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God's Altar (Zion National Park, Utah)


God's Altar -- Photo  Chris Carvalho/Lensjoy.com



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In Fall 2001 just after the events of the September 11 terrorist attack, I visited Utah and Arizona for a trip.  I hoped it might take my mind off the sorrow I was feeling, along with the entire nation.  I remember driving the long miles and listening to the radio for any kind of new information that might help make sense of things.  

People in this part of the country depend a lot on tourism and the hotels, parks, and restaurants were hurting since many thousands of visitors had cancelled their travel plans.  In all of this there were some positive things.  People were glad to see anyone who brought them business, and the miles on the road passed by quickly.  Without crowds, no one seemed rushed and there was time to chat with new acquaintances.  It was easy to find a place to stay without calling ahead.  

One morning I got up early to do a sunrise hike in the Kolob Canyons area of Zion National Park.  I photographed a rock formation called Emerging Arch, and on the way back spotted a double-arch alcove in the canyon walls with a small stand of maples and oaks adding an accent of fall colors.  The shape of the grove echoes the arches above it.  I saw some potential in the view and climbed above the trail to get a better look.  In a few minutes I was shooting the scene and very pleased with the light.  Unlike many photos, it was an easy one to capture.   

Laura, who works the front desk at the U-develop darkroom in Portland where I do my prints, suggested the title.  For many of us, our spiritual worship happens out of doors in nature.  If that's true for you, may this scene serve as a reminder of nature's beauty and powers of growth and renewal.  I hope you find the many altars of worship that wait for us in wilderness.  


Info:  Chromira digital print of Velvia 4x5 chrome, Fuji Crystal Archive CD paper

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