Page, Arizona, is encircled at moderate distance by a number of particularly spectacular natural desert-land geological attractions: Capital Reef National Park, Canyonlands National Park, Natural Bridges National Monument, Monument Valley, Navajo National Monument, Sunset Crater National Monument, the San Francisco Peaks, the Grand Canyon-Parashant National Monument, Zion National Park, and Bryce Canyon National Park. And even closer to Page are the wonders of the slot canyons, the horseshoe bend of the Colorado River, the Glen Canyon Dam and its resultant marvel, Lake Powell. Photographer Gary Ladd's passion for this constantly astonishing locale is evident both in his prose and in his brilliant color photographs, here superbly reproduced in PAGE, ARIZONA: Hub of the Visual Universe (A Laddscapes Press Book, P.O. Box 2824/1908 Rim View Drive, Page, Arizona 86040/telephone 928-645-3901, 2006, 88 pp. with 80 color photographs, ISBN 0-9779318-0-3). In the introduction, "Welcome to the Hub," Ladd writes: "From a photographic point of view, northern Arizona and southern Utah are indisputably The Hub. Look around: There's wild, wrinkled, convoluted, seductive terrain along every line of sight. Mysterious landforms inscribed with exotic, curving and linear patterns, cross-bedding, fracturing and erosion...The terrains here--from the controversial Lake Powell and lost Glen Canyon to the Paria Plateau with its swirling sandstones--all refresh the human psyche like a mid-July monsoon downpour refreshes the smoldering desert.
..the Page area landscapes are beyond compare. Consult the local place names for clues to their appeal: Rainbow Bridge, Point Sublime, Echo Cliffs, The Wave, Quite-a-Mess, the Corkscrew, Elves Chasm, Forest Alcove, the Big Cut, Blue Moon Bench, Maureen's Ravine, Forbidding Canyon, Area 52 and Skip's Decoy. At these wonderful places and hundreds more, visitors can look down by day and examine the bare bones of Planet Earth; can look up by night to the bare bones of deep space and the faint glow of the Andromeda Galaxy." "There's good reason," he writes, "for the photographer hordes to descend on this part of the world: The terrain is almost too photogenic to be true." Readers may have other areas of the world shining in their minds when they encounter this work, but I assure you that in this book, so resplendant with photographic evidence, Ladd makes a powerful case that Page, Arizona, is indeed the "Hub of the Visual Universe." Moreover, it is an entertaining, as well as an elucidating, read, worth, in my opinion, at least twice the listed $12.95 price.