Route 66 Day 21: The Grand De-Tour

We left Winslow, Arizona and decided it was time to change up the itinerary and make some De-Tours. Well, not any De-Tour would do, these needed to be on the order of monumental, magnificent, even grand!

What better way to start off the De-Tour than to go to a nearby Meteor Crater. The meteor was called the Canyon Diablo Meteorite, and it is an impressive site. We walked to the various viewing platforms at different levels for different perspectives on this gargantuan footprint of a meteorite. 

After the tour, we decided to move onto something grand! We De-Toured off Route 66 to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. We passed fields filled with flowers.

The weather was beautiful, and there was lots of sun to go along with lots of visitors to the Canyon! We were surprised to see so many people during the week. Even with lots of people, the park is large and it was easy to find a less busy spot, where we took some photos. 

We took the drive scouting spots for some night photography. Some of the overlooks did not have fences, and you can walk right up the edge. We decided that was NOT a good choice for us to come back to late at night, with this being a dark sky location- no street lights, so nope, we weren’t stopping anywhere that didn’t have a good high fence for us!The only thing that can make shooting the night sky a challenge is a full moon, and the moon serenaded us with crisp moonlight the entire time! It was an adventure driving into the park in pitch darkness, watching the bats flying about in the moonlight. We made it out to Mathers point, with nice tall railings, and set up to shoot. We actually heard birds flying in the canyon, the sounds of their wings flapping in the vast open sky. 

Even with the moonlight it was hard to see details, but when we looked at our photos, we could see the camp tents of some brave souls camping on the canyon floor. Look in the lower right corner for the red lights.

While we couldn’t capture the full Milky Way because of the light of the full moon, looking up and seeing the stars so clearly, and so many, was a real treat. It makes us realize how much light pollution we live with on the East coast. 

After an hour or so of taking photos, the night air was chilling deeper, and we decided it was time to head out. As we walked to the car, Art spotted an elk eating flowers in the parking lot near our car. He was pretty close, and with a full rack, we put the cameras in the car and headed out. We passed some other large animals along the side of the road, but could not make out what they were, and we were not going to stop to find out. We respectfully keep our distance of the wild animals.

Looking back at our day, it was a pretty grand de-tour.

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