Return of the printer……

Richard Charpentier Arizona, hiking, Notes from Rich, Off Road Adventures, Photographing Arizona, Photography 5 Comments

That’s right!  I’m back!  I was wedged in a slot canyon for a while, but I finally managed to break free and return to “society”.

My shoulders are too fat to get through the slot


Honestly, I’m not just a printer.  I’m a photographer too.  But the last few weeks I’ve felt like the printer is chained to me, and I’d been trapped indoors too long.  Also, I’d been tied to electronic leashes too long (phone, e-mail, texts, digital smoke signals).  So, a quick getaway to somewhere my communications technology didn’t work was necessary.  Hmmmmm…….how about the Vermillion Cliffs?


A favorite formation shot from a totally new perspective for me.


I was actually going to tow the Airstream up to Page on Friday….but there was a small glitch.  Somewhere over the winter my power connection received a surge that fused the cable to the Airstream.  And I mean fused.  So I spent most of Friday watching Bob with RVC Mobile repair the damage, create new connections, and do a few other minor touch ups for me.  $400 later I was in ship shape.  After looking at the clock I changed my plans, decided to tent instead and leave the newly repaired Airstream behind.

Getting away from the photog pack, I went over across the dunes to a distant formation. Good call.


Of course, I had to go to White Pocket for the first evening.  That would be Saturday.  Unfortunately, once again I found myself in a popular camping spot, not a private playground.  In total, 12 photographers roaming around.  One group that was in together totaled 10 people.  It was interesting to watch them move as a pack, stand right on top of each other, and all shoot the same formation at the same time……as a group.  It was also interesting to see their dirty looks if I got near them, or accidentally walked into a frame as I popped out from behind this formation or that one (I was walking around and would come around a corner to find 6 – 10 lenses pointed at me).

Gotta love the pools of water when they're available!

I left the group alone, observed them shooting the known formations, and kept myself to the more obscure less visited spots.  Hey, I can have fun with those.

I will say Sunday morning put me off.  The pack was out together shooting a favorite early morning spot.  It seemed they established their location and weren’t moving along.  So, I walked off to their left for a personal favorite scene that I have yet to capture the way I want.  Mind you, I was well out of the pack’s way where I went.

A new take on Snail Rock


Well, apparently they decided to shoot more in my direction.  So, in the distance I heard a lot of whistling.  Didn’t know what it was about, but finally turned around to see the pack shooing me out of my spot.  Seriously, I was being waved off.  That bothered me, I moved on quickly and made the decision.  No more White Pocket on weekends.  If I visit again it will be week days only.  And if I roll in on a very large group in there I’ll go elsewhere.  There’s plenty to explore.

Bet you've never seen this one before. Probably won't ever again either. 😉

After the rude behavior the decision to go elsewhere on Sunday was easily reached.  Wire Pass was the next location.  A fun slot canyon that feeds into Buckskin Gulch.  If you have issues with tight spaces by all means, don’t hike Wire Pass.

Backside of snail rock


The Wire Pass hike was fun.  Out of the hot sun and into a shaded, often chilly canyon.  The first photo in this post shows how wide one section was.  Seriously, my shoulders were too broad and I had to turn sideways for a bit.  The pack also had to come off.  I thought the tripod self timer shot was a fun idea.  🙂

Want to feel small and insignificant? Stand next to one of these canyon walls! I'm tiny!

After going in and out of slot passages things opened up into Buckskin Gulch.  Woah, the walls in here!  So high, so amazing!  There were petroglyphs, shimmering mud, cool canyon walls, and other friendly photographers to chat with.  Quite the change from the early morning.

A big part of the fun for me on trips is meeting other folks out having a good time.  Through my travels with the Airstream, hiking trails, the Appalachian Trail, and my photo trips I’ve always met interesting people, had great conversations, and made new contacts.  Travel brings with it the opportunity to make new friends, share common bonds, and learn new things.  With or without my camera I’d still go see these amazing places.

Well, that’s a wrap for tonight.  Tomorrow it’s back to running canvas, satin, and some metallic.  I’ve got a ton of photos to sort, and you’ll be seeing more soon!


Comments 5

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  2. Rich, These photographs are great! They are really getting me excited for my upcoming trip. I plan on checking our Kingman and Seligman (Rt 66) then up to Tuba City and Page and on to Monument Valley. I’ll keep you posted. J

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