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We made a trip to the Grand Canyon during the monsoon season in conjunction with a Phoenix Camera Club field trip. We were expecting some thunderstorm activity but you never know until you get there. The first night we drove to the Grandview Point to see the sunset. The sunset was not that great as the clouds were too close to the horizon. In quite a few photos what looks like fog is really smoke from a fire on the North Rim.
The next morning I had to get up at 4 AM to be ready for the sunrise at 5:30. I left Joann sleeping in the back of the van and parked near Mather Point. There were a few other people there to see what would happen for the sunrise. Again it was rather disappointing.
Then it was time for breakfast in the van with Joann. After that I took her along the rim trail at Mather Point and showed her some of the things I had seen earlier. The appearance really changes when you have flat lighting at mid day. So then you have to find other subjects such as interesting tree shapes.
Since is was close to noon we met up with a couple of the guys from the camera club for lunch. Not much was happening on the radar or the weather clouds so we decided to go back to the RV park to rest for the afternoon. Just as we were getting there, the skies began to change and the radar was showing a storm approaching. So we didn’t even park and headed right back to the canyon. Traffic was stopped for a big buck elk, so of course I had to get a few photos of him.
We continue on to Grandview point again and could see the storm approaching the canyon looking both east and west.
Then there was thunder, lightning, and rain started to really come down so that was it for awhile. We drove out to Desert View, the eastern most entrance to Grand Canyon and had our dinner in the van. Desert view is known for its iconic stone watchtower and also has quite a few views of the Colorado River.
On the way back to the RV park, we encountered another road stoppage for a fairly large herd of deer on both sides of the highway.
The next morning I again got up at 4AM to get into the park for sunrise. The previous day I had talked to one of the shuttle bus drivers and he said I could get a handicap pass and go wherever the buses go. So this morning I am going down the Hermits Nest road to the west where they never let cars go except in the winter. I entered the gate code and was off for Hopi Point for the sunrise. I was the only vehicle that was not a bus at the viewpoints. It took awhile to get much color from the sunrise as again the clouds were too close to the horizon.
There was a very interesting phenomena across the canyon where it looked like a waterfall of fog cascading into the canyon, but on further thought it was probably smoke from the fire on the North Rim that you can see just above the rim.
As the sun got higher above the early morning clouds the walls of the canyon really lit up without any haze. This is what early morning strong light looks like. Most people that see the Grand Canyon see more of what the last photo looks like after breakfast with a blue haze everywhere.