Monday, April 25, 2016

White Pocket - Day 1 (4/21/2016)

Two years ago, I made my first trip to White Pocket, in midday, and immediately promised myself I would return when I could spend the night, thus being able to photograph these marvelous formations at both sunset and sunrise.  My plans for the current trip included a visit to White Pocket, but I hadn't determined when.  Then, while preparing to do laundry last Thursday, I suddenly remembered there was a full moon that ideal time to be at White Pocket.  So, I forgot laundry, packed some necessities and headed out.

White Pocket is a fairly small part of the Vermilion Cliffs N M in northern Arizona, about half-way between Page, AZ and Kanab, UT.  From Kanab, it's fifty miles on paved highway and twenty-five miles over gravel, deep sand and jagged slickrock partially hidden by the sand.  It is so remote, very few people ever came here until the last few years.  Photos on the internet have sparked its popularity with photographers.  Those who don't have 4WD pay local outfitters handsomely to be escorted.  Some outfitters offer an overnight trip with two meals and sleeping gear, for well over $300.

As I was nearing White Pocket, I met another vehicle that had just left there.  It was the woman with Safari Tours whom I had met earlier in the week.  She told me there was no one there, I would have it all to myself.  And I did.  My only companions were a few jack rabbits and one little kangaroo rat who came over to be friendly and share some of my Chocolate Chex.  Of course, my good friends Smith & Wesson were also along for the ride, not that I expected any trouble.

Last time, I stayed in the middle of the formation, so this time I made a point of walking around the outside perimeter.  This allowed me to see quite a few formations I had missed before.  After about two miles of walking in deep sand and climbing over sandstone, I was ready to stay in one place (where I could see the trail back to the parking lot) and wait for the sunset.

Sunset was sort of low key due to thick clouds , but I still enjoyed it.

Here's why the hour after sunset (or before sunrise) is called the "Blue Hour".  That sandstone is actually white.

The full moon rose over a nearby mesa, blurred quite a lot by the wispy clouds covering the entire eastern sky.
As soon as it got dark, I settled into my sleeping bag in the back of the Jeep and tried to get some sleep.  No problem being up for sunrise.  (To be continued.)

1 comment:

  1. we are planning to do the same thing - how were the roads - we will be in our 4 runner - great shots