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Where in the World was Sean?

1) For this assignment, I met a group of people to photograph an adventure racing brochure. I captured thousands of images over a four-period day in this location, producing images of the team white water rafting, rock climbing, mountain biking, canyoneering, and horseback riding (as they were doing here). The shots were used to promote this eight-to-ten day adventure race.

2) To get here, I had to take a flight and then drive 5-6 hours to a central location. The next day, I hopped in a 4WD and drove an hour to this location over dirt roads, through a river or two, beneath towering cliffs.

3) Over 2.5 million people live within the borders of this broad area (of 85,000 square miles), but only a fraction reside where we were (roughly 5000).

4) The closest town to this location shares a historical name for a mountainous strip of land in modern-day Jordan running along the eastern shore of the Dead Sea.

5) A nearby well-known river runs close to this spot- part of its 1500 mile journey through a continent

6) They road in this valley, which on a map is squeezed between two national parks

Name the spot where I was....and exact as you can general location like "how 'bout the World dude", "Is it the solar system Mr PhotoGuru?" or "I'm going with the Eastern Hemisphere" although you might be technically correct.

Answer to come in a week- have a nice trip, see you next fall...... :)

8/4/2008 11:32:48 AM

Peter W. Marks
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member since: 3/5/2006

Hey Sean! It's been a long time. I was wondering where you were, now I still don't know!
Well thanks for telling us it is in Jordan. that should hopefully stop a few of my spacier friends on BP from wasting a guess on Arizona.
You've forbidden the use of Google but perhaps I shall turn to my Bible and see if Exodus is of any help- I am sure that wandering tribe of Israelites must have passed this way sometime during their 40 years in the desert! That isn't Moses up on that rock, is it?
Of course it has now occured to me that being as cunning as you are young Sean this just might be Arizona and if I looked at a map I would find some town named after the Biblical one and their local stock pond named the Dead Sea. I would put nothing past you my friend, as after all, here in Illinois we have Athens, Cambridge, Columbia, Cuba, Mt Zion and sit on top of the New Madrid fault line so name stealing is not unknown to you colonists!
I'm off to the gym now, so let's see if that helps clear my mind.

8/6/2008 4:40:38 AM

Studio T
BetterPhoto Member

member since: 3/7/2004

Maybe Argentina ... I've seen some views like this down there
Nice work
Cleve Tidwell

8/6/2008 5:49:07 AM


member since: 11/12/2005

I would think this is outside of Moab, Utah. Near the Colorado River, it is a 5-6 hour trip from both Salt Lake City or Denver. It runs between Arches NP and Canyonlands NP. The area is also known for all of the adventures you included.

8/6/2008 6:11:39 AM

Philip Walker

member since: 8/2/2007

My guess is Just East of the Grand Canyon. You didn't say it was in Jordan, but a city close by is named after a mountain range near Jordan. The river close by is the Colorado, and Arizona is well known for the given activities.

8/6/2008 10:38:42 AM


Ah, the guesses begin to pour in- nice ones too- but I'm held to secrecy until next week when I divulge the answer.... oh the suspense.


The bible might not provide the clues, but praying could help.

Good guess Cleve- I've been to Argentina as well and yes, it could be. Nice guess too Becky- the hints seem to fit the area. More to come!

8/6/2008 11:05:43 AM


I've also ben east of the Grand Canyon too and yes there are similar rock formations.....hmmmm, the plot thickens.

8/6/2008 11:06:44 AM

Peggy Lucas

member since: 7/27/2007

Using a Atlas, you didn't say no Atlas! I'll guess close to Moab, Utah, that is close to the Colorado river and Canyonlands National Park, and the Archies National Park.

8/6/2008 4:17:36 PM


ARGH! Those pesky Altas maps- I forgot about those in the day and age of iPhones, Google maps, and GPS navigators.


And just a note to everyone- the closer you are to the location, the better- so although you may submit a general location, if someone else adds a more detailed response, they will win.

Win what you ask?

Win the joy of being a travel guru and the respect of thousands....okay maybe hundreds....okay, two or three of us BPers.


8/6/2008 4:23:25 PM

Shawnna C. Gee
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member since: 7/23/2006

Man! As I was looking at my visitor brochure from Canyonlands, Peggy took my guess! My family just did the Grand Circle roadtrip two weeks ago...which is in Monument Valley. This has to be in Canyonlands. More specifically...can't say. But this is the first time I was able to make a guess in the "Where in the World?"!!! Awesome place to visit (even if my guess is wrong)!

