Category Archives: Grand Canyon National Park

Time Travels

Time Travels from Thayne Shaffer on Vimeo.

Four years, five states, fourteen locations, 8,130 photos and countless miles driven! Continue reading »

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon 2014 from Thayne Shaffer on Vimeo.

In October Angela and I took a long-awaited road trip to the south rim of the Grand Canyon. It was our first visit, and we spent three magical days exploring and touristing. I say touristing because we actually paid for a two-hour mule ride along the south rim. It was a super touristy thing to do, and I usually try to avoid those kinds of activities in lieu of looking for lesser-known places off the beaten path. But in this case it was pretty cool riding the mules within feet of the canyon rim, watching ravens circle in the air below us, and thinking of what it must have been like in the early days before the park was established.

Not being familiar with the park, we chose to be at Mather Point for our first sunrise. On the map is looks like a great vantage point, and it wasn’t far from where we were staying. It turns out that its proximity to some big parking lots (the very reason we chose it) makes it the epicenter for disgorging tour busses full of people vying for prime photography vantage points. We got their early enough to have our pick, but due to our lack of familiarity with the park we spent our first magic moments of sunrise with a few hundred of our closest friends from across the globe. There was a certain short elderly lady that kept squeezing in between our tripods and leaning out to take pictures. You can see her dart in an out in the time-lapse sequence that I took that morning with the GoPro. But I decided not to make an issue of it since I can drive there in less than a day, but it looked like she had traveled half a world to see that moment.

After that we decided to look for more secluded places for sunrise and sunset. Our best morning was watching the sun come up from Moran Point. We were the first ones there and again had our choice of spots. However, only one other couple showed up. There’s really nothing like quietly watching the sunrise over the Grand Canyon in solitude.

It’s hard to imagine what the park would be like in the heat of the summer with summer crowds. Parts of it were fairly crowded even in the off season. But we had highs in the 70’s and lows in the 40’s – perfect temperatures and all in all a great trip.

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