Here's the truth about traveling. You will meet some interesting people along the way. For instance, I did this hike that was in Arizona. It was the hike to a very iconic place on the border of Arizona and Utah. The hike is called the Horsehoe bend and it has been carved out by the Colorado River. It's iconic for the view and because it has some amazing sunsets in that specific area. They recently made it clear that the trail was redone as it was once a five-mile loop now cut off to one mile out and back trail. Honestly, I would have loved the five miles but you can't be picky when it comes to traveling.
So I get there and we get down to the bend and its beautiful. Gorgeous. Just unreal. I start pulling out my camera stuff and realized that my tripod plate was missing. Looking around I saw this guy sitting on the edge with camera gear all set up. One was on this big tripod and it was moving ever so slowly. I made my way over to him. Nicely and politely I asked if he could take some photos of Lylah and me and he happily helped us out. He took the camera and took about ten to twenty shots of us. I thanked him and sat and chatted for a while. It turns out, he was L.A.
Guess what his job was?
Shooting stars and landscapes. He had been doing it for seven years and he made a real living doing something he loved. I was shocked. I was sitting next to someone who was legit. I felt like I met a celebrity but I tried not to be crazy about it. As I talked to him more and more I started to get this feeling over me. Like it was fate. I was supposed to meet this guy. I stared at him. There was no way that this was happening.
The sun was setting and as we were packing to leave he mentions that he and his friend are going down to this canyon about an hour down the road to shoot the stars tonight. I stared at him and I looked at his friend. He was also from L.A and he had his daughter with him. Telling him I was interested I asked for the location of it and he was happy to send it to me. I got in the van, went to a gas station and got some supplies, and considered the possibility of going. Was I risking myself? Yes. Was I going to be alone with two men and a kid if I went? Yes. Was it worth it? No idea.
Shrugging I decided to head back to Utah. I got about ten miles down the road and pulled over and looked outside my window. The sky was getting clear and something in me told me I needed to turn around. Something was not right. Telling myself that it was all good I turned around and headed to that location.
The hour was long, there was a private gate, and the road was kind of difficult to maneuver but I made my way down and recognized the guy's friend. I pulled into a parking area and I felt something in me that just felt good suddenly.
Nao Came up and said hello. I said hi back and within minutes I was sitting and enjoying the stars with these two Jappense guys who made a living in L.A. We were eating food and making music and just living in the moment. It was spectacular and I felt so at home. I have never experienced a feeling that like before and I honestly loved that I changed my mind to go. Nao helped me so many times with my star photos, gave me advice, and told me that I could change certain things in my photography to make the image more clear. I was so excited. He actually knew what he was doing and it was spectacular.
We now are friends through Instagram and I hope I get to hang out with him again someday. Every bit of that night and morning was worth the extra time. Sometimes taking risks is worth the reward.
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