Rainbow Canyon Earns its Name in the Afternoon Light

Many of the aviation people reading this will immediately know what Rainbow Canyon is.  For the rest of you, it is a canyon in Death Valley.  It is part of a low flying route used for military training and it is a popular spot for photographers to get shots of low flying jets either at eye level or below you in the canyon.  Today it is not going to be pictures of the jets though.  The canyon earned its name because there are many layers of rock in the walls that are of different colors.

I was there in winter so the sun angles never got too high.  This avoided washing out the colors of the rocks quite effectively.  Even so, as the day wore on, the angle of the sun certainly improved from the point of view of getting the color out of the rocks.  There was plenty of time with nothing flying so I was able to enjoy the views around the canyon a lot.

One thing that you struggle to appreciate at a place like this is the scale.  I read about the Spanish first arriving at the Grand Canyon and totally failing to appreciate the scale because there was nothing to give them a reference.  Rainbow Canyon, while a lot smaller than the Grand Canyon (obviously), still is deceptive.  The distance across felt very small until a jet flew through and you realized how far away it still was and it was not even close to the other side.  A quick look on Google Maps with the scale showing makes you realize it is actually a long way across.

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