Thursday, May 30, 2013

Antelope Slot Canyon

Page, Arizona.

On the actual Memorial Day, our friends Sean and Corey were planning on taking a tour of the Antelope Slot Canyons. They had read that it was ranked high on a list for The Top 10 Places To See Before You Die, so naturally, Alicia and I had to go. We got separated the day before, so that morning we were scrambling trying to get in touch with them. Cell service was sketchy and non-existent the entire weekend, but just as we were leaving Antelope Marina, I got a text from Sean saying they were going on a tour in half in hour. Luckily, Antelope Canyon Tours could accommodate two more, and the four of us got to go together! 

You sit on benches in the bed of a truck that has seat belts for every two people, and the tour guide drives you to the slot canyons on a long, sandy stretch of road. The sand seemed soft and deep. Our driver swerved here and there, but we eventually got to the canyon. On our way back, we saw a man sitting in his truck with his back tires completely buried in the sand.

PC: Sean McNaughton

These slot canyons were naturally formed by water that wore down the sandstone.

We walked on a flat sand surface the entire time. The pathway was created through the sandstone that normally would have been solid ground we would walk on. At certain points, it got pretty dark, and when I looked up, I realized we were surrounded by twenty plus feet of rock. We were walking within the earth's surface, sort of.

I want to say we were at the Upper Canyon whose Navajo name is Tsé bighánílíní, "the place where water runs through rocks." According to Wikipedia, Antelope Canyon is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the Southwest.
The sandstone walls felt so smooth. It's incredible to think water designed all of it. 

There's nothing like exploring the good 'ole U.S. of A. The Antelope Slot Canyons are definitely worth experiencing. It is nature at her finest.

I'm a super good videographer, but lower your expectations.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A What? A Lake?

Memorial Day Weekend.
Lake Powell, Arizona.
Antelope Marina.
Navajo Canyon.

A lake!! My first lake ever. 
For MDW, my friend Alicia invited me to go to Lake Powell. Surprisingly enough I said I'd go, and I'll never regret it. I had no expectations for what it would be like, well, no. I thought it would be a round body of water that I could see the other side of with some trees on the shore and creatures like the Loch Ness monster lurking in the dirty water. I was so wrong. 

We left Friday at noon, drove on the I-15 Southbound, until Beaver, then off the top of my head, Highway 20, through Panguitch, Hatch, and a whole bunch of itty bitty towns that sold rocks and had fake Sheriff cars with a dummy sitting in driver's seat. Throughout the drive, the scenery started changing, there were more mountains and greenery, then red rock plateaus. Before we left, Alicia said it was the most beautiful place in the world. I thought she was joking and exaggerating, but she wasn't. She was so giddy and excited on the drive down and wasn't lying. The first view of Lake Powell was amazing. There is a bridge over a dam with red and white rocks (descriptive), but I couldn't have imagined such a place. It was like nothing I have ever seen before, so different from anything you'd find in Hawaii, and it just kept getting more beautiful.

TwitPic of the ride in.
There are two marinas? Harbors? Idk what you call them. Wahweap and Antelope Point. We were at Wahweap. Sike, Antelope.

A houseboat is really a house on a boat. There were three floors, four bedrooms and two bathrooms, A/C, oven, microwave, ice machine, TV with a DVD player, running water, and electricity. So crazy. So awesome. 
A full on kitchen with every snack, cereal, treat, chip, fruit, meal item, whatever, you could imagine. I ate so much while out in the middle of nowhere. It was awesome. We owe it all to Jimmy Rex, our good Samaritan and houseboat angel, and Ryan Peterson, camping extraordinaire.
We slept on the second floor of the houseboat the first two nights, then camped on shore in a tent the last night. The sun was relentless in the morning and the sand felt like it was on fire, but it was nothing compared to everything else.


I wore a life vest more times in four days than I have my entire life. I rode on and drove a Wave Runner? Ski-Doo? Kawasaki something? I didn't realize how popular lake sports were. "Lake Sports"- sports done on a lake. Lake surfing, solemn skiing, water skiing? Water sport terminology is lost on me.
 Not only did I see wake boarding for the first time in real life, I tried it for the first time!! I was holding onto that rope for dear life. A week later, my muscles still hurt. From afar, the water looks blue, but it's actually green and surprisingly not dirty. Or maybe it is, but it's just so refreshingly cold that it doesn't feel dirty.
It was so fun! I will admit I was a little terrified when the boat started going and I had to stand up, but I had really enthusiastic and supportive teachers who clapped and cheered. Haha. And of course, gave good advice.

All I kept thinking was when I was going to come back. The lake was so peaceful. It felt whole and complete, like there was nothing missing, a feeling sometimes hard to find in life. Lake Powell, you sure are nothing short of amazing. 
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