During the Toronto to Las Vegas road trip I completed in October, there were many occasions to witness a great sunset. Since it was a press trip and there were many early mornings to ensure we were able to meet with every Inn owner who hosted us, I also saw many sunrises. Yet, it was this sunset in Arizona, that we witnessed from the side of the highway in the middle of the mountains outside Pheonix, that has had the most profound impact on me.
I’ll never forget the colors that even these images can’t communicate. Inspired, I felt determined to get the perfect shot with a Saguaro cactus in the foreground, unreal colors as the background. However, I have one great fear in life: snakes. And the Saguaro cactus were all a good distance off the highway amidst hundreds of rattlesnake holes. So Picture Indiana Jones…
Snakes. Why’d it have to be snakes?
I’ll never forget the fear in my chest as I left Spencer on the safe side of the guardrail to capture the image I had in my head. I made my way into the gathering dust, picking my way around rattlesnake holes till I found the perfect cactus. Holding my breath and balancing the camera on my chest using myself as a human tripod I quickly snapped two long exposures.
I got the image I wanted!! I survived to live another day, sans snake bite. I faced my fear. I felt an amazing rush of satisfaction and happiness when I jumped to the safe side of the guardrail and rejoined my friend, to enjoy the rest of the sunset in silence and contemplation!