Sunday, May 10, 2009

Great days photographing

Yesterday we left Moab (I love that place) at around 10:30 and drove south on route 191 towards Monument Valley. This part of the Southwest is known as the Four Corners. Probably because the four corners of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico meet. A very arid part of the country but it has some amazing rock formations.

We stopped for coffee just south of Blanding, UT (can't remember the town, it was a blink and miss it sort of place) and chatted to a couple from Durango before continuing our journey (they were proper hardy campers with a tent and a car and that was it! There 3 kids have left home and they're 'touring' ... real style!) We then continued south on route 163 which goes right through Monument Valley.

We stopped short of Monument Valley and spent an hour taking photos. At home in our kitchen we have a large print on the wall of some lovely rock formations and I was trying to take my interpretation of that print. This involved us finding the right bit of road and then waiting for all the cars to disappear while I crouched in the middle of the road to take 100+ pictures. Abi was watching my back and getting a great sun tan at the same time. This area has been made famous by all the movies that were shot here. Just google 'monument valley and movies' to see what I mean. I think I got some pretty good shots but it took some time to get them right. The light is so strong I had to go fully manual and I discovered that playing around with the ISO (film speed) and White Balance helped a lot. Then I was able to fine turn the shots around in iPhoto and Photoshop. I can't upload photos where I am as the internet is so slow. I'll upload them tonight when we arrive at our last destination.

While we were taking photos a motor cyclist stopped to take the same shot. We got chatting and it turns out he lost his job late last year and decided to take a road trip from Detroit to the Southwest (2100 miles). Interesting guy. He had a lovely Honda tourer with all the mod cons. Sat Nav, Radio and a fixed camera to take video of his trip. We all had a drink (it was soo hot) before continuing our respective journeys.

While we were at the camp we went outside, shut the door and for some unknown reason the catch on the back door slipped and locked us out. All the windows were closed except for the very small one above the cab. Abi spoke to some other Cruise America travellers to see if their keys would fit but no luck. Fortunatly a dutch couple helped. Using a broom and the picnic table I was able to put my arm through the small window and flick the latch on a larger window. Then ever so elegantly I hoisted myself through the larger window and unlocked the door. Another lesson learnt!!!

From Monument Valley (Gouldings Lodge) we drive south for about 5 1/2 hours to Camp Verde, AZ. This is our last stop before Phoenix and home. Tonight we'll be clearing out and cleaning the RV and then packing. Not the most exciting of days.

I'll publish the remaining photos tonight and finish up the blog.

p.s. While I'm blogging I wanted to let you all know that I've already planned our next holiday!!!!! Regalrdless of redundancies and work we're going to RV from Seattle to San Francisco next September. Neither of us have been to the Northwest so it should be fun. However, we won't be renting from Cruise America again. Although everything has been OK their RV's are old, ours was built in 2005, dirty and not that up to date (we have a cassette player in the cab for gods sake!!!), Next year it's probably going to be Moutris or El Monte. How are we going to pay for this I hear you say? Stop smoking from next week and cancel sky. That will be more than enough to cover the rental, flights, money, food, gas and plenty of excusrsions. As a plus we'll also be fit and healthy.

No comments: