Monday, July 16, 2018

Spring Break: Horseshoe Bend and Lower Antelope Canyon, Arizona

We drove all the way to the parking lot of Horseshoe Bend to be there for sunrise on March 22nd. We set our alarms and started hiking as a few other vehicles started pulling into the parking lot. It was a 1.6 mile round-trip hike. We set off at 7am.
Wow.
Eli was trying to film the sun coming over the horizon.
Wide-angle selfie!
Profile pic!
As the sun rose above the horizon pictures got harder. We could watch the line go down the other side of the canyon. We asked a German tourist to take a family picture.
Super saturated.
Coffee yoga?
It was busy at the top, but not crazy. It was pretty easy to find spots without people in your shot. A couple off to the side got engaged while we were there. What a beautiful setting!
I could have stayed there for another hour, but the light wasn't good any more and we were all hungry, so we headed back to the motorhome for breakfast, and then got on the road.
I had called in the morning and made reservations for a tour of the Lower Antelope Canyon. Our reservation wasn't until the afternoon, so we spent some time checking out the area around the Glen Canyon Dam on the Arizona/Utah border.
We tried to rent kayaks to paddle around Lake Powell, but it wasn't boat rental season yet, so we took naps in the RV and showers in the nice, cheap shower rooms at the Glen Canyon Rec Area. They were only two dollars each, but my shower came equipped with eight left-behind quarters.
Birthday boy.
Jason knows how much I hate it when my legs dangle in the car so he made me a custom foot-stool. Sweet, huh?
Everything that I read said that Lower Antelope Canyon was a can't miss attraction. They were right.
Here are the boys preparing to be blown away.
A Navajo dancer performed for us while we waited for the tour to begin. The canyon is on Navajo lands and is managed by the local tribes.
We walked to the end of the slot canyon before descending. It doesn't look like much from up above.
Our family was assigned a guide. There were probably six guides for our time slot. Ours was an older lady (the rest of the guides appeared to be in their teens) who was friendly, but a little bored with her spiel. She told us a large number of myths that started with, "Back in times..." 
She did coach us to find the best camera settings to capture the canyon.
It was spec.ta.cu.lar.
There were several sets of steep stairways to get down into the canyon. It was sprinkling rain when we went down and our guide informed us that if it picked up at all that we would have to make a hasty exit, because flash-floods can occur very, very quickly when it rains. 
Our guide called this formation "sunrise."
Waves.
Family photo in the arch.
Our guide said that people sometimes hold wedding ceremonies in the arch.
There were some pretty narrow passageways.
You could see the sky in most places.
The coolest formation in the canyon. A lady with flowing hair.
Back outside.
And back on the road, Grand Canyon bound! We drove along the beautiful Marble Canyon.
What a day! And it's not over yet.