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Thread: Shiprock Trip.

  1. #1

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    Shiprock Trip.

    Upcoming run to Shiprock for a few days. I will sleep at the rock most nights to be set for the next morning's photo. Taking 5X7 and 8X10. I can't enlarge 8X10 but there were a couple of places I thought I might try and tease out a dyptic or tryptic. I've got three little spots I've never been to that I plan to visit. Never foot-walked around the end of the famous South Dike, (and never seen a photo from down there), never climbed around the base of the white tower on the North West corner- there is a little cleft tucked in behind it that I want to get into, and never been one other place that I'm curious about: the fabled bone shrine.

    Compared to what the rock climbers experience, none of us photographers have ever seen Shiprock at all. I'd love to shoot the shadow from the summit or on top almost anywhere, but very hard to climb solo with a big camera even in pack. I have climbed to the memorial to a fallen climber up in the black bowl and past a bit, but that is a spooky place by yourself.

    I've got two specific shots of the West Dike I want to work on, my old friend the Meteorite and the three little towers on the very end where Navajo go and sing some mornings. There is also a scenic crack on the north side of the South Dike that needs some attention about 9:00 am. Schedule starts getting busy.

    Oh yeah, maybe tease out a view of the grave on the back side where someone, (I suspect climbers), have buried someone under a stack of rocks up against a solid wall.

    The more I shoot at Shiprock the more there IS to shoot, it seems.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2

    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    I suspect the grave is of a photographer who was trespassing on Navajo land.

  3. #3
    ROL's Avatar
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    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    It was my limited understanding that Shiprock, being sacred to the Navajo and tribally governed, has for a long time been been unavailable for exploitation by non tribal visitors (I am aware of historical surreptitious climbing activity). Unless that situation has changed, you are Diné yourself, or have a permit, it would seem wiser not to advertise your activities, nor make the LFPF community complicit in them.

  4. #4
    David Lobato David Lobato's Avatar
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    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    The three little towers interest me. There must be something interesting if the Navajo go there to sing. Have a good trip and bring back pictures and stories. I may get out there later this year.

  5. #5

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    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    Robert, perhaps you are a tribal member or you have made arrangement through the Navajo Nation Parks and Recreation Department (http://navajonationparks.org). If the latter is true, would you please enlighten us as to the cost and restrictions of your permit? Thank you.

  6. #6

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    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    Here's a little shot of my wife standing next to the three men on the end of the West Dike. Never seen a photo of this structure. Love to see it on an overcast day or before sunup when the sunlight and shade pattern doesn't tangle it so. This shot is pretty early.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    On a solo trip, decades ago, I was just to the North of the structures across a little seasonal lake. I had slept in the truck there. Before dawn a beat-up pickup came bouncing through the sage on a little track from the nearest road to the West, slid to a halt and a Navajo man ran up the the rocks and began to sing. I had my camera out several hundred yards away so I laid it over on the tripod, wrapped the darkcloth around myself so I could be plainly seen and turned away so he wouldn't think I was staring. He sang for about a minute, then walked back to truck and drove out. I went to the rocks the next day. There's nothing there except a road intersection and the wind. Every time I go past I stop for a few minutes to consider a viewpoint. Maybe this time I'll see it.

  7. #7

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    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    I've asked that specific permit question of some of my Navajo friends who are from Window Rock and Tuba City and one who lives here. They just rolled their eyes and snorted. One time I talked to the Chief Detective of the Tribal Police in Shiprock when some kids stole a bag out of my truck. I had their description and license plate. He rolled HIS eyes and snorted! I'm sure you could find someone to take money if you insisted, but most tourists just come and go.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	94923 West Dike, 2012.

    I always figured the person under the rockpile was a climber, because it's on the main route. Always stopped to offer up the appropriate prayer....for a climber. I never considered it might be a photographer! What could he have shot last?

  8. #8
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
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    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    Yes I agree the permit system is sadly a joke , I've talked to a Navajo sheriff on the main road by SR. He laughed and told me to go on in but be careful cause no one was going to go in there and save my butt if I did anything stupid.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    at age 67
    "The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep"

  9. #9

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    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    This was painted over and concealed 20+ years ago. Used to be on the storage tank on the vandalized windmill on the East side. Seems like I saw the tank full of water with the windmill running long ago. It was perforated with bullet holes and destroyed for a few years, and the angel appeared, then repaired partially but hasn't been in operation this century. Shiprock area overgrazed long ago and most of the thin topsoil went down the San Juan. The tank still gets painted on often and kids park out here to get away from parents, smoke, drink, et. Big concrete chunks of some larger project scattered around. I never sleep out here because you can't tell who might show up at 2:00 in the morning.

    Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	95040 Angel graffiti, Shiprock.

  10. #10
    jadphoto
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    Re: Shiprock Trip.

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Langham View Post
    Upcoming run to Shiprock for a few days. I will sleep at the rock most nights to be set for the next morning's photo. Taking 5X7 and 8X10. I can't enlarge 8X10 but there were a couple of places I thought I might try and tease out a dyptic or tryptic. I've got three little spots I've never been to that I plan to visit. Never foot-walked around the end of the famous South Dike, (and never seen a photo from down there), never climbed around the base of the white tower on the North West corner- there is a little cleft tucked in behind it that I want to get into, and never been one other place that I'm curious about: the fabled bone shrine.

    Compared to what the rock climbers experience, none of us photographers have ever seen Shiprock at all. I'd love to shoot the shadow from the summit or on top almost anywhere, but very hard to climb solo with a big camera even in pack. I have climbed to the memorial to a fallen climber up in the black bowl and past a bit, but that is a spooky place by yourself.

    I've got two specific shots of the West Dike I want to work on, my old friend the Meteorite and the three little towers on the very end where Navajo go and sing some mornings. There is also a scenic crack on the north side of the South Dike that needs some attention about 9:00 am. Schedule starts getting busy.

    Oh yeah, maybe tease out a view of the grave on the back side where someone, (I suspect climbers), have buried someone under a stack of rocks up against a solid wall.

    The more I shoot at Shiprock the more there IS to shoot, it seems.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	_DSC2147.jpg 
Views:	190 
Size:	24.6 KB 
ID:	94914
    I think that Tony Hillerman once buried a body up there...but Joe Leaphorn and Jim Chee solved that one.

    Seriously, your shoot sounds great, just don't buy the potato salad at the Safeway in Farmington. I've never been so sick in my whole life.

    JD

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