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We were in St. George Utah in late September on our way to camp at the Grand Canyon’s south rim. We decided to swing through Page Arizona to finally see the wondrous Horseshoe Bend we’d only seen in pictures, and check it off our bucket list. I wanted to get the perfect photo of this natural wonder.
Page is located in north central Arizona right on the Utah border. It is a popular vacation destination for boaters since it is right on the Colorado River near Lake Powell.
It was late September, and the weather was perfect in my book, though hot hovering in the high 90s. My goal was to capture it in the golden hour before sunset. We had done a drive-by the day before to see how crowded the park was, and it was pretty crowded.
From past experience, I know that patience and preparedness gets me the shot, and not just luck. Next day, we arrived early so we could scout the perfect location and claim our spot early... and wait.
Finding exactly the perfect angle on the overlook, we sat cross-legged and lying on my belly on the hard rocks trying for that perfect angle for the next 2 hours idling our time and taking test shots so I was ready. I remember the taste of the granola bars and water we ate for our "dinner" as we sat there. The temperature started to cool off quickly prompting me to put on my light jacket to stay warm.
As sunset grew nearer, the entire mesa filled up with tourists, until it was 3 or 4 rows thick behind us. There was an electricity felt through the crowd as we all felt the magic moment approaching. We were thankful we got there early and had our little spot with the perfect view. Suddenly, some clouds moved overhead right in front of where the sun was about to set. This was not good.
Then, just as the final descent was happening, the clouds dissipated, as if on cue. With a clear view before us, the sun started to fall behind the far hills. I waited... for... the exact... moment... to capture when the sun laid flat on the horizon for that final split second. And I got my shot, capturing the dramatic sun flare in its final burst of the day.
Walking hand-in-hand the half mile back to the parking area in a long line with the other attendees, we smiled at each other knowing we had accomplished our goal of experiencing this amazing landmark in person and capturing it forever.
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