That’s where I went.
When I finally left Hurricane I was debating whether or not I should take the I-70 cutoff and head to the San Rafael Swell. Taking this course of action would be somewhere around 150 miles out of my way, and the day was well half over.
As the interchange loomed steadily nearer at Cove Fort, I made my decision.
Into the playlist went Nickel Creek, and it was official.
I can’t express the feeling I had seeing memorable landmarks as I traveled. I’d taken the boys I mentored there once, I’d gotten lost out in that area, there’s the canyon where I’d run out of water, that’s where I’d taken that one photo…
The memories seemed to swirl around and consume me.
I took the opportunity to capture a few images as the sun was setting. I’d hoped that I’d be able to hike to Little Grand Canyon and sit at the edge of the sandstone cliffs to watch the sunset, but unfortunately daylight was waning, and there was no way I’d be able to make it there in time.
I instead tried something I’ve only recently gotten into: using an external flash to light up the subject of focus with a decreased shutter speed and medium aperture. In other words, I would leave the shutter open and move all around the tree, lighting it up with the flash. For each of the images I used the flash about 14 times. This is what gives the images a ‘ghostly’ glow similar to what I imagine the tree of life would have looked like.
It was absolutely overwhelming and yet welcomed…for I knew that I was probably the only person within a 20 mile radius of my current location. One couldn’t get more alone than I was at that time.
Before long I continued onward to find a panel of petroglyphs to try out extended shutter time and painting with a flashlight, but alas, my “super” flashlight—being near dead—only allowed for one image before dying altogether.
The journey home was uneventful, and it was well into the evening that I arrived home, falling in to familiar covers to wrap myself away from the relentless chill of night.
It wasn’t long before I fell into a slumber which held me captive until this morning.
I decided to read up on emails and to get ready for the day when I noticed I had an email from one particular woman who had requested a copy of a video I’d posted on YouTube. She wanted to use it for a Christmas party, and had written to inquire if I would be willing to send her a copy on DVD she could show to a large group. I checked my backup drive for the master video and discovered that I had deleted it some time ago. I remembered that I’d archived it on a DVD though.
I began to look around for the sleeve of said DVDs, remembering that that was the case I’d taken with me on my trip. As I began to scour the house for it, it soon became apparent that it wasn’t with the things I’d brought in last night, so it must have still been in the car.
A quick inspection of my vehicle told me at once that the case was NOT there. Panic started to well up inside of me. That case had master video files AND photography images I didn’t have anywhere else!
I concluded that the case had fallen out of my car when I went off for my night photoshoot and, not realizing it was missing, I’d left it behind on the ground. I double checked everything and my worst realizations were confirmed.
The DVD sleeve was indeed gone.
I quickly began to pack a few various and sundry items, and took them to my car. I knew where the case probably was…the only problem was, it would be a five hour round trip to get it.
I said a small prayer and packed the last few items I’d need in my car. As I put the final necessities onto the backseat, I had the distinct feeling that I should look—yet again—under both of the front the seats.
It was the case. Somehow or another, it had gotten tucked back under the seat and it was impossible to see it when looking from the front. However, from the back, it was more readily noticed.
I have to be honest, while a part of me felt trepidation at traveling all the way back to the San Rafael Swell, another part of me wishes I’d gone anyhow. I never did get to sit on the edge of the cliffs and watch the sunset.