So, continuing on with the grand adventure trip – day 7 began with our visit to Bryce Canyon (our previous post) and concluded with an overnight in the Grand Canyon. As we approached the North Rim of the world’s most famous hole in the ground, things looked pretty ominous and gray, with a light mist hanging over our approach. Just inside the park (and the only time we actually got even a hint of rain while shooting) we found a small herd of bison. Their great, great, great, great grandparents were actually brought to the park from Yellowstone in some sort of breeding experiment – it didn’t work, but the herd remains – albeit oddly smaller and more springy than their more northern counterparts. It took us another 30 minutes or so to arrive at the North Rim Lodge, where we had fortuitously booked a cabin to spend the night. The Lodge, though considerably smaller than Old Faithful Inn has a similar ambiance and one whopper of a view. But, with the clouds dissipating and the prospect of an actual sunset, we grabbed a pizza (affordable and tasty!) from the lodge’s cafe, hopped in the Mustang, dropped the top, and headed to Cape Royal, about 40 minutes down the road. We arrived with just minutes to spare and were greeted with the view above.
As the sun passed through the sliver of daylight between the clouds and canyon, Bryn and I photographed at a bit of a fever pitch to make the most of the momentary appearance of the sun. As it dipped below the horizon, we brought out the tripod and captured the cliffs and canyon around us in the dwindling light (above). As night drew in around us, we walked the half mile path back to the car and headed to our little cabin on the rim. It had been a long day, but before we called it a night, we went out to the observation deck of the lodge and shot a few night photos. Far from ideal with the bright moon obscuring the stars and producing a fair bit of lens flare, I was still able to get a few shots that I enjoyed. Had we another day, I would have ventured to the south rim to take advantage of the moonlight on the canyon below – but as it was, we were on a tight schedule on Day 8 as we headed East toward the Vermilion Cliffs, Horseshoe Bend and a sunset appointment with Arches.
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Autumn in the National Parks – The Grand Canyon