Grand Canyon 2011
Roger at the Grand Canyon June, 2011



06/21/11 day 1 Left about 7:30 am for the Grand Canyon about 210 miles away. Arrived at the Trailer Village RV park at 12:00 noon and checked into a nice pull through long 50' site with full hook ups. Got all systems set up; sewer, water, electric, tv, chairs, barbecue, etc. Steve and Helen arrived around 1:30 pm. We drove to the Visitor Center and the main lodge area to take a look down from the rim. It was a beautiful site as always. We attended an interesting ranger lecture about geology and then another lecture at the Condor observation site the near Kolb Art Gallery. Walking the rim at this high nearly 7000' altitude caused us some shortness of breath especially Helen who is having unknown respiratory problems right now even at sea level. I barbecued huge 2" thick Iowa Farms pork chops with green peas for dinner. They really went well with the Cabernet Sauvignon Robert Mondavi wine. The food is not good in the Lodges so we plan on preparing our own meals at the trailer. Just before dark I visited the Astronomy Party (the reason I came to the Grand Canyon on this trip) near the park visitor center. It was a beautiful clear dark evening, no wind, and in the high 60's. There seemed like 200 scopes set up for public viewing. I met fellow astronomers, photogphraphers, and friends; Roy Ang, Bill Loquist, and several San Diego Astronomy Club members. Stayed about 2 hours and returned to the trailer.

 

06/22/11 day 2 Steve and I left for the Canyon Rim for sunrise photography at 6:00 am. The lighting was great. We had breakfast at the El Tovar lodge enjoying a nice view of the canyon while dining. We hiked a short distance perhaps 2 miles on the rim trail before it got too hot. The highs were in mid 90's and the lows at night in the mid 50's. We went back to the trailer and hung out lounging in my comfortable camp recliner chairs. I made Costco rack of lamb, peas, and corn for dinner. The barbecued lamb was to die for. Watched TV a couple of hours and retired.

 

06/23/11 day 3 Steve and Helen left me this morning to stay in Sedona AZ a few nights before returning to San Diego. They have both been long time friends and I really enjoyed their brief stay with me. I spent the morning cleaning the trailer and setting up my computer; doing diary and processing photos. At night I attended the star party and set up my Astrotract for some wide field imaging. Conditions were a bit breezy, but I took about 20 frames of the Milkyway area using my Canon 7D and a Canon 24-105mm f4 lens. Retired to bed around 11:00 pm.

 

06/24/11 day 4 Got up at 5:30 am and met astronomy friends over at Mather Campground for our photo trip to Antelope Canyon. This famous canyon is located 149 miles from the South Rim near Page Arizona. I rode with Roy Morrow an astronomer from Knoxville TN. He was a very interesting man who had a PHD in Chemical Engineering and had lots of interesting stories and life accounts to share with me. Roy Ang also drove with Doug Hansen both photographers and astronomers from San Diego CA. The 3rd vehicle housed Bill Loquist an astronomer from Phoenix AZ and also a past acquaintance/partner of mine on a Colorado River rafting trip in 2009. It took us 3 hours to reach the canyon owned by an Indian tribe. The cost to get in was $26. It was a soft sandstone slot canyon dry drainage perhaps 100' at its deepest. The ambient temperature was in the high 90's but it was relatively cool in the slot. There were beautiful formations and colors in the canyon. Our tickets were good for 2 hours. The canyon was full of photographers from all over the world. There were metal stairs in some areas to help people negotiate through. There is an upper and a lower area with separate fees. We did the lower one apparently the best one according members in the group who had been to both. I became very fatigued after 1.5 hours mostly from the heat and blowing sand, so returned sooner than the rest of the group. I enjoyed the trip but would endeavor to arrive earlier next time to beat the heat, crowds, and of course the sun would be at lower more provocative angle. We then had lunch at Subway and headed back to the South Rim. We stopped in Cameron the famous Navaho trading post for a break on the way back. I swear that the cost of Navaho rugs increase 20% every time I revisit this fun trading post. Linda would be horrified if I bought one. We got back in 3 hours around 4:30 pm. I was dog tired from long day and the heat so went to bed at 8:00 am skipping astronomy this night.

 

06/25/11 day 5 Got up at 5:10 am and drove to the canyon rim at Mather Point. The sun was just rising as I got out to the rim with my tripod and camera. I photographed for about 1.5 hours and returned to Trailer Village and cooked myself a huge breakfast; multi-grain toast with butter and jam, baby browned left over fried potatoes, eggs over easy, and coffee with cinnamon Yum Yum. Spent the day working on photos and getting the trailer cleaned up and ready for travel. At 7:30 am I took the canyon bus out to Hoppi Point to photograph the sunset at 8:35 pm. It was beautiful and I got lots of good shots. I then went to the star party and visited with Jose & Bill. The highlight was seeing the Super Nova in the M51 spiral galaxies.

Last updated on July 3, 2011