In the wake of a tumultuous May, I spent the first week of June escaping the summer heat in the Northern Arizona mountain town of Flagstaff. For the first time all trip, I was able to sleep comfortably in the van without sweating and used the time and conditions to recenter. I also used that time to explore a bit more of Page, which is perhaps the most beautiful place in all of Arizona.
When the permits were ready, I headed next to the Grand Canyon where I spent time at both the North Rim and South Rim. Fortunately, the high elevation of the North Rim meant pleasant conditions and is my preferred section anyway.
The South Rim, meanwhile, was mostly the opposite. Temperatures were in the hundreds, crowds were dense, and wildfire smoke began to pour into the park from the west.
Things only got worse as I headed west for my final stop in June; Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. The temperature was 122°F (50°c) the day I arrived and even the nights never got into double digits. Having very little patience and resilience left for my situation at this point, I basically sought refuge at Starbucks all day and only ducked into the park for sunset and night shoots.
Fortunately, Sequoia NP was next but after the NPS failed to come to terms with the team at Michelob, I was denied access to the park and suddenly had a couple weeks of much needed time off.
I finished the month being spoiled by family in the Bay Area while counting down the days until Sophie arrived.
The day before her flight, Sophie tested positive for Covid. Suddenly, we had no idea when she’d be able to join or how she would meet up. It exacerbated an already rough time.