A few weeks ago, I posted a couple of photos on my Facebook page from our Utah vacation, but hadn’t been able to find the time to do a blog post about it until today. Things have been off-the-charts weird and crazy around here. Full moons, freak snow storms, kids pulling all-nighters and lots of unexpected, random illnesses have added up to a lot of WTF around our house lately. I chalk it up to us flying under the radar all winter and it all caught up with us in the last few weeks.
So anyway, about that trip. Lots of people have been asking us, why Utah as a vacation destination? Of all the places we could have chosen, why there. Well, there are tons of reasons, but the main ones being: 1. It is really cheap for us to fly into Las Vegas from where we live. And there are SO many places within driving distance from there that are worth seeing, and we love us a good road trip. 2. We first experienced the desert a few years ago when we went to Death Valley NP, in California (again, via Las Vegas) and completely fell in love. Ken and I both have a background in Geography/Geology/Geomorphology and GIS (basically anything that starts with a “G”). Combine that with a love of travel and a photography addiction, and trust me, there is no better bang for your buck on this half of the globe 🙂
Here we go… entering Zion NP, Utah.
Some of the hikes and walking trails we did. Towering sandstone cliffs and bright blue skies. Amazing.
Hiking under a waterfall…
We set out super early one morning for our day trip to Page, Arizona to see Antelope Canyon. Not realizing that Arizona does not recognize Daylight Savings Time (I will NEVER in my lifetime understand DST), we arrived an hour early for our tour. So someone told us to head out to Horseshoe Bend on the other side of town for a quick hike down to a spectacular view.
They weren’t lying. A 1000ft drop straight down into the Colorado River. Yikes! See the little boat?
Loved our little taste of Arizona, and can`t wait to come back someday.
But, we didn`t have time to do any more exploring, because we were here for one thing. Antelope Canyon.
This place is a Mecca for photographers. It`s crazy, and I didn`t even know about it until we started researching for this trip. I can`t believe it wasn`t on my Bucket List!
Situated on Navajo land, Antelope Canyon is a dream land. An easily accessible slot canyon kind of inthe middle of nowhere. It holds significant spiritual meaning to the Navajo people, and I love a good spiritual moment, but frankly, I was here to take photos. And I took a LOT. Here are some of my favorites:
We were lucky enough to catch a sunbeam at noon:
My cute assistant. He was able to carry all my stuff, and didn`t complain too much. I think I`ll keep him 🙂
I loved being here, it felt so good to me. The canyon walls would change color as the sun moved and behind every bend was a new surprise. Some parts of the canyon were so narrow and dark, you couldn’t see around the next turn, and some parts were so wide and bright, I wanted to set up a tent and live there. I could have stayed in the canyon all day, but they did eventually kick us out. Back to Utah we went.
When I lived and worked in Jasper NP ten years ago, we had constant training on the very real dangers of nature. We learned about never underestimating the natural landscape and to respect the earth. Part of this is not getting too close to wildlife. They are not pets, they are not tame. Working in a National Park, you would not believe the stories I’ve heard about how stupid people can be. For this reason, I have to post at least one “stupid tourist” photo.
All I could think about was Mr. Goat sending Mr. Stupid Tourist flying off the side of that bridge into the canyon. People, don’t do this.
Here are some more pics of some of the hikes we did back in Zion. The first one looks way scarier than it really was. Until you got to the end and there was only one small section of fence preventing you from falling to an imminent death 🙂
View from the end of the trail. See the cars on the road? This was my favorite hike.
And if that one wasn’t scary enough, the next day, Ken convinced me to get up at the crack of (a very cold) dawn to hike part of the Angel’s Landing trail; the scariest hike known to man. Ok, I’m exaggerating, but it was pretty scary. Oh, and straight up the side of a mountain. My legs still hurt.
I’m going to post those photos tomorrow though 🙂