Antelope Canyon, Kayak rescue, Grand Canyon, and Vegas…oh my

 

It has been a busy few days, to say the least.  I will start where I last left off, in Page, Arizona.  This small community is nestled next to a lake made by the Glen Canyon Dam.  The town thrives off of tourism surrounding the lake, as well as its unique geology. Page is home to two main attractions, the Antelope Canyons and Horseshoe Bend. If you are ever anywhere near Page, or driving from Zion to the Grand Canyon, I would say this is a must see location.  We stayed for two nights in a campground, costing us $14/night and included electricity, showers, water, and even had a pool, hottub, and fitness room.  Not to mention was located near “downtown Page”, Antelope Canyon, and Horseshoe bend (and a convenient Walmart to stock up on groceries.

Antelope Canyons are composed to two different sections, the upper canyon and lower canyon.  We chose to take the less touristy route by doing the lower canyon, and it was well worth it.  We went with a family run company called Kens Tours, and had a very informative tour guide named Van.  The tour cost us $20/person, and everyone has to pay an additional $8/person to get a permit to enter Navajo land.  Again, it was so worth the price, and the other tours ran about the same or greater in price.  The upper canyon is a lot shorter, and there are a lot more people going in and coming out of the same area of the canyon.  The lower portion is very long and to enter you go down 5 flights of stairs, and you exit through the opposite end of the canyon.  Van taught us useful tips about how to use our cameras, different Navajo beliefs, and even showed us dinosaur tracks.  The canyons were beyond anything I have ever seen in my life, it was jaw dropping.  I took SO many photos to try to capture the amazing shapes, shadows, and formations in the canyon.  After our 1.5 hour tour (which was supposed to last 1hour but fortunately we got extra time) we continued down the road to the lake.

This is where there is a marina, gift shops, and gorgeous restaurant.  We packed up our lunch into a waterproof bag and rented a double kayak to explore antelope canyon from a new prospective, the water. The costs were a deal compared to other kayak rental companies down the lake. $5/hr for a single or $8/hr for a double, and you could get a free waterproof bag for your belongings.  We got a double kayak, and headed down the lake towards antelope canyons. The winds were pretty gusty, but we trotted along, getting a great arm workout.  It took us 30-40 minutes to reach the opening on the canyon, and as we kayaked further into it, the wind got calmer, the cliffs got narrower, and the views got more spectacular.  In around 2 hours we made it about to the end, where the canyon becomes dry and kayakers can walk along throughout the canyon.  I would like to mention there were not many kayakers the day we went, due to crazy winds.  Low and behold, a boat came and informed us that the national parks issued a high wind advisory, and they would need to collect our kayak and take us back.  It was perfect timing because both of us were dreading the strenuous paddle back against the 50 mile/hour gusts.  It was such a perfect day! We enjoyed our lunch during our nice boat ride back to the marina.  Once we arrived safely back to the dock, it was around 3:00 so we decided to have a few appetizers at the marina restaurant.  The view of the lake was perfect, it looked just like an ocean.  We had some truffle fries and a salad, and then headed back to the camp ground for a dip in the pool and then souvenir shopping.

The next morning we packed up all our camping gear and belongings and headed to the Grand Canyon, an unplanned pit stop on our way to Vegas.  We have visited the Grand Canyon previously, but agreed it is a necessary stop for such a big national parks road trip.  As our memories recalled, the Grand Canyon isn’t really that grand.  It is considered one of the natural wonders of the world, but from one of the designated viewpoints it left me wanting more.  If we had time to hike down and camp/see Havasu Falls I know I would have a different opinion.  But the massive tourism, rushed crowds, and fast-paced vibes made me realize that the other parks we visited were just (if not more) as awe-inspiring.  After a quick canyon-side lunch, we headed right back on the road towards Vegas, most of the ride I slept for…

It was my first time in Vegas.  After weeks of camping and enjoying nature, this was such a shock to me.  In my opinion, the crowds and stimulation of the city is even worse than NYC.  I was a little overwhelmed and stressed from all of the people and bright lights to see, but once we calmed down and got our bearings on where to go, I was able to enjoy it a lot more.  Las Vegas is one of those places I have now seen, and don’t necessarily need to see again.  Lots to do and see, I spent exactly $1 on gambling, lost, and gave up.  I am not one to waste my money.  We saw the dancing water fountain infront of the Bellagio, and an amazing ocean-themed botanical garden in Ceasar’s Palace. There is a ton to see in Vegas, I think I was just exhausted from a long day.  We walked around almost 8 hours until 1 AM, then headed back to the hotel where I fell fast asleep.

Today we slept in, headed to Starbucks for breakfast, then shopped at an outlet mall until around 1.  They had some great deals and I actually ended up buying a few articles of clothes (much needed).  The rest of the day was spent resting pool-side.  We are staying at an amazing hotel called Cancun, and the pool area is Mayan-ruin theme.  Complete with two slides, two pools, a waterfall, and several hot tubs.  My day was spent cooling off in the pool then soaking up some sun in the 90 degree heat.  It was the first time either of us had really relaxed.  We did a few errands and phone calls, then showered/snacked in our room.  This evening I think we are doing Freemont Street then tomorrow we head to our next national park, Joshua Tree.  We still have no return flight to Hawaii booked, but we are nearing the end of our trip, my exhaustion is catching up with me.  I have had an adventure of a lifetime, and I am so excited to see what the rest of the week has in store!

2 comments

  1. Vegas seems crazy! I think I would have the same reaction as you. I have many friends that absolutely LOVE Vegas, but I think I’m much more of a outdoorsy nature girl myself. The pictures and your time at Antelope Canyon look amazing…it really is wonderful that nature can form such pretty structures.

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