I was worried my first sunset on the Grand Canyon would be a no-show. While driving to Cape Royal, my hubby and I had the sky blotted out by a thick fog bank. Things weren't looking good for seeing any canyon views, let alone the sunset.
Earlier that same day, we'd arrived at the Grand Canyon's North Rim. After setting up camp and exploring the immediate area, we decided to drive over to Cape Royal, 20 miles away, to witness a sunset.
|I'm not the only photographer!|
Cape Royal is the southernmost viewpoint on the North Rim, and is reputed to have the widest panorama of any Grand Canyon overlook.
The road was narrow and winding. Through the white curtain we kept climbing, higher and higher. I kept fretting all this driving would be for naught. Then, about three miles from Cape Royal, a miracle happened. The fog suddenly cleared.
|Narrow viewpoint on top of Angels Window|
We happened to be driving by a viewpoint at the time. Roger pulled over and we both walked over to the canyon's edge. Oh boy was it gorgeous!
|Lovely red rock formation|
After spending several minutes soaking in the views we thought we wouldn't be able to see, Roger urged me back into the car and drove the final miles to Cape Royal's large gravel parking area. Cape Royal couldn't beat the views I'd just witnessed.....could it?
|The river is far, far below|
Well, I'm sure you know the answer to that question. We parked, I packed up all my camera gear while Roger galloped ahead on the trail. He quickly returned telling me to grab all my stuff and hurry.
|Tiny bit of the sun's last rays|
Oh the landscapes were even better than the previous viewpoint! It was a half mile to the first overlook, a narrow ledge on top of Angels Window, a natural arch in the limestone that, if you looked through it at the right angle, framed a small section of the Colorado River, 5000 feet below.
As you can imagine, I kept my camera's shutter busy, capturing image after stunning image.
|Taking in the panorama|
While I was clicking away, Roger continued down the trail to the it's very end - a high plateau with a 270 degree canyon panorama.
|Sun's final blast|
While atop Angels Window, my hubby came hustling back urging me to follow him. He said the views down the way were even better.
|Storm clouds in the distance|
And he was right! Atop a small rocky peninsula I gazed upon an incredible sight. Rumpled rocky peaks and deep wrinkled canyons spread out in all directions.
|Canyons stretch out for miles|
The fading sunlight occasionally broke through the clouds spotlighting a distant canyon wall, or very top of a nearby peak.
|Fabulous evening colors|
But the cloudy skies produced even lighting and the low light made the colorful canyons pop.
|Last light on distant canyon walls|
Although we were worried about rain and thunderstorms, the clouds seemed to stay away. Instead, they hovered in the distance, creating some dramatic skies.
|Waiting for sunset|
After searching the nearby area, I finally decided upon a rocky plateau for my sunset shots. Setting up my tripod, Roger and I bundled up, and waited for the sun to drop.
We weren't alone - there was a couple dozen people strolling around, and a few folks set up tripods nearby. Then a large group of teenagers invaded. We learned they were workers at the nearby Jacob Lake resort. But the kids were quiet and well-behaved and didn't interfere with my photographic pursuits.
|The sun is finally down|
As light faded from the sky, temperatures plummeted. I pulled on all my layers, a knit hat and gloves. The thick cloud bank prevented any spectacular sky colors and produced only subdued light on the canyon's walls. But I liked the even lighting and kept shooting anyway. At least the fog had left and I could see the scenery.
Finally, realizing we were the last people left on Cape Royal, Roger and I packed up, and drove the winding road in darkness, back to our campsite. We arrived to a wet tent. While we'd enjoyed a dry evening at Cape Royal, it had apparently rained at the campground.
After a late dinner by flashlight, I snuggled into my sleeping bag. Driving back, our car thermometer had read 38 degrees. It was gonna be a cold night! But I had big plans for the next day - I was going to wake up early and catch the sunrise, and then Roger and I were hiking down into the Grand Canyon on the North Kaibab Trail.
Little did we know that the weather had other plans.....
Join me for my next post as I recap our second day on the Grand Canyon's North Rim.
Sharing with: Through My Lens and Our World Tuesday