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Petrified sand dunes and reflection, Paria Canyon, Vermilion Cliffs Wilderness, Arizona.
Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist and landscape photographer Jack Dykinga made this photograph as part of a campaign to create National Monuments in both the Paria Canyon and Escalante Canyon drainages. He had tried on six separate occasions to make this image following seasonal rains, dissatisfied each time with the quality of the reflections in the standing water.
His final effort paid off after driving south from Salt Lake City and arriving near Paria Canyon around midnight. Dykinga camped at the mouth of one of the side canyons and began hiking in around 3:30 a.m. in order to arrive on location in time for dawn and calm water.
The Abrams publishing house rewarded the effort in Dykinga's book Stone Canyons of the Colorado Plateau (1996), creating a cover free of any type because publisher Lou Gotlieb so loved the image. Following the successful creation of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument and Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt sent Dykinga a letter of thanks, noting the book's help in raising public awareness of these special places.
Copyright Jack Dykinga