Sunday, October 13, 2019

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Gallery: 2019 Grand Canyon Trip - Los Alamos

For the first part of the day, my dad wasn't feeling well after a night of sleeping poorly, and stayed in the hotel while I went out and wandered around Los Alamos for a few hours. I visited several buildings belonging to the Los Alamos History Museum, and took a number of shots around the scenic Ashley Pond Park, as well as other historic sites in the city.

Later in the day, my father mustered the energy to visit the very interesting Bradbury Science Museum with me. My Laowa 9mm lens came in handy to add some wide dramatic perspective to some of the museum's displays, even when the space was tight. Afterwards, I had been looking forward to driving to Bandelier National Monument, which features a large number of fascinating cliff dwellings and other ruins, but after the museum, my dad had enough for that day and just wanted to rest and relax in the evening.

Link to: All the galleries from my 2019 Grand Canyon Trip

Saturday, October 12, 2019

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Gallery: 2019 Grand Canyon Trip - VLA & Bosque del Apache

After a day of travel with no photography, just driving across central Arizona and making time, we arrived at the Very Large Array (VLA) radio telescope facility in New Mexico in the evening. The interesting thing about the VLA is that there are many radio dishes arrayed along three sets of twinned railway tracks that radiate outward in a "Y" shape. The dishes can be moved along these tracks and repositioned to either be close together near the centre, or much further apart across the entire valley, depending on the scientists' needs. The tracks are each about 21 kilometres in length, allowing for huge flexibility in positioning the individual dishes.

In the above photo, you can see one of the rail transport vehicles that helps move the dishes, with one showing in the assembly and maintenance building in the background. It might be a bit hard to tell the scale, but the individual radio dishes are actually quite large, being 25 meters in diameter and each weighing over 200 metric tons!

The following day, before making our way up to Los Alamos, we stopped by the Bosque Del Apache Wildlife Preserve and walked around a little, observing many different birds... and one turtle as well. During past visits, I saw many more turtles basking in the sun, but I only glimpsed a single one that day...

Link to: All the galleries from my 2019 Grand Canyon Trip

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

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Gallery: 2019 Grand Canyon Trip - Death Valley

After spending some time in Rhyolite in the morning, as per the previous gallery, my dad and I made our way into Death Valley... the long way around via a scenic route: Titus Canyon. The road to Titus Canyon, which is strictly one way, branches off from the main highway just west of Rhyolite. After driving through a relatively flat area where there were lots of blooming wildflowers and some cacti, the road started winding around through some colourful scenery, and slowly the canyon got narrower and narrower. On previous trips through Titus Canyon, I never really documented the drive much, so this time I made sure to take lots of photos of my Outback in the canyon, so one can see how tight it really gets!

After exiting Titus Canyon and having an early dinner in Furnace Creek, we made our way south to Badwater, the lowest point in Death Valley, indeed the lowest in North America, at roughly 280 feet below sea-level. One shot in the linked gallery shows a sea-level sign way up the side of a mountain.

After Badwater, we made our way back north, towards our hotel in Beatty Nevada, but looped through the Artist's Palette drive, an area with vividly coloured sandstone and soil.

Link to: All the galleries from my 2019 Grand Canyon Trip

Sunday, October 6, 2019

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Gallery: 2019 Grand Canyon Trip - Rhyolite, Nevada

The first thing my father and I did on the morning after arriving in the Death Valley area, was to visit Rhyolite, a crumbling ghost town in Nevada near the California border. Over the years that I've visited Rhyolite, I've seen a progression of newly collapsed walls and structures, with many once accessible buildings now fenced off due to safety concerns.

Thankfully, my father was very patient and gave me time to really photograph Rhyolite during this visit, and I took lots of detail shots, as well as expansive shots with my ultra-wide Laowa 9mm lens. Having such a wide lens was very helpful in fully capturing some of the buildings despite needing to be very close-up, with the camera right over the fence surrounding the building, in order to avoid having those same fences appear in the foreground of the photos. Other times, the 9mm simply added a sense of drama and perspective, as in the above photo.

Link to: All the galleries from my 2019 Grand Canyon Trip

Saturday, October 5, 2019

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Gallery: 2019 Grand Canyon Trip - Days 1-3

Gallery (20 images): 2019 Grand Canyon Trip - Days 1-3

Back in late April, my father and I had left on a lengthy road-trip to the US Southwest in my new, 2019 Subaru Outback 3.6R. Our ultimate goal was to see the Grand Canyon, since he had been there with my mom many years ago, but the views had been nonexistent, with the canyon totally socked in with clouds. This time, we were hoping to find better weather there and the spectacular views the Grand Canyon is known for!

The above linked gallery has some shots from the first three days of travel south, on the way to our first major destination on the trip, Death Valley National Park in California.

During the 22 day, 9300 km road-trip, we wound our way through Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah and Nevada. Here is a screenshot of our entire trip as recorded by my vehicle GPS...