Day 1-10/23/14: Flew from St. Louis to Phoenix, AZ. Left Saint Louis at 8:00am arrived at 9:00am. Three hour flight with a two hour time change. Desert like area. Lot of cactus. By the time we got the car and got on our way it was around 3:07 Central Time and 5:07pm Pacific. Traveled Highway 17 north and then took scenic route 179 through Sedona. (Click on images to see a larger view)
Day 2-10/24/14: Took the day to scope out the Grand Canyon. Took cameras but did not plan any photo shoots other than what I could capture hand held. We rented a couple of bicycles for the day and road to Yaki Point which is the eastern section of the south rim of the Canyon. On our return we rode to the Grand Canyon Village. This section of the rim bridges the east “Kaibab Rim Route” with the west “Hermit Road Route”. The Grand Canyon Village houses the mule barns and is the location for Bright Angel Trailhead, the mule trail to the bottom and the Colorado River. The scenery is beautiful and truly is a wonder to behold.
Day 3-10/25/14: Today we set out to drive the east rim of the Canyon also known as Desert View Drive. Another beautiful morning. Our first stop was at an over look on Desert View Drive. It was early morning and the sun was just beginning to rise. I wish we had some cloud cover but it was a clear sky with shades of yellow, blue, purple, and pink hues as part of the sunrise. After capturing a few images we continued on and stopped at Grandview Point then it was on to Moran Point. We took a break to tour the Tusayan Museum and Ruin. Next was Lipan Point, then Navajo Point and finally Desert View. This drive is not heavily traveled but one that yields awesome panoramic views of the Grand Canyon (
Day 4-10/26/14: Today was the day to hike Hermits Rest Road Rim. There are three section to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, The Village Route, Kaibab Rim Route, and the Hermit Rest Road. A system of shuttle buses travel a restricted paved road that runs parallel to the rim hiking corridor. Although vehicles are restricted there are bus links at every viewing point. This allows hikers to get off the trail at designated points and be shuttled back to their starting locations. The Hermits Rest Road Rim section is approximately 8 miles long one way. (
Day 5-10/27/14: We went to Page, AZ to photograph the Lower Antelope Canyon. (AC) and Horse Shoe Bend. (HB). Antelope Canyon required us to hike 1/4 mile to entrance, then descend three stories into the Canyon. There is a lot of fine sand in this area which can be very slippery on the rocks. Used Ken's Tours as recommended by Trip Advisors. The Photo Pass was $48 and good for two hours. You are on your own but Watch you watch because it is $20 for each twenty minutes of overtime. The competitor has group photo tours but I would not recommend it because in the canyon there is limited space to set up. The regular tour groups are not allowed to have tripods. They allowed me to follow the group tour in and I had no problem setting up my tripod to get a specific shot. Because this was late in the season and probably the last group for the day, the group I as following took their time and I was able to follow behind without losing contact with them. Awesome experience and the Navaho guides were excellent and knew all the right spots to get a great shot.
Day 5-10/28/14: Breakfast in Williams at Pine Country Restaurant. Took scenic route 89A through Sedona. Stopped at overlook to shop with Navaho venders. Took pictures of cactus plants just outside of Phoenix. Check in at a motel and rested up for the return flight back to St. Louis and the drive home. I definitely want to go back and I want to drive all the way even though it will be a 24 hour drive. Next on my bucket list is Zion, Bryce, and Archer’s National Parks. Please visit my galleries at www.jmgilbertphoto.com and www.jmgilbertphoto.net. Thanks!