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The Art of Ride #2 – The Drive-By

p+_1-1024×625.jpg” alt=”” width=”626″ height=”381″ />From the visitors’ center, there’s a 17 mile circuitous scenic drive that passes all the main attractions and is definitely worth the ride. But I want to have a backcountry adventure and the Navajo own the land. So if I want to experience that part of the territory the drive-by tourist never sees, I’m gonna have to hire a Navajo tour guide.

I decide to explore the drive first. This road takes me relatively close to the rock formations and is jaw dropping. At this point, I’m just shooting all kinds of things and angles. I have plenty of “This’d look good on the album!” moments. About a quarter of the way in I arrive at “Camel Butte”. It is, simply put, a big freakin’ rock wall, or what’s left of it, in the middle of the desert. As I pull in I notice a pickup truck with three Navajo inside and some horses nearby. Knowing that we are looking for a shot with a horse back rider, I ask these guys if one of them would gallop out to the butte and then ride back towards me while I shoot. I knew it wasn’t exactly the image

we were looking for, but I want to try it because, well, you never know.

We try it a few times. Can’t get a shot I’m happy with. That’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s getting to be late morning and all the sweet light I’d had riding with me is getting washed out. I throw the guy a couple bucks, thank him for his ride and continue to make my way down the road. – Mike Ricciardi

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