Radio stations like cell phone signals in the Navajo Nation were spotty at best. To be fair, this was typical across the state but seemed to plague the reservation with greater intensity. I’d catch a country station here, a talk station there, and even a local reservation/public radio style station broadcasting relevant events–weddings and the like–but nothing stuck for more than a few minutes at a time. In the increasingly golden light of the setting sun, the contours of the various mountain faces appeared differently, in deeper contrast than they had earlier in the day. I picked a few spots along the way to snap a few shots as the sky reddened in color. I knew there was a limit to all of this though: The firmament between the light and the land’s majesty and the inevitable blanket of the formless night.
I was 10min ahead of schedule by the time I made it to Meteor Crater. The air had regained its chill as I jogged up the stairs to the concierge. My brief recon on the crater prepared me…kinda, for the $18/person sticker shock of seeing the meteor. As the sun was setting, I thought I could perhaps negotiate a better rate or a quick peep, but to no avail. The upside of it all was that the $18 tickets were that they were good for a couple weeks of re-entry so long as I kept my receipt. Realizing this, I decided to jump in and buy the ticket, rationalizing that I could go again (I wouldn’t). At the urging of the window attendant, I checked out an educational video before going up to the observation deck. It explained how the meteor hit where it did and, without spoiling the process too much, I’ll say that a rock flew in from space really fast and slammed into the ground really hard. Being a bit of a space nerd myself, I understood the mechanics of meteorites. Shamefully, I found myself focusing on more on how the piece was filmed, audibly groaning at the editor’s font/shot selection, unable to contain my jealousy at the fact the DP got to go down into the crater and I wouldn’t.