Friday, November 30, 2012

Photo shoot at the Wave and the hike back at sunset...

The Wave was the perfect place to do a photo shoot for my weekly photo class assignment. This week, it was creative portraits and we all had a blast!

The Wave était l'endroit rêvé pour faire une séance photo pour mon projet de la semaine du cours de photo. Cette semaine, c'était les portraits créatifs et nous nous sommes bien amusés!


And then, it was time to go back... After playing and exploring all afternoon in The Wave (they filled an empty water bottle with sand and would make it roll around in the waves, lots of ups and downs!), the girls were spent... But there was a 5 km hike left, in the sand for the most part. Our feet and legs hurt and there was some tears and discouragement, but since kids never stop amazing us, they came up with a funny game they played and ended the last 2 kms running and laughing! They probably hiked over 13 km that day. My little champions!

Et puis, c'était l'heure de retourner... Après avoir joué et exploré tout l'après-midi dans The Wave (elles ont rempli une bouteille d'eau vide de sable et la faisait rouler dans les vagues à partir d'en haut, beaucoup de montées et de descentes!), les filles étaient brûlées... Mais il restait 5 km à parcourir pour revenir, dans le sable en grande partie. Nous avions mal aux pieds et aux jambes et il y a eu du découragement et des larmes, mais comme les enfants nous surprennent toujours, elles ont inventé un drôle de jeu et on fini les deux derniers kilomètres en courant et en riant! Elles ont probablement marché plus de 13 km cette journée-là! De vraies championnes!


**The last 4 were shot through a yellow flower (on the side of the lens)
**Les 4 dernières photos ont été prise à travers une fleur jaune (sur le côté de la lentille)

And here's a video of my awesome photo teacher on a shoot. Full of inspiration for all my readers interested in photography.

Et voici une vidéo de mon incroyable prof de photo pendant une séance de photos. Plein d'inspiration pour mes lecteurs intéressés à la photo.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Wave: Poetry of the Rocks

Going to The Wave is no piece of cake. The process of obtaining a permit is tedious, but it is a necessary and effective means of protecting Coyote Buttes from overuse and ensuring hikers can appreciate the Wave in relative serenity. Because entering The Wave feels like entering an old timeless cathedral in Italy. It is a sacred place.

Aller à The Wave, ce n'est pas de la tarte. Le processus d'obtention d'un permis est fastidieux, mais constitue un moyen nécessaire et efficace pour protéger Coyote Buttes de la surutilisation et pour s'assurer que les randonneurs peuvent apprécier The Wave dans une certaine tranquilité. Parce qu'entrer dans The Wave est un peu comme entrer dans une veille cathédrale intemporelle en Italie. C'est un endroit sacré.

You are after all, coming here to admire art. The purpose of art, wheter created by man or nature, is to open a door to the unknown. And it's difficult, perhaps impossible, to step through that door, to contemplate the unknowns, in a clamorous atmosphere (Wow Guide to Utah Canyon Country by Kathy and Craig Copeland).

Only 20 permits are emitted per day (and 10 of those are offered through an online lottery 3 to 6 months in advance). You have to enter a draw at the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in Kanab at 8:30 am to go hike it the next day. We tried for 3 mornings a month ago when we did Wire Pass/Buckskin Gulch (at the same trailhead of The Wave) and did not get it. We were ready to try for another 4 days this time and we got it the first morning! We were so excited! And if you wonder, yes, they check, and you get a fine of 600 $ per person if you are caught hiking The Wave without a permit. Once you get the permit, they give you a detailed map with photos since the trail is not marked (there are some cairns here and there, but not enough to find your way). You have to always look behind to make sure you can find the route back, which sounds easier than it is. I was really happy to have my GPS watch-bearing experienced orienteerer handsome personal guide!

Seulement 20 permis sont émis par jour (dont 10 sont offerts par l'intermédiaire d'une loterie 3 à 6 mois à l'avance). Il faut s'inscrire à un tirage au Bureau of Land Management (BLM) à Kanab à 8 h 30 pour aller faire la randonnée le lendemain. Nous avons essayé 3 matins d'affilée il y a un mois quand nous avons fait Wire Pass/Buckskin Gulch (à la même entrée de sentier que The Wave) et nous ne l'avons pas eu. Nous étions prêts pour 4 autres jours cette fois-ci et nous l'avions eu le premier matin! Nous étions tellement contents! Et si vous vous demandez, oui, ils vérifient, et si on se fait prendre sans permis, il y a une amende de 600 $ par personne. Quand on obtient le permis, ils nous remettent une carte détaillée avec des photos étant donné que le sentier n'est pas balisé (il y a quelques cairns ici et là, mais pas suffisamment pour s'y fier). Il faut toujours regarder derrière pour s'assurer de retrouver la route au retour, ce qui semble plus facile que ça l'est en réalité. J'étais très heureuse d'avoir mon beau guide expérimenté en orienteering avec sa montre GPS!

 Improvised yucca leave spoon! Cuillère improvisée en feuille de yucca!

After 5 km of hiking, for long stretches in the sand (sometimes ankle-deep), you finally enter The Wave. And what a sight! It truly is a take-your-breath-away kind of day!

Après 5 km de marche, dont une bonne partie dans le sable (parfois aussi profond qu'aux chevilles), on entre finalement dans The Wave. C'est incroyable! C'est vraiment une journée à couper le souffe!

Long ago near Escalante we met a desert rat, a man who'd spent much of his life exploring Utah cayon country. We were headed in the same direction, so we hiked together. Near day's end he tantalized us with a secret. 

"I know a magical place in the desert that I bet you haven't been to," he said.
"Where?" we asked.
"I'd tell you..." he hesitated, "but I don't know if you're strong enough for it."
We glanced at each other in disbelief. We were fleet, tireless. Surely he'd noticed. We'd just spent the day hiking cross-country with him. If he thought we were wimps...
"You mean physically?" we asked.
"No," he said. "I mean deeper strength. It's a powerful place. A spiritual place."
Instantly we were compelled to go there, wherever it was, and determined to prove ourselves strong enough, whatever that meant. But apparently we wouldn't get the chance, because he thought us unworthy.
We'd enjoyed a vigorous, harmonious day together, but it seemed to be ending in a strange and disapointing way.
It was nearly dark when we reached our vehicles. That's when he turned to us, smiled, and quietly said "Coyote Buttes."
"Coyote Buttes?" we asked. "That's the place?"
"Yup," he said.
"But why didn't you think we were strong enough for it?" we asked.
"Strong enough to leave once you've seen it," he clarified. "Because it's so beautiful. Getting there isn't hard, if you know how to find it. But leaving? That's tough."
Brief, sketchy, verbal directions to Coyote Buttes were his parting gift to us. It truly was a gift, we soon discovered, because Coyote Buttes was sublime yet remained a secret: slowly passed along by work of mouth between canyon-country aficionados.
(Wow Guide to Utah Canyon Country by Kathy and Craig Copeland)
Coyote Buttes is still sublime. But no longer a secret. Soon after we learned about it, a photograph of the Wave, the most visually distinct feature in the Coyote Buttes area, was published in a German calendar.
That single image inspired thousands of Europeans to seek out the previously little-known landmark. The Wave became world famous.
More photos to come tomorrow of our photo shoot for my photo class (portrait this week) and of the walk back at sunset...

D'autres photos à venir demain de notre séance de photos pour mon cours (portrait cette semaine) et de notre retour au coucher de soleil...

In the meantime, here's a little video of Water Holes Canyon and The Wave. It truly is a magical place...

En attendant, voici une petite vidéo de Water Holes Canyon et The Wave. Un endroit totalement magique...