wonder if many hikers explore the bottom there, presumably equipped with weather radios to listen for warnings and climbing gear to make a hasty exit in event of any rain in the region. In most places the channel was much wider, but in medium sized areas there are rock islands and complex shapes.

8242 Complex Carving

8242 Complex Carving

In this region is an area called Vermillion Cliffs where I thought we might spot The Wave but we didn’t know exactly where to look and probably flew too far North along the river to see it. In most places it was too dark at the bottom of the river to see much in the medium or narrow channels, but I did manage to get this view as we headed back to accept our third “invitation” (pix to share in my next post).

8257 Down & In

8257 Down & In

2014/05/24

Up & Over

The second part of this one enchanted day was quite soon after we wandered in awe from the timeless hour or so of strolling through Antelope Canyon. While our companions went on to do other things on the ground, we climbed into Tripp for a brief tour of the area around Page. There were of course many visual treats, but most impactful for us was climbing out of the airport over Antelope Canyon where we’d begun this magical day.

8012 Antelope Inlet

8012 Antelope Inlet

It opens into Lake Powell, so even quite far up the inlet there was enough water for this houseboat (that’s not a bus at the bottom) to navigate. As it continues further up, there’s only water during rains when of course everyone gets out of the canyon.

8015 Antelope & Power

8015 Antelope & Power

The part going up to the right goes to the section we’d walked in, to the right of the power plant. Though it narrows further up, even the wider parts look cool for walking in on rainless days.

8024 Narrowing Canyon

8024 Narrowing Canyon

Looking back as we passed it, I was surprised to see that the part we’d been in is just a side canyon off this main channel.

8057 Lower Antelope Canyon

8057 Lower Antelope Canyon

That’s it going to the right toward the building and parked cars where we’d bought tour tickets. You walk to a stairway at the left, through the canyon, and you exit up some stairs at the right end. It was frankly startling to see how short it was, because that hour and some felt like miles and hours that passed in a fleeting dream. Next we turned left for a look at the start of Navajo Canyon with Tower Rock and Lake Powell in the distance.

8091 Navajo Canyon

8091 Navajo Canyon

This too is an inlet, but vastly larger than you can tell from this pic. Another view just beyond the bottom of this pic included a 20′ boat that looks like a small speck at this range. All along this canyon, and in fact along the lake shore, are many narrow canyons. Some you can drive a boat into, and many that continue far up from the water especially now with the lake at such a low capacity. Then we climbed back across Antelope Canyon and the airport for a look up that intriguing river at the top of Marble Canyon that was one of our Three Invitations.

2014/05/22

Antelope Canyon

So keep in mind that on this single day we flew over three very magical areas around Page and also hiked two of them. As you might imagine, we have some pix we like from that day. Here are just a few of the ones I like a lot from our hike through Lower Antelope Canyon, though none really begin to capture what it looks like much less the impact of being there.

7110 Into Antelope Canyon

7110 Into Antelope Canyon

It’s quite challenging to get pix that capture the range of light, from deep shadows to bright sunlight. But this one looking up the canyon from the entrance area near the top of the stairs gives at least an impression. It looked pretty mysterious and deep, and a few people worried aloud about claustrophobia and how narrow it might be in places. Here’s a look down into the entrance, with the bottom of the metal stairs visible.

7108 Down Into The Earth

7108 Down Into The Earth

Descending was quite enchanting, and I noticed that nearly everyone grew quietly reverent. After setting foot on the sandy bottom, everyone seemed to me quite relaxed with any misgivings completely forgotten. Though it’s quite deep, the bottom is mostly much wider than the top. The walls are luminous with light reflected down the narrow upper channels making the bottom seem almost lit from within.

7214 Dream Cave

7214 Dream Cave

It’s a dream cave. Light, dry, airy, smelling of clean sand, and delightful to touch. Also a photographer’s dream, with so many views like this. Most people in our small group were snapping a lot, but a few just strolled in silence and some like me did both.

7281 Textures

7281 Textures

Most of us moved very slowly, because around every turn you could get very different and evocative perspectives just by turning your head or moving a few inches. We were art lovers in an exceptional gallery.

7242 Perspective 1

7242 Perspective 1

Shifting your perspective would also make the camera see the same spot differently, due to how the settings would change. This is basically the same spot, for example.

7251 Perspective 2

7251 Perspective 2

In a few places you could catch glimpses of the sky, and tilting the camera straight up could give the impression of looking horizontally at a mountain range with sunlight falling on some rock faces and reflected light bringing a glow to others.

7395 Looking Up

7395 Looking Up

Some of the shapes were just so magical. I don’t recall now whether this was looking up, down or through the passage.

7605 Random Orientation

7605 Random Orientation

It’s interesting to me how taking pix both puts me more in the moment, and less. In looking for and snapping pix, the eye Notices and Attends more. Pix also provide an instant window back into the Moment, even years later. Yet I was always glad to lower the camera, breathe it all in, caress the walls with hand and eye, allow imagination to blossom, and even close my eyes. Thank you, Zubair, for placing this hour into the earth and out of time high on our agenda for the trip.

2014/05/20

Three Invitations

In sharing a few more of my 300+ pix from those few breathtaking minutes flying from L41 to PGA, I’m recalling the three invitations we received. Primarily from Marble Canyon itself, with scenes like this where colors and shapes flooded our senses.

6941 Shades & Shapes

6941 Shades & Shapes

The sinuous sand bars, greens and reflections of the river dancing with incredible stone forms. Even the ripples of a boat awakened magic here.

6971 Wake Floating

6971 Wake Floating

So it was that we turned back to take another quick tour of the river bends and saw again in the haze below, the L41 airport where we’d just lifted off not ten minutes ago.

6923 So Near L41

6923 So Near L41

An earlier invitation had come from the much smaller Paria River that intrigued us branching toward the northwest even sooner after takeoff from L41. What might we see there with a few minutes’ flight off course to PGA?

6889 Paria off Colorado

6889 Paria off Colorado

The third major invitation we had to detour or to return for a deeper gaze into wonderments, was from slot canyons.

6939 Slot Into CO

6939 Slot Into CO

Many like this one opened into the Colorado River, inviting the eye to wander quietly up the dry red sandy stream bed. From up here doing that felt safer than on foot, wondering if there were a sudden downpour somewhere upstream and unknown until a rumble announced an impending flash flood. But in those cool walls next to the great river, we imagined a serene calm.

7049 Three Paths

7049 Three Paths

Just before landing at PGA though, we passed over deep slot canyons far from the river that invited us to explore Antelope Canyon the next day as we’d been planning. I can barely wait to share some pix of that day, because we eagerly accepted all three invitations!

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: