Deep in Arizona

Day 213 / Mile 23,540

One thing that could have made Southern Utah cooler, was if the temps were actually cooler. I guess going outside of your comfort zones can be good for you, since doing so usually makes you appreciate getting back to them. Even though it was like driving inside of an oven I kept the AC to a minimum, since the van's motor didn't need any extra strain. ...I wasn't about to take a chance breaking down and hanging out on the side of the road with the temps in the high hundreds. That would have been much more miserable than letting the wind blow through my [extremely short] hair.

 On this smaller and less-trafficed highway the state sign was boring with it's lack of welcome. Nice design though.

On this smaller and less-trafficed highway the state sign was boring with it's lack of welcome. Nice design though.

 If you're unfamiliar with Colorado City,  click here to read more . I was hoping to see the famed FLDS polygamists, but their massive walls protected many of the residences from outsider's view.

If you're unfamiliar with Colorado City, click here to read more. I was hoping to see the famed FLDS polygamists, but their massive walls protected many of the residences from outsider's view.

 Even though [scumbag lunatic] Warren Jeffs is serving a life sentence in prison for assaulting a couple preteen girls (one was 1 of 70 of his wives), he still controls the religion & community. I heard rumors that if you go driving around the neighborhoods that you are likely to have 1 or 2 black SUVs follow you around to scare you out of town. I really wanted that rearview mirror photo, but this was a Sunday and they were probably at a church service. They really don't want you to affect their life, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your opinion.

Even though [scumbag lunatic] Warren Jeffs is serving a life sentence in prison for assaulting a couple preteen girls (one was 1 of 70 of his wives), he still controls the religion & community. I heard rumors that if you go driving around the neighborhoods that you are likely to have 1 or 2 black SUVs follow you around to scare you out of town. I really wanted that rearview mirror photo, but this was a Sunday and they were probably at a church service. They really don't want you to affect their life, which may be a good or bad thing depending on your opinion.

 This is my kind of gas station. It reminds me of my youth, except for the beer. ...dad drank that.

This is my kind of gas station. It reminds me of my youth, except for the beer. ...dad drank that.

 Near Lake Powell is a point where the Colorado River wraps a 270º curve, called Horseshoe Bend. It's a fairly easy hike to view it, which brings hundreds of tourists to this 1000' cliff where you can get right near the edge...

Near Lake Powell is a point where the Colorado River wraps a 270º curve, called Horseshoe Bend. It's a fairly easy hike to view it, which brings hundreds of tourists to this 1000' cliff where you can get right near the edge...

 ...or passed the edge, peering down a vertical 1000' to the river. (Don't worry Mom, there was no wind)   * Ambig  shorts,   Stance  socks,   New Balance 101 trail shoes,

...or passed the edge, peering down a vertical 1000' to the river. (Don't worry Mom, there was no wind) 

*Ambig shorts, Stance socks, New Balance 101 trail shoes,

 I returned near sunset, but parking was a nightmare and I spent far too much time dealing with that. ...I missed the sun hitting the horizon by minutes! This dude was standing on that dicey point for his friends to take a pic and started shaking in fear. I told him that he was a champ and his friends were wimps, he smiled and I snapped off this portrait.

I returned near sunset, but parking was a nightmare and I spent far too much time dealing with that. ...I missed the sun hitting the horizon by minutes! This dude was standing on that dicey point for his friends to take a pic and started shaking in fear. I told him that he was a champ and his friends were wimps, he smiled and I snapped off this portrait.

 In the whole Southwest region, this is where I was most excited to make some photos- Antelope Canyon. The frequent thunderstorms and flash floods have eroded these sandstone slot canyons into a fine art photographer's paradise. 

In the whole Southwest region, this is where I was most excited to make some photos- Antelope Canyon. The frequent thunderstorms and flash floods have eroded these sandstone slot canyons into a fine art photographer's paradise. 

 The slot canyons are on Navajo land and only accessed with tour guides. I booked a "photography" tour which costs a bit more, but gives you more time to shoot and less people in your crew. But, it's a tight squeeze and can get crowded from the other groups.

The slot canyons are on Navajo land and only accessed with tour guides. I booked a "photography" tour which costs a bit more, but gives you more time to shoot and less people in your crew. But, it's a tight squeeze and can get crowded from the other groups.

