"Sunrise in the Western Sky"
August 2012, Grand Canyon, Arizona
This was my third day at Toroweap. Amazingly, unbelievably, I was still alone at what had to be the most beautiful place on earth. The very thunderstorms that I had sought served to keep away all would-be travelers to this incredible and remote location. I shot this image at sunrise looking west. Even though the sun had risen behind me in the east, I was treated to a rare "anti-sunrise" where the colors reflect off of the clouds in the opposite direction. I had encountered this phenomena before in my travels, but rarely. This trip was turning into something very, very special.
Later in the day a massive thunderstorm hit my campsite and destroyed some of my camping gear, but I couldn't have cared less. I ended up sleeping under the stars (and clouds) and was treated to one of the most amazing lightning shows I have ever seen. From 11:00 pm to about 3:00 in the morning I saw literally thousands of sheet lightning flashes in the skies to the north. I was unable to sleep due to the brilliance of the flashes. I could hear the faint rumblings of thunder off in the distance, but nothing close by.
I never did receive any actual rainfall that night, but in the back of my mind I was quite concerned about the road conditions for my trip out the next morning. Those northern lightning flashes were directly over my only road out - a 90 mile dirt / clay road back to St. George. Would the road be washed out? Did the dirt turn to that impossibly slippery and gooey clay? I then reasoned to myself that I could think of worse places to be stranded. I had brought enough food and water for at least 4 more days for precisely this scenario. If this was easy, everyone would be doing it.
ArizonaColorado RiverGrand CanyonNorth RimStormStormy SkyThunderstormToroweapTuweep