THE GRAND CANYON

AFTER LAKE POWELL WE ONLY HAD 3 STOPS LEFT ON OUR SOUTHWEST ADVENTURE. WE PLANNED FOR HORSESHOE BEND AND ANTELOPE CANYON, A COMMON DUO OF SIGHTS EN ROUTE TO GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK. HOWEVER, THERE'S AN IMPERATIVE WINDOW OF TIME TO WITNESS ANTELOPE CANYON'S NOTORIOUS WAVES OF COLOR. IT'S BEST FOR THE SUN TO BE DIRECTLY ABOVE IT, ALLOWING LIGHT TO POOL INTO THE CRACKS AND GAPS IN THE GROUND. AND SINCE WE WERE ON THE MOVE BY 8 AM AND ANTELOPE CANYON IS ONLY 30 MINUTES AWAY FROM LAKE POWELL, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN A RATHER DARK TOUR. SO WE DECIDED TO SAVE ANTELOPE FOR ANOTHER TRIP WHEN WE HAD MORE TIME AND COULD ACCESS THE CAVERNS AT THE PERFECT TIME OF DAY. SO ON WE WENT TO HORSESHOE BEND. 

I HAVE SEEN MANY ICONIC PICTURES OF HORSESHOE BEND. NONE OF THEM CAPTURE THE MAGIC OF STANDING THERE, SEEING IT WITH YOUR OWN EYES. IT IS SO UNBELIEVABLY VAST THAT A PHOTOGRAPH SIMPLY CANNOT CAPTURE IT'S MAGIC. DAVE WANDERED OFF TO FIND A SPOT TO POST UP, NATURALLY HANGING OFF THE EDGE, WHILE I STOOD STARING FOR A FEW MINUTES (A GOOD DEAL AWAY FROM THE EDGE I MIGHT ADD, BUT, CLOSE ENOUGH TO SEE CURVE IN IT'S FULLNESS). EVENTUALLY I MADE IT DOWN TO WHERE HE WAS SITTING. I LASTED FOR A COUPLE MINUTES, THEN RETREATED BACK TO THE BOULDER I'D FOUND AT LEAST 8 FEET FROM THE EDGE.

I TOOK SOME PHOTOS THEN SAT SILENTLY FOR A BIT. WE TOOK ONE FINAL GLANCE AT THE BEND AND HIKED BACK TO THE CAR.

ON OUR WAY TO THE GRAND CANYON, WE STOPPED AT A COUPLE OF ROADSIDE SHOPS. THE NATIVES WHO LIVE ON RESERVATION NEARBY IN GLEN CANYON RECREATION AREA MAKE ALL SORTS OF NOVELTIES AND SELL THEM TO TOURIST AS THEY PASS THROUGH. WE PICKED UP A FEW TRINKETS AND CONTINUED ON TOWARDS THE CANYON.

I HAVE ALWAYS WANTED TO VISIT THE GRAND CANYON. I DON'T KNOW IF I EVEN KNEW WHAT I WOULD WITNESS ONCE I GOT THERE. BUT IT DIDN'T TAKE LONG TO REALIZE JUST HOW GRAND IT IS. I WATCHED THE CLOUDS SWEEP OVER THE ENDLESS GAPING CREVICES OF THIS EARTH, CREATING SHADOWS AND COLORS OF SO MANY VARIETIES. I WONDERED HOW THINGS LIKE THIS EXIST AND FOUND MYSELF GLUED TO THE ROCK I WAS STANDING ON, UNABLE TO ACCEPT THAT I COULDN'T STAY THERE FOREVER. I THOUGHT OF ALL THE PEOPLE I KNEW, LIKE MY GRANDMA, WHO'D LOVE THIS VIEW AND STOOD THERE WITNESSING IT WITH THEM.

OUR SECOND TO LAST STOP WAS SEDONA AND WE WANTED TO BE THERE BEFORE DARK. SO AFTER SITTING WITH DAVE ON THE EDGE (YES, THE ACTUAL EDGE) WE PICKED OURSELVES UP AND HEADED SOUTH.