One of my favorite spots to explore out in Utah is hidden down a few rough dirt roads that I probably had no business heading down in my little 2wd car. Hiding among the seemingly ordinary canyons are three extraordinary slot canyons which I think are slowly growing in popularity. When I first visited them years ago on a solo trip out west I may as well been the only person who had ever graced the narrow canyons. This time around, however, the walls were marred by black boots and graffiti scratched into the face of the soft red rock. A sad sight to see in a place so beautiful. The photo seen above was taken in my favorite of the three. A canyon so narrow that you must squeeze through the crack sideways so keeping an eye on the camera hanging around my body was a bit tricky at times. I remember how claustrophobic I felt the first time slowly pushing my way through some of the more narrow sections and having to contort into strange positions to get underneath debris washed through by a flash flood.
Photos can be tricky inside these crevasses, its best to use a tripod because they can get pretty dark down there! This shot was handheld though as we didn’t bring one down so steady hands are a must but luckily there is always a wall to lean on. I’m happy that the highish ISO used didn’t leave me too much annoying digital grain.
It’s a classic subject for photographers traveling through the west but most seem to gravitate to the now infamous Antelope Canyon in Arizona. The amazing thing about canyon country in the western U.S. is the never ending amount of amazing territory to explore. Heres hoping the new film 127 Hours scares away some people. Keep the secret spots secret. ;) One of my favorite aspects of these areas is the endless land to explore and the ever present risk that keeps you thinking and cautious yet with every new corner your turn or canyon wall you shuffle down your curiosity and adrenaline kick into high gear and you can’t help but want to keep pushing and pushing until you hit a spot you cant get beyond. I guess the lesson to learn here is to always respect nature and the landscape when trespassing among its spoils. We make think we have a total dominance of the world we live in but thats simply not true. Doesn’t matter how much your fancy GPS emergency call unit costs. Something I learned on my time alone in the winter out there years ago.
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