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Cedar Mesa Morning
Photo By Rhonda Mills

  • Title: Cedar Mesa Morning
  • State/Province/Region: Utah
  • Country: United States
  • Nearest Area: Valley of the Gods / Cedar Mesa Canyon Complex
  • Nearest Town: Mexican Hat
  • Brief Directions: Bluff, UT is the nearest real town offering accommodations and services, although Mexican Hat is officially the nearest community. The Moki Dugway is an unpaved section of Hwy 261 that runs north from US Hwy 163W out of Bluff and connects with Hwy 95W out of Blanding, UT.
  • GPS Longitude: -109.93654
  • GPS Latitude:
  • Best Season: Autumn
  • Description: In southeastern Utah, the Moki Dugway is a narrow, steep and winding road that lets you access the top of the vast Cedar Mesa canyon complex. I headed up the dugway on an October 2011 dawn, disappointed that my chances of a sunrise image were being foiled by heavy cloud cover. As I dismantled my gear, without warning the cloud cover parted and the sun cast a broad beam of golden light across the valley floor right to my feet. I jammed my tripod back into the ground. metering as fast as my fingers and brain could connect, hoping to catch the spectre of color and light before the sun rose higher into the clouds. Like most special moments, it only lasted a few seconds, but I was able to get off a handful of shots before the scene returned to flat light.
  • Gear: Nikon D300 and Nikkor 12mm-24mm lens with Tiffen 0-.06 ND filter
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