Inside the Watchtower

Medicine Wheel - Grand Canyon Watchtower 1
Medicine Wheel – Grand Canyon Watchtower 1
Medicine Wheel - Grand Canyon Watchtower 2
Medicine Wheel – Grand Canyon Watchtower 2

A park ranger greeted us as we entered Grand Canyon National Park. He asked where we were from and knew some of our home terrain from personal experience – as a younger man he and a fellow ranger cycled through British Columbia (B.C.) on a two week break; he’d been from Prince Rupert and through Quesnel and into southern B.C.. They’d also been chased by a bear in that adventure.

Our Grand Canyon ranger advised us to stop in at the Watchtower, the first lookout we would encounter in the park. As a structure, the Watchtower was built by Mary Colter in 1932, the same year in which my father was born (eighty-two years ago). Inside, the walls are painted with Navajo art in earthy, vibrant tones. One image, here, is a high dynamic range (HDR) photograph in natural light of a Navajo Medicine Wheel. Another, also an HDR photograph shows the interior structure of the Watchtower looking up through its center. The door to the roof was locked shut, but there were windows to look through, out and over the Canyon. I met a fellow Canon Camera shooter and showed him he could use his 60D’s optical zoom to create tack-sharp images … some camaraderie, there. Good, good. 😉

Listening to – Matthew Perryman Jones’ ‘Unknown.’

Quote to Consider – “[Photographs] … still want, first of all, to show something ‘out there.’” – Susan Sontag, ‘On Photography’

4 Comments on “Inside the Watchtower

  1. Fabulous!! My son and I camped on the North Rim many years ago, yet I don’t remember this. I’ll have to research this a bit; perhaps it is on the South Rim?
    Where ever it is, the colors are so rich and the structure fascinating.

    • Hey there, Laurie:

      I’ll have to read more of your blog – it’s good to read that you have a son and have camped on Grand Canyon’s north rim. On our trek, we came in from the north, from Moab in Utah, but did take the southern route in this venture. The colours are rich … and to build this structure must have had an interesting purpose – even if only to add to the height from which you can see the Canyon.

      Take care ….

  2. I’m imagining the passage of the sun through the building, blocks of white light blanking detail. With the windows fixed, moving the scene around.


    • Hey there, Jim:

      We don’t often imagine the possibility of a sundial’s interior; yet, perhaps that is what any of us have within any of our homes through a day’s daylight hours as the sun’s block moves throughout. Curious – the move of sunlight tracks the day and even will indicate season. The potential for analogy with light and the body as temple resides here.

      Good schtuff!

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