Last bits of Vegas: Ice Box Canyon with Dennis

It’s been ages since TheServerSide Java Symposium (TSSJS) in Las Vegas, but I have a last bit of photography to record.

The final day of the conference, Dennis and I took a hike in Red Rock Canyon (photo gallery), specifically Ice Box Canyon. Yeah, we were supposed to be at TSSJS, but Java Jeopardy was over, and neither of us was up for much more tech babble.

So we went to Red Rock, and spent a couple hours hiking through the high desert into a narrow canyon. Ice Box earned its name: The temperature must have dropped by 15 degrees in the hike up. It was almost too cold for my short sleeves. Dennis didn’t seem to notice, though. One of the advantages of not being a human twig, I guess.

About halfway in, we heard water, and the remainder of the hike required criss-crossing the creek every forty or fifty feet. Every five or ten minutes, there was a new little waterfall which I had to stop at to take a picture.

Of course, waterfalls require slow exposures–1/20th of a second will get you a bit of streaky water, but slower is better. The longer the aperture is open, though, the greater the camera shake, and I didn’t bring my tripod. So I tried to wedge my camera between pebbles to keep it steady. This took time, and Dennis started tossing rocks into the pools in front of my camera, partly out of boredom, but mainly, I think, because he thought it was quite clever and funny. Probably was–he couldn’t hide his chuckling–but I was not amused at the droplets of water landing on my cheap-ass camera. I’ve never had much of a sense of humor about my photography.

Grinning_madly_480x640We kept wondering when we would hit the end of the canyon. The trail map said you’d hit a waterfall where you couldn’t go any further. We thought we hit that point twice. But each time, we found a way around the little waterfall by scrambling over the massive boulders. (We were also egged on by a couple ahead of us that was a good ten years’ older and hadn’t yet turned around).

The end of the canyon was obvious. An almost sheer wall, probably 100+ feet high, with a narrow waterfall cascading down the rocks. There was nowhere else to go but back.

The person in the picture is Dennis. If you know him, you won’t need to zoom in to identify that wild, mad, face-splitting grin of his.

Comments are closed.