Not far from the Centre of Sedona is a magnificent park called Oak Creek Canyon. I had always wanted to photograph here since seeing an image Captured by Galen Rowell when he happened to capture the Creek in flood after a Storm. this place is a photographer’s dream and it often photographed in the Autumn when all the Aspens are in Fall Colour. I had the place to myself, as it was the middle of winter. Late afternoon light swept across Court house Rock and made the perfect back-drop. There was enough water in Oak creek to get the desired reflections and the light just got better and better as I worked my way up the Canyon.
One of the places I had long wanted to see in this area of the USA was Canyon De Chelly. Located in the Arizona Desert not far from the New Mexico Border, it is still home to the Navajo people. they farm this Canyon today just as their ancestors did 1200 years ago. Horse Ranching, some crops and cherry orchards make up the farming community. I was stunned to see three Indian guys go down a rope ladder into the canyon to work. They said it was quicker this way than going around and into the front part of the Canyon. A massacre happened here in the 19th century…US cavalry shot and killed all the women and Children after they had cornered them in the back of the Canyon. At 1200 feet deep the Canyon is a wonder to see and is on the US National monument list.
Minus eight C the morning but I decided to get the first light over the Canyon anyway. I stood transfixed not just with the cold but in wonder as the moon started to set over the Arizona Desert. It had been a clear starry night so it was very very cold! All worth the effort though… to see and experience the winter in this part of the world.
Mesa Verde National Park is at an altitude of over 8000 feet. Normally a light dusting of snow falls in the winter. But…. this year as North America received an abundance of cold weather and snowfall this part of Colorado did not escape it. The park was open and one of the famous cliff villages was open for inspection. However the largest of all the “White Palace” could only be seen from the lookout. What an amazing place, and the sun shone through all afternoon making the preserved villages glow.