Today was a day of highs and lows. The clouds were wonderful, and there were great reflections in the river. However I was riding solo in the stern so about all I could photograph from the dory was back upstream or the sky above. Havasu Creek was phenomenal with its beautiful blue green water and many falls. I could have easily spent much more time there than was allocated for our hike up the canyon. In the evening I got my favorite Milky Way photo of the trip. Then I spent the night trying to keep the blowing sand out of my eyes and mouth.
I took relatively few photos in camp this morning. I don’t recall why; my notebook is silent on that. It does record that it seemed to get warmer overnight and, except for cracked fingers, I was feeling great. The panorama to the right from the dory shows the sky through the window of the canyon walls all around us.
When you view the slideshow of the photos taken along the river you’ll notice almost all of them were shot aiming upstream this day; I had limited visibility forward. Below right is one of the few photos I was able to capture looking upstream that also had a bit of the river in it.
Since photography on the river was limited today, I worked on creating some painterly images. Here is one.
We arrived at Havasu Creek at 11 AM. Even from the base of the canyon at the river one could tell this was a spot of beauty.
I got behind the group a bit — taking photos does that. At times I struggled to find the right “trail”. In some places it was obvious but in others more difficult to follow. Then there were the stream crossings. Wading is not a problem, unless you are carrying two cameras. So I treaded carefully — not a good time to slip — and had to figure out the right fording path that wouldn’t cause me to step in an underwater hole.
If you look carefully at the photo below you will see Charlie on a rock near the top.
Such a beautiful spot and so little time.
We had a late lunch a short distance from Havasu Creek. We paddled and drifted downstream, I don’t know how far, to an unnamed camp known informally as “Corner Camp” or “Love Nest”.
The photo below is a composite of 8 shots of our Love Nest Camp site. You can click this image to zoom way in then pan around. Please wait for the resolution to download. You can also use the + and – keys to zoom and the arrow keys to scroll. Or use the scroll wheel to zoom and the left mouse to drag.
If you zoom into the left side of the above image along the beach you will see my campsite for the night. It is to the left of Nick and Tony with the yellow Pelican case at the foot of my sleeping pad. You will notice that I cleverly set up my campsite right against some ledges which would hold my dopp kit and other things to the left of the orange towel. I nestled my backpack and plastic clothes bags up against the rock. This was a big mistake because when the wind came during the night it blew sand down from the ledges and covered everything, including me. I spent the night tasting sand and wondering if I would ever get it all out of my eyes. Oh well, I guessed sand helps digestion, at least swallowing small rocks help loons with theirs. Fortunately, this was the only really windy night of the trip.
Wandering around the beach before dinner I found some nice reflections and something I certainly did not expect — a mushroom in the sand. You can even see its black spores in this photo, waiting for the evening wind and some rain to begin life anew.
Since I love photographing moving water, I did some of that while waiting for dinner.
Before dinner I made the 6-shot panorama below left with my LX7 point-and-shoot. I was concerned about exhausting my batteries for my “real” cameras. I was able to finish the trip before they died. This image gives the sense that we often only had a small window to the sky from along the river deep in the canyon.
I did use my DSLR for a photo of the Milky Way at 7:30 PM. This is my favorite Milky Way photo from the trip. We used it as our Christmas card this year.
Sometimes one gets really lucky with photography. The moon was waning so it stayed hidden until around bedtime. But most of all the Milky Way was in a perfect position given our limited view of the sky. It did not have to be this way.
Please enjoy the slide show from Day 14.