8/6/2008 4:41:19 PM

Gerry Seaborn

member since: 4/30/2007

I had just finished an old Zane Grey Book called "Wild Horse Mesa" and that gives me the idea of Colorado/Utah area. Peace. GS

8/6/2008 8:53:12 PM


Thanks for the guess and participation Shawnna- it hurts when I post a "Where in the World" and only one person responses- as John Muir once wrote, I feel worthless and degraded.


Same to you Gerry- was "Wild Horse Mesa" good? let me know- I'm reading Ed Viesturs "No Shortcuts to the Top" - I may buy the Cliff Notes....just kidding.

Both good guesses again- hate to tell everyone I was on Mars next week and you all were off by a few million miles...

8/6/2008 9:54:24 PM

Peter W. Marks
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member since: 3/5/2006

Sean, I feel humbled...nay, humiliated ! After a good run of being right on your previous "where in the worlds" I have come up blank on this one.
I agree with our friends that it is the Colorado River but whether it is in Utah or further downstream in Arizon I have no idea. As I mentioned in my earlier post your Jordan/Dead sea reference had me looking for biblical names and whilst I have come across Mt Carmel Junction , and Zion National Park in my Rand Mcnally,nothing quite fits your clues.
As an aside, I find it very curious that there are two guys running alongside the three on horses. Not much of an advert for the adventure brochure outfit if half have to run while the rest get to ride! This is the way I feel when I fly coach and the rich dudes get champagne in first class.

8/7/2008 4:09:00 AM


BetterPhoto Member

ah ha ha ha ha ha (in an evil voice).

The adventure race was a race where teams of five would kayak, rock climb, navigate, canyoneer, and do a horse run and ride (where three were allowed to ride while two had to run). The more brutal the better huh- that's right- first class vs. coach for sure!

Peter, you are the man when it comes to geography and geology so I'm sure you wisdom will prevail, foiling my attempts to fool the masses again.

8/7/2008 7:24:11 AM

Peter W. Marks
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member since: 3/5/2006

I must get a life Sean but I just love using logic and deduction to keep this old brain active! I think you flew into Tucson, AZ and motored north to the Vermillion Cliffs which are across the AZ-UT border about four or five hours driving and then you 4WD'd to who knows where but I am thinking about another 25 miles.
Then on the other hand in my last post I mentioned Zion National Park and if it were there then Mt Carmel could be the small town. However I have been to the original Mt Carmel in the Holy Land and it is on the wrong side of the Dead Sea.
I have given myself a headache now so come on the rest of you BP guys, help me here! I know you would hate to have a Brit know more about this country than you do!

8/7/2008 9:39:32 AM


BetterPhoto Member

For all the "Where was I" posts that you nailed, I'm sure you've had a great life! And I love your deduction- it's always appreciated!

Nice guess too- the answer will come next week and we'll see who came closest.

8/7/2008 12:39:37 PM


BetterPhoto Member

Sean--You stumped me on this one. It's not an area with which I'm familiar. Beginning to read through your description, my first thought was somewhere in Montana or Wyoming, or even somewhere in the Black Hills of South Dakota, yet there seem to be more indicators for the Utah or Arizona area that most people seem to be guessing.

Wherever it is located, I'm totally in love with this shot. What a grand presentation of the size relationship of man (and animals) to the awesome grandeur of even this small part of the earth, and by extension to all that surrounds the earth. It kind of puts our day-by-day trials and even triumphs into a whole new perspective.

BTW--Zen Grey has been one of my very favorite authors, since way back in my teens. I read Wild Horse Mesa when I was about 13, I believe. Recently, my husband had read all of the Louis L'Amour books he could find and had run out of reading material. I introduced him to Zane Grey (beginning with Wild Horse Mesa), and though he hasn't been as fond of the more old-fashioned language, he, too has become a fan.

8/7/2008 3:31:49 PM


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Thanks so much Linda- what a wonderful compliment- and I agree with the grandeur of so many places I've visited and how it always brings my blood pressure down and grounds me again.

I'm going to have to read Wild Horse Mesa!

8/7/2008 3:56:52 PM

Peggy Lucas

member since: 7/27/2007

Peter is making me doubt my guess! However, if I'm going to be worng, then I might as well go all out. Now, I have went from the World Altas to the USA Altas, so to narrow it down, my offical guess .....Standing Rocks area of the Canyonlands National Park, Utah.

