Every photographer has a bucket list of locations they would like to get to - a frame they have seen time and time again, that they would like to capture themselves. This can be good and bad. Its good because those locations are usually iconic, and instantly recognizable - majority of the people looking at the picture will recognize it. Its bad because sometimes for me personally, I tend to get locked into the frame that I've seen over and over again, and can't seem to frame anything else. But for a first time visit, I think its important to get this out of the way, so you can move on and execute your own vision.
Such is the Horseshoe Bend, in Page, Arizona. Horseshoe Bend is the name for a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River in that town. There is no official location establishment, or signs (although now there may be). The only way I found it was get the coordinates and punch it into the GPS. Once you are there, there is a dirt road which you can identify by following all the other drivers. The path from the parking area to the actual canyon is a good 20 mins walk, and its all on sand and inclines, so its not an easy walk. Although given that I when to the Arches previously, it was relatively easier. But there are zero lights, and if you are going near sunset, carry some flashlights on your walk back.
The canyon is about 1000 feet drop (scary). In order to get the whole canyon, you need a very wide lens, and have to stand pretty close to the edge. There is tremendous wind, and holding onto the tripod and the camera and leaning over the edge was pretty daunting, and I'm not sure how I ended up doing it. After I told a few friends about it, they mentioned that they both lied on the rocks, and just extended the tripod over the edge (now, why didn't I think of that?). Next to me was another photographer, who had a really expensive digital medium format camera, and he was leaning over the edge just as I was. Every time I looked at him with his $26,000 camera, leaning into the canyon, I had a heart attack. All it takes is one slip. Ouch.
Horseshoe Bend - crossed off my bucket list.