Every time we come to Page, AZ, this being our sixth time in the last four years, we make it a priority to visit the Toadstools (formal name is Paria Rimrocks). You can think of it as our yearly pilgrimage. Each time we visit, we are more and more amazed by its beauty. We love that there is so much diversity in such a small area. Let this blog post be your visual guide.
We arrived later in the day than normal with the intention of staying through sunset. It’s a 3/4 mile hike into the main area, up and down small hills and through sandy washes. On a warm day (and this day was no exception) with a full set of camera gear on my back, I produced a copious amount of perspiration (you can add you own visual). We made it to the first of four main areas, the King Toadstool Hoodoo. With sweaty palms I took a few pictures which looked almost identical to the ones I have taken in the past. We quickly paid homage to the King Hoodoo and headed off to the second area.
It is called the “Hoodoo Garden” or “Toadstool Arena” due to its many hoodoos all located in a small amphitheater. Why are they there? What are they waiting for? We may never know. But I do know that photographing them has always been a challenge for us. They are off-white set against the amphitheater, also colored off-white. They always seem to get lost in the photo. This time I decided to stand within the garden and shoot up and outward to isolate a few against the blue sky.
Satisfied, we moved onto the third of four distinct areas, “The Great Expanse”. It’s not really called this. I just made it up so the reader has a cute name to associate with the area. We arrived and looked out over the valley and noticed a large rainstorm was heading our way, much too quickly for Kas’ comfort. “Back to the car! We’ll never get out of here if it rains,” she said. I took a quick photo as she ushered me along.
On our way back from the expanse, we stopped at fourth and final area, “Mars.” The formal name for the area is the “Paria Badlands,” which is a good name, but I think mine is much better as you will see in a moment. Kas really wanted to get back to the car, scared of the oncoming storm. But I wanted to recreate a scene I photographed a while back, this time with Kas as the main attraction. How could anyone refuse to be the main attraction? She certainly didn’t.
We hoofed it back toward the car, stopping once again at the King of Hoodoos where something miraculous happened. With the clouds so ominous, a spectacular rainbow appeared, spanning the king hoodoo himself. Forgetting the storm, we set up to shoot. Sometimes you need to take a risk. Click, click, click went our cameras, sounding like two machine guns blazing. Amazed by the scene in front of us, it got even better. A small break in the clouds occurred so the sun could peak through, shining its golden light on the king. We were awed – with our fingers on the trigger, of course. Click, click, click again went our cameras. Rewarded with the “shot of the day, month or year,” we finally headed back to the car.
It never rained.
Remember, it’s all about the light, especially this day.