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sand dune
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"Other wonderful features are the many side canyons or gorges that we pass. Sometimes we stop to explore these for a short distance. In some places their walls are much nearer each other above than below, so that they look somewhat like caves or chambers in the rocks."

From The Exploration of The Colorado River and Its Canyons by John Wesley Powell

You're looking at a tiny piece of Lower Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon near Lake Powell in northern Arizona. As you may remember from other photos of slot canyons that have appeared on this page, these are water- and wind-carved narrow passages that are sometimes almost invisible from the surface of the land. Powell's description of the shape of these canyons is accurate - unlike most canyons, these slots are often wider at the bottom than the top. However, "wider" might mean that you can walk through them facing forward instead of having to turn sideways to fit between the walls.

lake powell
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"And what a world of grandeur is spread before us! Below is the canyon through which the Colorado runs. We can trace its course for miles, and at points catch glimpses of the river."

The Exploration of The Colorado River and Its Canyons by John Wesley Powell

I couldn't resist using two quotes from the journals of John Wesley Powell to accompany these images. The scene you see here is Lake Powell near Page, Arizona; it was formed by damming and flooding the Glen Canyon, one of those explored by Powell from 1869 to 1872 as he and his party made their way down the Colorado River. It is ironic that the Glen Canyon is the kind of canyon that Powell describes - and which is now beneath the surface of the lake that bears his name. Every time I look over the lake I have the mixed feelings of enjoying views such as you see here, and wondering what it would look like without all that water.

If you are interested in excellent landscape photography, take a look at NATURE'S AMERICA which captures images from around the US, or Muench's book PLATEAU LIGHT which contains images from the Arizona-Utah redrock canyon country. Both are reasonably priced for photography books of this type, and you'll find them endlessly enjoyable. And if you want to see what a truly professional landscape photographer can do with the same Gunsight Butte image, look at Michael Fatali's photograph in the "Indian Country" section of ARIZONA: THE BEAUTY OF IT ALL. I have been fortunate to be able to take a couple of photography workshops with Michael, and his work is outstanding.

If You'd Like To Explore Some More...

There are several nature writers whose work I really enjoy reading, including Edward Abbey, Barry Lopez, Joseph Wood Krutch, and Henry David Thoreau and Everett Ruess. To see a list of their writings, please visit the Natural Escape Writer's page, and spend some time browsing through the titles.
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