Alstrom Point is Unforgettable
Alstrom Point is the perfect adventure for an amateur like me. The most “off-roading” I have ever done is driving on a few bumpy roads to a lake only a few miles from my hometown. And though I find adventure in small and unexpected places, I felt like it was time to take the next step. I wanted to get some dirt on my hands or the metaphorical mud-flaps of my jeep. I wanted to sweat and work for the adventure, not just create it in my mind.
Using my strong imagination, I have climbed mountains, discovered ghost towns, survived off of the land, taunted death and conquered it, and found life in the treacherous beauty of the earth. Of course, none of that truly happened, but I am gifted in making myself feel it during long hikes, during a camping trip, or while driving through parts of the desert that look as though not a soul has ever touched them.
A Sense of Adventure
I can be quite a homebody, so I am inherently perfectly content to have small adventures and enjoy them to the extent that my imagination will let me. I decided that needed to change when I met a friend while rock climbing. It was easy to tell that he had something inside him that drove him to push his limits. In just a brief conversation, I quickly learned that harnessed rock climbing was only the beginning of his adrenaline-filled lifestyle.
He spent his summers on Alaskan fishing vessels, facing a harsh and unforgiving ocean. The money that he made while working on the fishing boats he used to expand his horizons. He traveled to new countries and saw their differences from the nation and culture that he was most familiar with. However, he did not travel passively. He immersed himself in the way of life wherever he visited and behaved as if he never had any intention to leave. He learned new skills and truly did discover new places. You could see this lifestyle written all over him, and it inspired me to experience new things as well.
I Decided to Change
Since that day, I have viewed myself a little differently. Though I did not feel strong, I knew I could become it. Soon, I realized that with the right skills and increasing experience, I could learn to face change confidently. So I decided to prepare myself.
I started slowly by going to the gym, tackling longer hikes, and looking for more small adventures. I made an effort to go rock climbing and connect with the earth more frequently. No, my efforts were not always consistent, but I saw gradual improvement. When I felt like I had learned a little bit about myself, had determined to take more challenging paths, and developed the strength I needed to pull myself out of tight situations, I chose the first of a string of small adventures. I chose Alstrom Point.
Picturesque Alstrom Point
Alstrom Point is incredible for photography. I realized that I am not the bold adventurer I wanted to be, but I am a photographer, so I headed out to Alstrom point to capture the landscape. The long ride in the tour vehicle along rugged dirt roads was fun and increased my anticipation. I could not wait to see the beauty that awaited me and was excited to photograph the things that were there.
Alstrom Point tours are intentionally set at sunrise and sunset to enjoy the beautiful sky over the open landscape. These sunsets are spectacular. The sun sinks towards the horizon, completely unobstructed, allowing the light to last seemingly longer than it should. Once the sun has begun to pass the horizon, you and your tour companions will begin a countdown. The colors of the sky will intensify, and change as you watch. You will feel the warmth of the sun begin to fade.
Once the sun passes a little more than halfway below the horizon, its light dims enough for you to look at it. At this point, you will have just minutes left of your countdown. The sky will change every couple of seconds, and the scene before you will feel more like a performance than an event that happens every day.
The most beautiful and exciting part is the last 10 seconds of the countdown. Your group may watch in silence or may count out loud. As the last sliver of the sun disappears, the temperature drops suddenly, and the remaining light is gone. The excitement slowly fades, and peace sets in. This experience creates the perfect atmosphere as you wind down to go to bed.
When visiting Alstrom Point to take pictures, avoid using a fancy camera you are unfamiliar with. Bring a camera you know how to use and choose to use a preset or your manual setting. If you go with a preset, remember that the “landscape” setting is not always the best setting to photograph landscapes. Make sure to keep an eye on your ISO settings and your shutter speed. If the ISO is too high, you will be able to capture more light, but it will decrease the photo’s sharpness and increase the graininess. If your shutter speed is too slow, you can see more in the image, but also a decrease in its sharpness. However, instead of upping the graininess, the photo will be too blurry.
My advice is to take a few test photos to make sure that the settings are acceptable. If the image is grainy, decrease the ISO until the image is smooth but not too bright. If the photo is blurry, increase the shutter speed until the image looks crisper. Another good way to avoid blurriness is by using a tripod, which is especially helpful for low-light photography because it holds the camera still while the shutter is open longer.
Enjoy Alstrom Point!
Remember to bring a camera strap, to avoid dropping your camera, and an extra battery. If you do all this, you will have an unforgettable experience visiting Alstrom Point with Dixie’s lower antelope canyon tours.