 This is the moment we all hoped to capture. During the right time of year for just a few moments of the day, (if the skies are clear) the sun will pass in a unique position to peer through the tight walls of the deep canyon and create this beam of light. You can then kick up some dust to really make the spotlight come to life. ...while the fine dirt kills your camera. (winky face)

This is the moment we all hoped to capture. During the right time of year for just a few moments of the day, (if the skies are clear) the sun will pass in a unique position to peer through the tight walls of the deep canyon and create this beam of light. You can then kick up some dust to really make the spotlight come to life. ...while the fine dirt kills your camera. (winky face)

 In certain nooks, the color tones on the sandstone walls go berzerk from the reflecting light attempting to make it to the canyon floor.

In certain nooks, the color tones on the sandstone walls go berzerk from the reflecting light attempting to make it to the canyon floor.

 Nature really set the stage for this self-portrait.   * Coal Headwear  cap,  Ambig  t-shirt, Army surplus cutoff pants,  Active  socks, New Balance 101 trail shoes.

Nature really set the stage for this self-portrait. 

*Coal Headwear cap, Ambig t-shirt, Army surplus cutoff pants, Active socks, New Balance 101 trail shoes.

Further down the way is that most popular canyon of all, the Grand Canyon. I actually didn't care to visit, since the previous spots were so gratifying. ...but, since I was only an hour away, why not?!?!

 This guy has a serious Adventure Mobile. That's a Harley hanging from a built in crane, and a sailboat behind it. I mean, bringing a big rig trailer would just complicate parking!

This guy has a serious Adventure Mobile. That's a Harley hanging from a built in crane, and a sailboat behind it. I mean, bringing a big rig trailer would just complicate parking!

 Canyons for days... The patchy clouds made the landscape nice and spotty for a great contrasted scene.

Canyons for days... The patchy clouds made the landscape nice and spotty for a great contrasted scene.

 Even though the Grand Canyon doesn't have the wild hikes like  Zion , I'm happy that I visited.

Even though the Grand Canyon doesn't have the wild hikes like Zion, I'm happy that I visited.

 Out in the middle of the forest on the way to Flagstaff I randomly passed this unique building and had to take a look. Of course it's a church, even though no town is very close.

Out in the middle of the forest on the way to Flagstaff I randomly passed this unique building and had to take a look. Of course it's a church, even though no town is very close.

 I do not support Christianity, but this is very disrespectful and I wouldn't deface their building by tagging it.

I do not support Christianity, but this is very disrespectful and I wouldn't deface their building by tagging it.

 Since the door is unlocked it's full of marks left by tourists, some of the graffiti being religion based sayings, but that doesn't make it acceptable.

Since the door is unlocked it's full of marks left by tourists, some of the graffiti being religion based sayings, but that doesn't make it acceptable.

 A more old school style self-portrait. 

A more old school style self-portrait. 

 If you know where you're going, out in the middle of the forest is this hole in the ground. It's the entrance to the mile deep Coconino Lava River Cave. 

If you know where you're going, out in the middle of the forest is this hole in the ground. It's the entrance to the mile deep Coconino Lava River Cave. 

 It's pitch black in here. (30 second exposure lit by running around with a headlamp shined all over the walls) This section the lava carved 2 tunnels; go left or you have to crawl on your elbows to reconnect to the main cave. The ground is sharp rough lava that cooled in place, so take my advice and GO LEFT.

It's pitch black in here. (30 second exposure lit by running around with a headlamp shined all over the walls) This section the lava carved 2 tunnels; go left or you have to crawl on your elbows to reconnect to the main cave. The ground is sharp rough lava that cooled in place, so take my advice and GO LEFT.

 Some people may say the Christian group that put this building here ruined their scenic view, but I'm down for the architecture.

Some people may say the Christian group that put this building here ruined their scenic view, but I'm down for the architecture.

 Nature's church- Cathedral Rock.

Nature's church- Cathedral Rock.

 After driving hours through the 115º+ heat, I found the abandoned Phoenix Trotting Park horse racetrack. Unfortunately, about a year ago security measures were beefed up to stop Urban Explorers like myself from access. It was so hot that I wasn't really down for the mission that was needed to make this one happen. This shot was from an illegal point, so it was still exciting.

After driving hours through the 115º+ heat, I found the abandoned Phoenix Trotting Park horse racetrack. Unfortunately, about a year ago security measures were beefed up to stop Urban Explorers like myself from access. It was so hot that I wasn't really down for the mission that was needed to make this one happen. This shot was from an illegal point, so it was still exciting.

 Modern design makes me happy.

Modern design makes me happy.

 A lone Saguaro cactus observes the desert from this rugged hilltop. I feel like that thing sometimes...

A lone Saguaro cactus observes the desert from this rugged hilltop. I feel like that thing sometimes...

The heat and lack of water for swimming is really making me focus on getting to the Pacific Ocean. If I had a turbo on the van it would be spooling up... ENGAGE WARP SPEED!