What is the essence of power? Does it mean different things in different situations? Is it a human construct or is it a natural element? And how does it play out when man reckons with the wild?
DROP is a short documentary film that explores the definition of “power” in a parched landscape, written, directed, filmed and edited by moi. It features the Paria Canyon / Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness at the Utah / Arizona border.
This trip to the gulch almost didn’t happen. It was my idea to hike down into the Grand Canyon and visit the thousand year old Nankoweap cliff dwelling style granaries. My hiking buddy Death Valley Jim was all set to do the trip with me when he said, “Hey, but what about Paria Canyon and Buckskin Gulch?” I said, “Tell me more.” When I heard “oldest deepest slot canyon in the world” and “one of the most dangerous hikes in America” I said, “Nankoweap who?”
We hiked all of Buckskin Gulch, Wire Pass, and part of Paria Canyon. All three are interconnected slot canyons that are part of the same watershed leading to the Paria River and ultimately to the Colorado River. It was fascinating and titillating to be hiking 500 ft deep in the earth and knowing there would be no hope of escape should a sudden rain come. It is the danger of flash flood that makes hiking through a slot canyon so dangerous. It is also thrilling to see a quarter of a million years of earth presented like the side of a slice of pie, from the perspective of the bottom of the pie pan.
The plateau above the canyons was just as mind-blowing. It would be impossible to believe without seeing it, but there were pastel rainbow striped hills where striations of variegated colored oxydation undulated along white hills. If there are unicorns in this world, I guarantee they are leaping and bounding over the rainbow hills of Paria Canyon / Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness. We also hiked to and photographed the spectacular and massive Maze Rock Art site and spent a little time petting wild horses. All of these images are in the film DROP.
More photos and videos of our travels to Paria Canyon / Vermillion Cliffs Wilderness are in the list of posts below as well as at the website of our joint project Scorched Secrets of the American Desert www.scorchedsecrets.com
My post about Trail Angels & A Big Ol’ Slot: http://wp.me/p32uZX-is
Our podcast episode about the Cesspool in Buckskin Gulch: http://wp.me/p32uZX-ir
My blog post about the Cesspool in Buckskin Gulch: http://wp.me/p32uZX-ig