I found out light is a funny thing when we hike the Wire Pass Slot Canyon trail. It can wash out a landscape, light it from within, or turn a scene from blah to beautiful.
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.”John 8:12
Getting to the Wire Pass Slot Canyon Trailhead
“Let’s do some reconnaissance on Saturday,” I suggested. “The Wire Pass Slot Canyon trail parallels the trail we’ll travel for the first mile of our hike to The Wave. I’d like to see the turnoff in the daytime.”
“Great idea,” one of the ladies said, “I just hope it hasn’t rained recently around here, or we may not get very far down the slot canyon.”
“And if we sleep in and go around noon,” I added, “the sunlight should reach down into the slots.”
We found a dry-camping spot near the Toadstool Hoodoo Trailhead and only a few miles from the turnoff for Rock House Valley Road. Although less than fifteen miles from the Wire Pass Slot Canyon trailhead, our GPS program advised us the trip would take 45 minutes. My Toyota Tundra didn’t have any problems on the rough road, but those in passenger vehicles went slowly. We even saw a Tesla in the parking lot. We paid our day-use fees and started hiking down a dry creek bed.
We passed the turn-off for the following day’s hike, and then we came to the start of the slot canyon. Slot canyons occur when water rushes over sandstone, washing away softer layers and sections. If tight spaces or climbing down steep, rickety ladders scare you, you may want to pass on hiking the Wire Pass Slot Canyon.
Light Changes Everything
For most of the day, light doesn’t reach the slots. The shade felt delightful on a hot October day. I hoped we’d have beautiful light at noon, and I could recreate the sunlight-streaming-through-dust-trails I had seen in Antelope Canyon. Alas, I failed to consider the direction of the slots in relation to the sunlight as well as the heaviness of the sand at the bottom.
Nevertheless, I discovered the sunlight changes the canyon from blah to beautiful. Without the light, the canyon walls seem blah and colorless. I discovered I needed a tripod to take decent photos in the low light. My iPhone took better photos, but not spectacular. The camera picked up colors my fellow hikers wore, but the rest of the scene looked dull.
When we reached a bend in the slot, the sun poured into the canyon, turning the walls into lava. I hoped my iPhone camera would capture the beauty.
We paused to look at all the petroglyphs along the canyon walls when we reached the confluence of Buckskin Gulch. After we headed to the right and hiked a short way down Buckskin Gulch, a large, hip-deep section of water stopped our wanderings.
When we got back to camp, I went through my photos and discovered how beautiful a small amount of light can be. The photos looked like I spent hours in some fancy photo processing program, adjusting settings to create something worth looking at. But no.
More Lessons from Light
How the light changes the mundane to something spectacular reminds me of how the Light of the World changes me. Following Jesus doesn’t mean I know everything or get it all right. It does mean I have hope for illumination during my darkest times. I know following Jesus will mean a steady path to changes that will make me a better, more loving version of myself. Anyone can go from blah to beautiful if they follow the Light.
Father God, help me to seek you above all else. You sent Jesus to provide light for the world. Change me as I walk with the Light.