I am grateful for the opportunity to have experienced this majestic, mysterious and unique landscape called “Mystery Valley” more than once. Each time it is both peaceful and a special blessing to stand on and behold this land. With “Thanksgiving” this week, I am also grateful for the majestic and mysterious experience that we call our life journey. Each day we have the unique opportunity to navigate and explore our own emotions and ways to respond as we greet the challenge of all new experiences. To all who read this blog, I wish you peace and special blessings as you stand firm and behold your sacred journey to be, to live, to experience joy. Happy Thanksgiving, 2017!
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful,
we must carry it with us or we find it not.” ~~ Ralph Waldo Emmerson
One experiences great vastness on top of Hunt’s Mesa overlooking Monument Valley…
“May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears.” ~~ Nelson Mandela
“You measure the size of the accomplishment by the obstacles you had to overcome to reach your goal.”
~~ Booker T. Washington
The featured photograph above is me on top of Hunt’s Mesa in Monument Valley for sunrise. A special “thank you” to Frank Comisar from Scenic Aperture for taking this photograph of me — doing what I love and being on sacred land!
Below is my special group of photography friends…Bobbie Baird and Ken Fox…with our leader Frank Comisar. We are quite the group who love the quest of adventure through photography. I am blessed to know these special people and privileged to call them friends. I treasure our photo excursions together that are filled with much laughter, banter, love of the land and learning.
Enjoy my posts from our latest photography excursion to Hunt’s Mesa (an overnight camping trip) and Mystery Valley in Monument Valley, Valley of the Gods in Mexican Hat, a re-visit to the slot canyons and Horseshoe Bend in Arizona and then another overnight camping trip to White Pocket in Utah. My next blog posts will also include photographs from this trip. Again, enjoy!
Ok, I will admit that I it was “peer pressure” from my group of photo friends that convinced me to do this overnight excursion to Hunt’s Mesa. It was a two hour 4-wheel drive by our Navajo Indian guide into the back country that did have me holding my rosary beads. We camped overnight and had both an opportunity to photograph sunset and sunrise on top of the mesa overlooking Monument Valley. Obviously, this was a good experience with peer pressure.
This is one of my favorite places in Monument Valley. It is on restricted Navajo land and requires a special Navajo guide to get to this pristine area in the back country. Mystery gardens and unique land formations are everywhere on this sacred land. After being here for several hours, one can feel the energy and special blessings of the earth.
These are images captured in Monument Valley. I followed this horse for quite a while trying to get a portrait that included the landscape. The below image is an attempt at a landscape portrait. I tried to present both as moments in history.
“The earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship.
We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.” ~ John Paul II
As one moves through Monument Valley and Canyon de Chelly, it is not uncommon to see reservation horses wandering in many remote areas. The below image was actually taken from inside our jeep in the middle of the water. Even though the image has many highlights, I still really like the atmosphere this photograph conveys – horses in a remote area all alone seemingly embraced by the canyon walls.
As we were photographing some of the reservation horses in Monument Valley (my featured photograph), one of the horses started to nibble on Bobbie’s ear. Ultimately, the horse placed its chin on her shoulder and looked at the great beyond with Bobbie. I could not resist including a “caption” with this photograph. It is a treasure…
The featured photograph was taken in Mystery Valley on the Monument Valley Navajo Reservation. It is quite the off-road drive to reach this magnificent landscape with the rippled rocks and formations.
The second photograph is of ruins on the South Rim of Canyon de Chelly near Spider Rock. The ruins were nestled in an area of a very, very tall canyon wall.
I converted both images to black and white and used toning and sepia effects to create the “old west” look.
“Nearness to nature …keeps the Spirit sensitive to impressions not commonly felt
and in touch with the unseen powers.”
Below are additional photographs from my trip to Monument Valley. This is a world of weather-carved rocks, wind-driven sand and massive buttes. It is a land of shapes, colors and textures. The ripples of sand provide an earthly rhythm as if to remind us that change is a living constant.