Ahead of the Red Bull Air Race season finale at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, pilot Matthias Dolderer of Germany led a flight to neighbouring Arizona for heart-stirring images of the famed Horseshoe Bend. Flying by his side was the Martin Šonka of Czech Republic. Those kind of projects are always challenging to me and in order to make sure that the outcome of the photoshooting would be spectacular photographs, I like to use cameras with remote controls or with time lapse mode presets. Moreover, in these situations GoPro cameras can also provide some interesting images from unusual angles. It was for sure a great day with Matthias Dolderer and Martin Šonka which will remain in my mind for a long time.
Dolderer had the honour of flying his raceplane from The Entertainment Capital of the World toward one of the world’s natural wonders – the Grand Canyon – for a recon flight over nearby Horseshoe Bend. Šonka flew alongside to take in the sight that’s emblematic of the American Southwest: a breathtaking curve carved by the mighty Colorado River to create 300-meter cliffs in the desert landscape.
Roughly 200 million years ago, the area was part of a ‘sand sea’, quite possibly the largest system of sand dunes that has ever existed on the North American continent. Water and minerals gradually hardened the sand, turning it into rock known as Navajo sandstone before erosion from the river sculpted the dramatic 270-degree bend.
ABOUT HORSESHOE BEND
Horseshoe Bend is a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near the town of Page, Arizona, in the United States. Horseshoe Bend is located 8 km downstream from the Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell within Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, about 6.4 km southwest of Page. It is accessible via hiking a 2.4 km round trip from U.S. Route 89, but an access road also reaches the geological structure, as it is part of a state park. Horseshoe Bend can be viewed from the steep cliff above.
The overlook in the desert landscape is 1,300 m above sea level, and the Colorado River is at 980 m above sea level, making it a 300 m drop. The rock walls of Horseshoe Bend contain a variety of minerals, among which are hematite, platinum and garnet.