Lea Lane

Lea Lane
Florida, USA
August 26
author, Travel Tales I Couldn't Put in the Guidebooks, available at Amazon.com and on Kindle
“I’ve discovered the secret of life,” Kay Thompson, the eccentric entertainer and “Eloise” author, once said. “A lot of hard work, a lot of sense of humor, a lot of joy and a lot of tra-la-la!” And that's been my life: As a travel writer for over 30 years, I've been around the block (more like around the world), and I write true stories about interesting people and places. (Check out my travel site, Travels With Lea.) I've lived an unconventional life in conventional trappings. Been a corporate VP, worked with foster kids, acted in an Indie ("Nurse 1"), was on Jeopardy!. I've been managing editor of a travel publication, written for the Times, and authored books. OS is my home, but I also blog on The Huffington Post, and I've contributed (mostly anonymously) to everything from encyclopedias to guidebooks. Married young, divorced late; married late, widowed early, I dated lots in-between -- and survived a scary illness. After being happily, peacefully solo for many years, I'm now happily married again. I founded and still edit www.sololady.com, a lifestyle Website for single women. I'm truly grateful for each precious day, each well-earned wrinkle, my family, my cat. Truth, laughter, friendship, late love. And this blog -- on this wonderful site!

Lea Lane's Links

FEBRUARY 5, 2013 10:01AM

The Inner Light of Antelope Canyon (photos)

Rate: 29 Flag

 Az_Slot Canyon- -- 059fluid rock in the shadows of Antelope slot canyon


(see more photos below the narrative)

If I had to choose the most visually stunning experience  I can remember, it well might be my few minutes within Antelope Canyon on a sunny day. 

Antelope Canyon in Arizona is among the most exquisite and rare creations on earth. It plunges over a hundred feet to the desert floor from its open rim, and water and wind have scoured it into shapes and colors beyond imagination.

The light in this slot canyon is best at midday, when the sun pours in like a waterfall and the sandstone striations become almost incandescent. But the day of my visit my alarm didn’t go off, and  annoyed travelers were waiting in the van for me, worried we’d miss the light.

The driver sped us past ravines, towering Saguaro cactus and dry scrub along  this land of the Navajo. We skipped shopping for turquoise trinkets and woven rugs, and I was worried. The photographers needed that good light. Would we miss it?

We arrived at the town of Page and jeeped with our Navajo guide  to an unassuming rock formation in the desert. He explained that the beauty of this slot canyon lies deceptively within the rock.

Over time, water from a nearby creek has cracked through the sandstone. As the water swirls in, round hollows appear and softer material washes away. A slot within the rock develops from a series of these convoluted hollows, connected by narrow passages of varying width and length. In deeper slots like Antelope, the hollows stacked on hollows climb to many stories: a magical, mystical cathedral of rock.

The canyon is dangerous when it rains; flash floods may pour in before there's time to escape, and hikers have drowned at Antelope. But this day was sunny. The only danger was missing the midday light.

We had traveled far for these precious moments within the canyon.  We entered the dark canyon, single file, squeezing through an opening. I gasped, and then just aimed my point-and-shoot camera to capture the surreal world around me.

And yes! The sunlight poured from above, setting the walls aglow. From the rim, warm yellow and orange deepened to red to purple, to deep gray to black in the shadows. Waves, curls, arches, folds, curtains and whorls dazzled me as I maneuvered in a space where lines bent, up seemed down, and inside seemed out. Not an inch of it was less than magnificent.


Some abstract compositions: 


Az_Slot Canyon- 052light pouring from the rim



Az_--Slot Canyon 055I turned this one around; rock swirls 



AzSlot Canyon-  043striations in the glow



 Az_-Slot Canyon 081 rock sculptures and curtains 

Az_-Slot Canyon- --b 049a fellow traveler, bathed in light pouring through the rim



Az_darkandlightSlot Canyon-  060a crevice with weeds (a nest?),  and a waterfall of light 



Az_Slot Canyon-054pool of light on the desert floor of the canyon

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It may be cold outside, but inside these rocks it's always magnificent.
These are knock-out!
Haunting photos. Can see why it's dangerous in a downpour. R
Yes, a flash flood can occur in a minute, and has right here in this canyon, with loss of life. The beauty can be literally drop dead if you aren't cautious.
That place and these images ...Awesome
Amazing and uplifting. Thank you so much for sharing this place. Your photos are perfect with the light and textures combined. Wow!!
Stunning! with words to match. I would love to sit in the visual music of this play between stone, sand, rain and light, just once.
Beautiful! almost like paintings.
America's canyons are among the most beautiful things on earth. Most of us know of the above-ground ones in Arizona and Utah, but few know of the more hidden slots, where the beauty remains underneath, Is that a life lesson?
Beautiful description and pictures. The one of the woman in the light is surreal. As is the whole canyon.
holy moley. wowee. Lea Lane, I am just gonna have to copy everything you do. Wow. Hey, if you are ever near Kingman, Arizona and have a c0uple extra days, I would recommend walking down ( you can also go by horse or helicopter) to Havasupai Falls...the most turquoise BLUE water I have ever beheld. I went there just to see it, and am enthralled with it still.

Now, I must go here. I just realized what attracts me and makes me want to see places is the quality of light. Thank you!!!
Such ethereal, stunning beauty.
Thanks for the kind comments. And yes, Emily, the turquoise colors of Arizona are not only in the stone.
Sigh. Beautiful escape. Thank you. R Hugs!
way cool visual ... gives off a sci-fi vibe.
Ha, a life lesson! I like that.
Ohhh, such nourishing food for the soul. I remember these but was awed and lifted all over again at the sheer beauty our world can produce on its own. Thank you for sharing this gift at exactly the right time.
This is just delicious... Amazing Lea and as they say "Boy I really wish I was there"
breathtakingly gorgeous stuff, lea. though i have to say i'm glad it was you in there and not me. caves and tight canyons and die-if-it-floods places send me over the edge; i just can't do it. better to ooh and aaah at someone's terrific photos, so thanks for all that!

I enjoyed these a great and wish to be there someday. Like paintings some say. I guess so... if you're making universe after universe and want to stop for an afternoon to dash off a couple of pastels.

...and femme forte just can't help herself. This phrase made me laugh out loud : "die-if-it-floods places".
Impressive images, thank you for sharing
[r] Lea, incredible -- the formations and your photography! thank you! best, libby
I'm very jealous Lea. I've long wished to go to those slot canyons. Look up the work of Peter Lik, the Australian photographer. As well as taking amazing photos he has documentaries aired on the Weather Channel, showing how he achieves some of his pictures.
Thanks all. And thanks, GeeBee for the tip.
@aka: I'm delighted to know my phrasing of terror-producing underground places made someone laugh. heeeee!! xo
seems to be an excellent place to hang out
wondering if the portal is one way out or in
Lea, I've seen footage of these beautiful formations on some PBS documentaries, but never in person--what a spectacular place to visit! Thank you for sharing your story and photos!
Nothing wrong with inspiration. Just like I'm not a great artist but I'm inspired by great art.
Oh my gosh, how gorgeous! Thanks for sharing these stunning photos, and your beautiful description. I visited Arizona a few years ago and was also amazed at its wonderful landscape - what a beautiful place.