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Old 06-19-2010, 11:11 AM   #1
dave6253 OP
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Location: Phoenix, Arizona
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Alone at the Grand Canyon - North Rim, Toroweap...

Solitude at the Grand Canyon




















I can hardly believe it's been an entire year since my last Grand Canyon experience. Last June I rode All the Way Around the Grand Canyon. I did that trip with a point-and-shoot camera. Since then I got my first DSLR and have been working to understand more about photography. I find myself wanting to return to some of the beautiful and lonely places I've ridden to recapture the light and solitude.

WARNING: One rule of photography I've definitely not mastered, shoot many, share only the absolute best few. I'm trying to be more selective, but if I like it or think it adds to the RR I'm sharing.

This ride will be different than the last. Instead of trying to completely circumnavigate the Grand Canyon I plan to cut out all the boring parts. My focus will be The North Rim, the west side of the Kiabab Plateau, and Toroweap. Of course, not everything goes as planned...

The Weather Forecasts:

Accuweather.com


Weather.com


I'm pretty sure the meteorologists were just GUESSING!
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
exoff-roadgoat
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Very niceand very jealous.
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Old 06-19-2010, 11:30 AM   #3
Rainier_Rider
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Those photo's are great!
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:08 PM   #4
dave6253 OP
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Fortune Cookie

Friday

"Be prepared to change your plans. It will be good for you." I stare at the small strip of paper and let those words sink in. I'm at lunch with co-workers only hours away from starting a motorcycle journey. I wonder about the message in my fortune cookie and it's implications.

Once underway I head straight out of the furnace on the fastest route possible. I-17 Sucks.

I pass a photo radar van. The good news it that these are going the way of the Dodo Bird. Photo radar ends statewide in July! We've had the most photo radar in the U.S. for the last year. Local Jurisdictions may still use photo radar, but the statewide program of fixed and mobile photo radar ENDS.




SLAB. YUCK.




But the slab is the fastest way out of the desert and into the cool country.






I grab dinner in Flagstaff.


While the bike takes a break.


Then we head north on the 89.




My initial plans were to camp near Flagstaff, but I got on the road earlier than expected and have plenty of daylight left. There will not be camping available again until I cross the Navajo Nation and reach the Kiabab Plateau. It will be dark by then.






The clouds ahead become interesting...
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Old 06-19-2010, 12:13 PM   #5
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Great pictures
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Old 06-19-2010, 01:31 PM   #6
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Rain, Fog, Cold, and the Wrong Helmet

I cross the new bridge next to the old bridge at Cameron, AZ.






I stop to gear up for the rain on a section of the old highway that sometimes parallels the new highway.


I figure I should get the rain gear on, even though it's warm and dry. I'm apparently heading towards a storm.


I suffer for another hot 30 minutes or so in the rain suit before the rains come. On the approach to the Kiabab Plateau the skies looked clearer to the south end of the plateau. I had planned to camp near Jacob Lake, but it was raining pretty good there when I gassed up. I decided to head closer to the park entrance hoping the rain would stop.

It was dark, cold, rainy, and foggy. To make matters worse I'm wearing the wrong helmet. I wore my old Nolan Flip-up because I can shoot the DSLR without removing the helmet. I didn't bring the pin-lock insert to prevent fogging(it never worked anyway). I have to ride with the shield cracked open. Visiblilty is bad as water gets on both sides of the visor and fogging is still a problem. The rain and cold hitting my face causes my eyes to tear. This is not good. I must ride slow and be extra vigilant for deer.

I should have worn my old Scorpion. That thing NEVER fogs.




I make it to Forest Road 22 just north of the National Park Entrance. I run a mile off Highway 67 and find a camping spot. The rain has let up allowing me to set up camp in the dry. It was about 10 PM when I crawl into the tent.




If the rains hold off I'll get up at 3:30 to ensure I get to the North Rim in time for sunrise photos. Then I'll spend the morning riding out to Point Sublime. I then planned to eventually make it over to Toroweap for sunset tomorrow.
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Old 06-24-2010, 01:05 AM   #7
Shaggie
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[quote=dave6253]
Dave, have you got a large file version of this for my wallpaper?




Cheers n no probs if you don't....

Shane
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NZ Touring pics:Brass Monkey 2009:Kiwi Sun:Tiki-touring: Daytrips in NZ
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Old 06-24-2010, 06:47 AM   #8
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Great pictures! Keep up the good work.
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Old 06-24-2010, 05:17 PM   #9
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[quote=Shaggie]
Quote:
Originally Posted by dave6253
Dave, have you got a large file version of this for my wallpaper? Shane
Anyone is welcome to save full-size original photos from my smugmug as long as it's not for commercial use. http://dave6253.smugmug.com/


RamblinKevin, I'll have to check out that spot someday. Thanks.


Rob, Nice summary. You are the abstract art expert! I'm always up for another larryboy report.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:09 PM   #10
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How did you manage the camera while driving?
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:14 PM   #11
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Dave6253;

What filter are you using in most of these shots?. I'm presuming you've got a polarizing filter on at all times, but I felt the need to ask.....
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by California
Dave6253;

What filter are you using in most of these shots?. I'm presuming you've got a polarizing filter on at all times, but I felt the need to ask.....
California,

I actually have a nice Hoya HD circular polarizer for my 16-50mm lens, but I didn't use it in any of the photos so far in this RR. It tends to make unevenly darkened skies at wide angles greater than about 28mm. There are no filters on the PnS, of course.

The effect you see is probably from post-production in Lightroom. I'm using the Graduated Nuetral Density Filter tool to adjust exposure on the skies (or sometimes to the ground), which brings out the details in the clouds.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dirtdiver
How did you manage the camera while driving?
I keep the point-n-shoot camera in a pocket on the tank bag (or a jacket pocket when no tank bag is mounted). It's attached to the tank bag (or jacket) with a Gearkeeper brand retractable lanyard so that I can drop the camera if needed (I have several times). You can purchase these in truck stops. Truckers use them for their CB Radio Mikes. The small one works great. I shoot left handed and have practiced turning the camera on and off and finding interesting angles. I can easily do this with gloves on. The most important thing is to keep your attention on the road. I point the camera in any general direction at any speed and hope for the best. The Panasonic Lumix works great in "Intelligent Auto" mode. Don't worry too much about zoom or exact composition. You can crop the photos later. I've been considering attempting right-handed shots since I'm getting bored with the same angles on the left.
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Old 06-20-2010, 10:37 PM   #14
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I've wanted to go to these same places for a very long time, but I have still not made it. Your photos have put that wish back at the forefront for my future planning. Beautiful photo work. Thanks.
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Old 06-20-2010, 11:39 PM   #15
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Kristi,

I think we would all like to see the Grand Canyon done gypsyrr style. I loved your last report about getting locked up inside a mental institution.
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