I don't think I will need my Kentucky Altas for this one,but it is on stand-by.

8/7/2008 6:48:34 PM

Eivor Kuchta
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member since: 11/19/2007

This has to be Canyonlands National Park in Utah. That's a big park, and I don't recognize this special place, but I love to go to both Arches and Canyonlands NP. It's about 5-6 hours from where I live, west of Denver.

8/8/2008 7:20:54 PM


member since: 11/12/2005

This is definitely close to Moab, Utah (historic area east of the Dead Sea. The most likely are to do all of these activities is on the land west and north of Moab. The white water work would be on the Colorado, the high cliffs would again be in the area just west and north of Moab. A one hour trip on dirt roads puts you within 30 miles of your starting place.

An adventure race would not be allowed on National Park lands, but nearby would work. There's lots of BLM land in the west, north west area.

I'm sure you are within 40 miles west, northwest of Moab, Utah.

8/9/2008 7:06:41 PM


Hmmmm, are you all getting smarter and closer? It's hard to get anything past all of you.

Next month I'll have to post a shot from Venus....went there in '04 on assignment for Nasa.


The answer to come in a few days!

8/10/2008 11:30:18 AM

Peter W. Marks
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member since: 3/5/2006

Oh heck Becky you have put the jinx on the Arches National Park near Moab! Did you read or hear that the famous and much photographed Wall Arch in the park collapsed yesterday?
I like the biblical connection with Moab; I hadn't thought of that while I was thinking about Zion park and Mt Carmel.

8/11/2008 6:10:38 PM


BetterPhoto Member

Yes, I took the last shots of Wall Arch, then beat it with my tripod until it fell so I'd have the last shots.


Actually that's a bummer- an amazing formation in an amazing part of the world. At least it wasn't caused by human activity.

Answer coming in two days.

8/11/2008 8:33:25 PM


BetterPhoto Member

That's really funny, Peter and Sean, about the arch!

My sister and her husband were just there in the 3rd week of June, and I have several lovely closeups of the arch on my computer. When I saw the article on the news the other day, I called her immediately to tell her she now has historic photos, because the arch fell.

We agreed that it HAD to have been HER fault! (grin)

Seriously--that was rather an amazing event, that made my jaw drop. It seemed so amazingly coincidental, and such a great blessing that they actually did get pictures so close to its falling! Wow!

We have pictures of Mt. St. Helens a few years back--the day before it began actual volcanic activity once again--beginning to re-grow the cone. We were there the day before they closed down the topmost viewing point--Johnstone Ridge. Now that things have stabilized there somewhat, they have reopened that site, but the mountain will never be the same as it was the day we were there.

We also have photos of Ken Griffey Jr.'s very last home run at the King Dome in Seattle--just before they closed it down and imploded it.

Things like that always feel so amazing, and such an honor.

8/12/2008 3:34:42 PM


BetterPhoto Member

Watching frozen ice break off and melt into a river is enough of a rush- I can only imagine capturing the last moments of something- I may have, I just can't remember. Maybe I'll hold up a camera when I'm checking out so my family can have the copyright and sell it to the Enquirer.

"Photographer takes last photos of himself before he drops the camera on his face".

8/12/2008 3:49:05 PM


BetterPhoto Member

Oh yes! I grew up in Valdez, Alaska, with glaciers all around. I remember walking right up to them back then, and marveling at the blue, blue ice. Now you have to hike miles to see tiny vestiges of them, and even the magnificent Columbia Glacier (out in the narrows close to the Pacific Ocean) has receded greatly, I'm told.

Somehow I'm not sure a photo of one's last breath would convey QUITE the awe of watching (for instance) the Nenana River breakup, although it probably should. (grin)

8/13/2008 4:38:54 PM


BetterPhoto Member

The answer is in folks- the full description under the image- Kane Creek Canyon west of Moab.

Nice job to the guesser-righters (that's a word right?!)


8/13/2008 7:01:40 PM

Peggy Lucas

member since: 7/27/2007

Well, I guessed south of Moab, but at least I guessed in the right country this time. That is a victory right there.

Time has taken a toll on many natural wonders, and since I have a birthday coming up, it has taken a toll on me too.

I have a picture of the last time I was a size 10. My best last shot!

8/14/2008 1:51:54 AM


It's been a while since I posted a "Where is Sean" thread, but there's a new one up (since last Wednesday) and I'm posting the answer today if anyone wants to guess:


5/12/2009 10:02:19 AM

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