The Grand Canyon
In American culture the word "Awesome" is heavily over-used to we Brits. However, this is one "place" - actually it spans for some 250 miles - where the word is spot on!
Formed over thousands of millions of years ( I think the earliest plate we saw set in a footpath on the south rim was 5,000+ million years), which is beautifully reflected in the different coloured rock as your eye heads down towards the canyon floor, through erosion by the Colorado River.
In addition to the length, some other stats; the distance from the south rim, where these shots were taken from, to the north rim is c10 miles & from the rim to the floor is over 1 mile & will take you around 4 hrs to complete the descent (on foot).
To say the whole thing is staggering just doesn't do it justice. I had a really hard job curating the images down to the ones here from the several hundred I took on the day.
When planning the trip, we decided that we didn't just want to pass through, we wanted to spend time here, so we drove up one day, had a full day in the park & drove back the next - around a 600 mile round trip from Vegas. The benefit was that we were able to see the Canyon in many different lighting conditions as the day progressed. We also stumbled across the ultimate destination wedding - see the shots just before the sunset ones. In the lower right corner, you'll see Bride & Groom out on the rocks. Their photographer was behind them, shooting towards the north rim so her version of this shot, and the following ones as the sun went down, would have been stunning. For me, total respect for the bride getting out to there - I'd been close to her position earlier in the day when researching shooting locations. This was quite a challenge & I wasn't in wedding shoes! For the shot, they were superb, providing a sense of scale. The hill range beyond them in the background is something like 40 miles away!
As the afternoon wore on towards sunset & the sun dropped lower, it created absolutely fantastic contrasts of light & shade, perfect fo Black & White conversion.
Where's the Colorado River you may say? It is visible in the 7th, 8th, 14 & 15th shot but don't look for anything blue - look for the brown!