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Stephanie Seto | profile | all galleries >> Nikon D80 Gallery >> Southwest Sojourn 2007 tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Southwest Sojourn 2007

My first trip to Arizona and Utah, in September 2001, was one of the best I've ever taken. I joined a tour group consisting entirely of women and, as part of that group, I saw and did things that I never would have seen and done on my own. As much fun as it was, the one thing I regretted was that the fast pace prevented me from taking the kind of photos that I wanted. So, for years, I've wanted to return. In October 2007 I got my second chance.

It was a vacation that I had planned for over a year (I had originally wanted to go in the fall of 2006 but ended up going to China instead). When I was finally on the plane to Las Vegas, I could hardly believe it was happening at last.

I rented a car (a bright canary-yellow Pontiac G5 coupe, a fun little ride) in Las Vegas and drove to my first destination - Springdale, UT, in Zion National Park. From there I continued on to Bryce Canyon National Park, then to Arches National Park (with one night in Torrey in between). Then it was over the state border into Arizona to see Antelope Canyon. The last stop was the Grand Canyon. In those 13 days, I hiked quite a few miles and drove many more, met some fine people, saw some breathtaking scenery, had two unfortunate mishaps, acquired a lot of great memories, and hopefully took some photos that aren't too bad.

The mishaps? Well, first of all, in Zion, on my first hike of the trip, I manaaged to drop my beloeved D80 on the ground. Not soft ground, either - it was almost as hard as concrete. After my heart started again, I frantically checked it for damage. On the outside, some dings on a couple of corners - not too bad. The lens seemed to be unscathed. I checked the autofocus, and it still seemed to be working. But in subsequent days, I noticed that it would occasionally have trouble autofocusing close to infinity. I noticed the difficulty with both the Nikkor 18-70 (which was attached at the time that I dropped the camera) and the Sigma 10-20, so even though both lenses have built-in motors, I have a feeling the problem is with the camera. The focus problem seldom happens, but I think I'll send it to Nikon to see if it can be repaired.

The second mishap was one of the freakiest things I've ever experienced. It's too long of a story to tell on this page so visit the Bryce to Torrey gallery if you want to know what happened.

Despite the two unfortunate incidents, the trip was wonderful. Strangely enough, one of the things I enjoyed the most this time was getting to meet people from all different places. I still like going away by myself, yet it was fun to be able to share the experience with other people once I was there.

Zion National Park, Utah
:: Zion National Park, Utah ::
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
:: Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah ::
Bryce to Torrey
:: Bryce to Torrey ::
Arches National Park, Utah
:: Arches National Park, Utah ::
Antelope Canyon, Arizona
:: Antelope Canyon, Arizona ::
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
:: Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona ::