It’s Fun Fact Friday, and since the North Rim of the Grand Canyon is set to open this month, I thought I’d put a few fun facts out here about this part of Grand Canyon National Park:
The North Rim is 1,000 feet higher in elevation than the South Rim. That means it’s cooler, wetter, and there are far more trees – so many, in fact, that I found it difficult to get an unencumbered photo of the canyon landscape because of all the trees.
If you are standing at the South Rim looking toward the North Rim, the distance (as the crow flies) is about 10 miles. If you choose to hike from the South Rim to the North Rim, the distance to get there is 21 miles. And if you want to drive from the south to the north, you’ll be taking the “scenic route” and it will take you about five hours to get to the North Rim.
Only about 10% of all visitors to this national park ever make it up to the North Rim, so it’s much less visited – although that doesn’t mean it won’t be crowded at times. Plus, there is only one lodge up there: Grand Canyon Lodge, and one campground (although there are other campgrounds outside the park boundary).
This image was captured at one of the two small view areas below the Grand Canyon Lodge. I spent a couple of days at the North Rim during my move from Texas to Washington state.
Click on the image above if you are interested in purchasing a print.
It’s #ThrowbackThursday , so I thought I’d post an image captured by my father of Mom, my two sisters, and me in Grand Canyon National Park back in the early 1960’s. Note the cameras hanging around my sisters’ necks, my mother’s handbag, and me in my little dress – very fashionable for a national park visit back then. I must have been 2 or 3 years old at the time.
I’m trying to figure out what part of the park we were in for this shot, since it appears to be down by the river? I *know* good and well we did not hike all the way down there. Our fashion for the day precluded any boots with good tread and doesn’t look like we were carrying any water with us. Maybe this is just a stream and not the Colorado River.
I don’t remember anything at all about this trip. Of course, who does at that age – except for maybe an exceptional few who remember stuff at a very early age? Mom was scared half to death I might fall over the side of the canyon, so she usually kept a deathly-tight grip on my little hand and never once let me go near the edge to see the view. So I guess you could say my first *real* view of the Grand Canyon was when I visited it on my own back in 2009.
I’m awfully glad my parents loved to travel and loved the national parks. They passed that love of travel, photography, the parks, and being outdoors on to me.
Ok, I’m a little late in getting this posted – a day late, actually. Nonetheless, yesterday was National Bison Day. And, in honor of that day, the National Parks Traveler published a short aerial video about a herd of 100 bison from Badlands and Theodore Roosevelt national parks being released onto the Wolakota Buffalo Range of the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota. That article also has links to other Traveler stories about bison.
To see the video and perhaps click on the links to other bison-related articles in the Traveler, click on the top image.
The images above were captured during a visit to the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park. I was actually on my way out, but before I reached the park entrance/exit booths, I saw a small herd of bison on either side of the road. I parked in a pullout and drew out my Canon and 100-400mm lens to capture some shots of the bison and the tussle (and subsequent detente) between two male bison.
Here’s an interesting thing about the bison located on the North Rim: these particular animals are a result of an experiment at crossbreeding cattle with bison by a man named “Buffalo Jones.” Mr. Jones wanted to cross the two species to create a hardier breed that could withstand the cold and snowy winters of the Plains. Didn’t really work. The small herd made its way to the North Rim, and, if you ever see any during your own North Rim visit, look at them closely (without getting close to them, if you get my meaning) and see if you don’t spot a few that look “cow-ish” and maybe have white faces.
I’ve finished working on cleaning up and adding key words to all of the images in my Grand Canyon gallery on my website. Yay me! Actually, this is something I should have been doing years ago so potential customers could run decent searches on my photos. Now, it’s going to take months to give all my images keywords so potential customers can run searches. I’ve started cleaning up the Mount Rainier gallery … All 200+ photos in there. Hoo boy!
Waiting for sunrise on the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
In an article I wrote for future publication in the National Parks Traveler, I mention HDR, what it is, and what it produces. I had to create an example, so I used the free download of Photomatix. I’ve used Photomatix before, pretty much with all the computers I’ve ever owned. Of course, I didn’t have it on this laptop I’m currently using, so I bought it and downloaded it in order to not have their watermark show up on the finished product. While I am not a huge fan of HDR, I will admit it can produce some very nice results, if the hand wielding the preset controls is judicious with the edits. Most of the time, though, I see more overdone HDR images than nice, naturalistic HDR images. Practice makes perfect, in everything including working with HDR, so I’ll be working on this aspect of photography a little more, hence today’s example.
My latest Photography In The National Parks column has been published in the National Parks Traveler, offering tips and techniques for great photography along the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park.
Every January, for the past 6 years, my first photo column of the year for the National Parks Traveler has dealt with my favorite shots from the previous year. This year, I have 10 faves – one from each national park / recreation area I visited. To read the article, click on the photo above.
Sometimes, I capture a photo for one reason, only to find the composition looks completely different when I download it to my laptop to start editing it. This image, for instance, was photographed when I visited the North Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, this past July. All I wanted was a nice little leading line shot of the Bright Angel Point path with the moon in the distance. What I ended up really noticing during the editing process was that tree, which reminded me of Tolkien’s Ent, arms upraised, beseeching Nature to bring back the Entwives.
Or, perhaps, during this political climate, this tree is beseeching the government to end the shutdown and bring back the National Park Service workers to help clean up and protect the national parks. I’ve been reading so many stories about stupid people trashing the parks, and I, myself, am heading to Olympic National Park later this coming week, on assignment for the National Parks Traveler. I have no idea what I will find. I figure the beaches will still be easy to access, but I might not be able to get to the park’s interior rain forest due to downed trees blocking the road. And I wonder what kind of trash there will be – if any. Guess I’ll find out in a few days.
Yes, yes, more shameless self-promotion. I previously listed a calendar I made with Lulu.com. I also made calendars using other websites as well, for quality control and comparison. As such, I’ve decided I really, really like Zazzle’s products much better and have set up a storefront there, with calendars representing the national parks I’ve visited this year. I’ve got a couple more calendars to go, but if you are interested in taking a peek (they make great gifts), then click on any of the images to be taken to my storefront.
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While this little guy photographed next to the Grand Canyon Lodge on the North Rim is looking hopeful for a handout, please remember that ALL wildlife – even the cute little ones – are dangerous. A bat collected at Phantom Ranch in Grand Canyon National Park has tested positive for rabies. To read the article in the National Parks Traveler, click on the link.
Remember: never touch, feed, or approach the wildlife, no matter how badly you want a closeup or a selfie with the animal. I can’t tell you how many times I have seen someone try to get a closeup of a little chipmunk or squirrel with their smartphone, getting as close as 12 inches or less in come cases. Even the little cute ones can pack a hurtful bite.
All images on these posts are the exclusive property of Rebecca L. Latson and Where The Trails Take You Photography. Please respect my copyright and do not use these images on Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Snapchat or any other business, personal or social website, blog site, or other media without my written permission. Thank you.
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