Saturday, April 17, 2010

Arizona, part 2!


nd now for part two of Abbie and I's vacation to see my parents in Arizona! You can read part one here, if you missed it.

As you will see, we crammed absolutely as much hiking/exploring and general fun into the three days we were there that we could. Hang on... here we go!

On Saturday, we got up bright and early to meet Jackson Bridges for the photographic tour of Canyon X that my parents so graciously scheduled for us. We all agreed that while the Grand Canyon was inspiring and unfathomably huge, Canyon X was so much more amazing in that it was "up close and personal."

Canyon X is a slot canyon which is basically a very narrow canyon. So narrow that at points the sun does not ever directly reach the canyon floor.

You would never guess, from where we began our hike what we were about to see.

As we entered the canyon itself, the sun reflected off of the red rock, creating the most amazing colors and textures!

We all felt like we had stepped into another world.

Here we are: My parents and Abbie and I, standing in a more open part of the canyon.

Then we went back into a more narrow part of the canyon~ such surreal color surrounded us.

I loved this tree... I believe it was a Juniper.... twisted and gnarled, roots seeking out deep water. "He will be like a tree, planted by streams of water...." (Ps. 1)

And here we are together again... thanks Jackson!

This next photo was a really fun technique that Roger and Bryan (two "real" photographers on the tour) helped me with. It is called "light painting." With my camera set on a very slow shutter speed (like 30 sec!) and on a tripod, two people shone flashlights on Abbie, and on the stone arch above her, slowly moving the lights so she would be illuminated for the photo. If the flashlights hadn't been used, she would have been only a silhouette since the only light came from behind her.

Pretty neat, huh? (Thanks again, Brian and Roger!)

More exploring in the canyon...

Then we exited the canyon.... hearts awed by God's creation.

Before leaving the Page area, we stopped by an area outside of town called Horseshoe Overlook which boasts an amazing view of the Colorado river.

Once again, from the topical view, one would never guess what lies ahead....

This was what we saw as we neared the overlook. I was again reminded how terrified I am of "you slip and you'll die" kind of heights!

There were people sitting and standing at the very edge of the cliff. They, being totally unconcerned about being maimed or dying, were having a great time! I really, really wanted to get a good picture, so I crawled to the edge on my stomach. Why that felt safer, I can't tell you, but it did. (Actually I thought about having Abbie hold onto my feet, but decided that the humiliation would be too great!)

The funny thing (other than my terror) was that there was a sweet lady from England sitting at the edge, feet dangling into space who in her lovely accent assured me that (imagine your best British accent) "It's ok, you can sit here by me, really!"

Here's the photo I braved death to get.

It was way further down than it looked. Trust me.

That night (Saturday), we drove to my parents' home outside of Phoenix and the next morning we drove way south, almost to the Mexican border to hike at Chiricahua National Park. The rocks there are so unique.

There was mile after mile of these stacked and amazingly balanced rocks. We had so much fun saying "Look! That one looks like...."

Do you see the lizard in the photo above?

I loved the swirling bark on this tree!

Another cool gnarly tree....

My dear parents, surveying the incredible vista...

The next morning we awoke early (4:15 am!) to head for the airport and home. I don't think it was possible to cram any more fun into four days than we did. I'm still tired!


  1. What totally AMAZING pictures Susan!! I LOVE the shots you got of that canyon ~ the first set...such beauty!! God's handiwork is very creative!! Thanks for sharing with us! Rest up now!! :)

    Blessed Lord's Day to you my friend!

  2. Dear Brave Susan :-)

    What a wonderful time and such beautiful pictures. I love the gnarly trees, the canyons, the "light painting" of Abbie. Breath taking views!

    Have you gotten yourself rested up from all that activity?


  3. Chloye Bailey PogueApril 18, 2010 at 1:13 PM

    Susan, you don't know me but you know my husband, Powell Pogue, and I know you through your sweet parents and Powell. These pictures are absolutely fantastic! Powell and I are meeting your parents and the Gilmans in two weeks at Bennett Springs State Park so I will hear first hand about your and Abbie's visit with them. Thanks for sharing these photographs and your lovely, meaningful captions -- I feel quite the same way about God's handiwork.
    Chloye Bailey Pogue

  4. ~Thanks Camille! I did get to take a long nap this afternoon after church.... love Sunday afternoon naps!

    ~Cinnamon, At least *someone* appreciates my death-defying photographic act! LOL! Thanks!

    ~Chloye, my parents have told me how much they are enjoying getting to spend time with you. I know that they are really looking forward to their trip to Bennett Springs in a few weeks. It should be lovely then! Hope to get to meet you in real life sometime soon!


  5. Susan,
    The photos are wonderful. I have never been out west. I hope to go sometime. Thanks for sharing them with us.


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