"Colorado River Gorge at Toroweap"
August 2012, Grand Canyon, Arizona
The view of the Grand Canyon at Toroweap is unlike any other to be found at the popular south and north rim tourist areas. One chief difference is that the canyon is less than a half mile across at Toroweap, whereas it is miles across at the tourist viewpoints. Another difference is the canyon walls. At the north and south rim the cliffs are at an angle. At Toroweap they are absolutely vertical. The end result is that the viewer gets a much greater sense of scale at Toroweap. However, in order to shoot the mighty Colorado River 3000 feet below at Toroweap, the photographer is required to stand on the very edge of these vertical cliffs. It is an exercise in terror, but the results are well worth it (if you don't slip).
I shot this particular image about one hour after sunrise. The north cliff face is illuminated by the rising sun, but the Colorado is still obscured in shadows thousands of feet below. I was very tired when I shot this due to a sleepless night before. I saw well over a thousand lightning flashes during the night. It was the sort of dry lightning that would light up the whole sky and the clouds, but without visible lightning bolts. It is sometimes referred to as sheet lightning. The flashes were so frequent and bright that sleep was impossible. I didn't mind though, because I had the whole place to myself, and the nearest paved road was 61 miles away. I'm going back as soon as I get a chance.
ArizonaColorado RiverGrand CanyonNorth RimSunriseToroweapTuweep