Posts tagged “moenkopi

Coal Mine Canyon

Coal Mine Canyon

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Little known Coal Mine Canyon is one of the most incredible areas of the American southwest.  The colored Dakota sandstone layers around the rim are soft and crumbly Dakota sandstone lying on top of thicker bands of the Entrada Formation, with red, white, black and gray the main colors. The top strata have wildly contrasting tints in quick succession – red then white then orange then black, over a vertical distance of just a few feet. The bright red layers are the result of coloration of shale due to partial burning of the underlying coal. The erosional forms are generally similar to many other Southwest parks (such as Bryce Canyon, Cedar Breaks, Cathedral Gorge and Red Rock Canyon), but none of these can match the variety of both color and form on show at Coal Mine Canyon.

Choosing to shooting Coal Mine Canyon during the monsoon gave me a far better chance of capturing a dramatic sky.


The Three Amigos

Monekopi Sandstone

The Three Amigos

This image was taken at one of the most remote areas of the American southwest; the rock is an example of Moenkopi sandstone.  The night before I’d been caught up in a very heavy storm; it appeared extremely unlikely I’d get a shot in the morning. The sun had to rise above a line of cliffs before there’d be any light on the formation. I knew the time of sunrise, but could only estimate the time it would take to rise over the cliffs. I was unsure of the precise angle and convinced myself it had already risen, I was close to packing up when for the briefest moment the sun popped out from behind the clouds. I captured the fleeting moments of light before the sun went back behind the clouds.


The Hopi Clown

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Rock spires or hoodoos at they are better known have long held a fascination for me. This rock, which resembles a Pueblo Hopi clown is perhaps the least visited in the American Southwest.  Indian Reservation roads, particularly obscure rarely travelled ones are not featured on paper maps so my approach was planned on Google Earth. I use GE extensively in my planning, through the program it’s possible to create a route anywhere on the planet and load it onto a handheld GPS, without doing this I’d never have found the rock. It took three attempts to get here, on one attempt the roads were impassible, myself and a friend got caught up in this flash flood.