This week I’m hosting an amazing picture of the Horseshoe Bend in Arizona, taken by Will Tang from Going Awesome Places Blog and his horror story behind taking this shot!
He as well runs Travel Blog Breakthrough, so if you are a travel blogger have a look, if you are a normal reader just go straight to the story :)
Picture Story: Horseshoe Bend and fear of heights
I captured this shot of Horseshoe Bend during a recent visit out west to Page, Arizona. For those that don’t know Page, Arizona is famous for two things – Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
Sufficed to say, I was extremely excited to shoot this natural wonder. With the sun crawling its way down, we drove to the park’s entrance and hiked our way into the open chasm ahead.
Like a little kid, my heart was anticipating with excitement. What I saw next caused my heart to sink.
I don’t know how it didn’t occur to me earlier but there was one little problem. I’m afraid of heights!!
So amidst the hoards of photographers lined up at the lip of the edge of what might as well have been the world, my gaze was averted to the 6000 feet drop.
For those that have a fear of heights, you know what I’m talking about. In a particularly high scenario, your legs feebly turn to jello and your thoughts for some reason flip to the channel “100 ways you could die right now”.
How could I have not thought of this before going? Well done me, might have to do with another rocky photography shoot on at an even more famous Mesa Arch in Utah.
Although it was perched up high in the mesa, it wasn’t as terrifying because the edge where you could get that perfect shot from was protected by a rock barrier at the lip that rises up slightly to obstruct your view of that same very real death trap drop.
So there I was near the edge of Horseshoe Bend, frozen in time, afraid to muster any more forward than I already was (honestly pretty far).
Then I started hearing the laughter of kids and I could see them jumping from rock to rock without a care in the world. I thought to myself. “Damn if these kids can do it…”
Taking a moment to settle down a little, I finally got to focus on the huge honking thing everyone else was looking at – Horseshoe Bend. From my vantage point I couldn’t see it all but wow was it a sight to see.
It’s one thing to see it in photos but to realise the enormity and magnitude of the rock and canyon carved out by the meandering river.
Like with all of the other life challenges, I wasn’t going to let this one get the best of me. I was already there.
My mission was clear. I just had to tell myself that the unfenced canyon drop was completely safe and that there was no way that anyone could ever slip and slide off into a gruesome death. Never!
Summing up some courage, I slowly inched closer and closer and at last, I could see the entire rock jutting out into the river that rejected waters flow to follow the path of least resistance and create the horseshoe shape.
Don’t get me wrong. I was still scared as heck but in between moments of terror, I was able to get to the edge and snap rapid-fire shots of 3.
So is this a story of courage? Sort of? Is this a story about photography mastering? Not really unless you count popping up from the ground every so often to snap triplets of shots.
This is a story of someone that’s gone to so many places around the world and for some reason still can’t get over his fear of heights.
Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped incised meander of the Colorado River located near the town of Page, Arizona.
Horseshoe Bend is located 8.0 km downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
It is accessible via hiking a 2.4 km round trip from U.S. Route 89. Horseshoe Bend can be viewed from the steep cliff above
The overlook is 1,300 m above sea level, and the Colorado River is at 980 m above sea level.
By 2018 references to the location on social media had caused the number of visitors to increase significantly – a total influence of Instagram I bet!
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