Adventures in the Southwest
I was living in Southern California in May visiting my boyfriend for his 21st birthday when we decided to go on a roadtrip for Memorial Day weekend. I've had my fair share of roadtrips but this one was really memorable and meaningful. We visited Las Vegas, Lower Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, and Zion Park.
Lower Antelope Canyon - arizona
We left Las Vegas (after a night of Cirque du Soleil, clubbing and gambling) around 10am and drove towards Arizona. We thought we would be a little early to our scheduled reservation but we completely didn't realize there would be a time zone difference adding 1 hour to our arrival time. Luckily we got there right before the last tour of the day (phew!). I've seen tons and tons of photos of Antelope canyon before but didn't know if it would look as beautiful in person. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL! The slot canyon was seriously fascinating. It's formed by erosion of sandstone over hundreds of thousands of years which is why the texture is so smooth. We also saw dinosaur footprints!
Eric and I didn't have accommodations booked that night so we were just going to sleep in the car to save money after the canyon. Instead we ended up hanging out with our tour guide Armondo and his relatives/friends who are Native Americans (Navajo tribe) that own the canyon since it's on their land. We chilled at their local bar, played pool, bowling, met more Navajo natives later that night...AND were invited to sleepover at their house after finding out we didn't have a place to sleep. The Navajo people are so humble and giving, and were able to show and teach us so much perspective in just a short night. I still can't believe we got to experience and share stories with each other. When you travel without plans and just go with the flow, you allow surreal moments like this to happen. THIS...This is what travelling is all about.
Horseshoe Bend - Arizona
This was just a short drive away from Lower Antelope Canyon. It was raining when we got there but that didn't stop us from a short walk to see the view. The overlook is 4,200 feet (1,300 m) above sea level over the Colorado river.
Zion National Park - Utah
We left Arizona early Sunday morning and headed for Zion Park. The drive alone was stunning. The clouds felt lower and the morning air was so crisp and fresh. IT was a fairly short drive before we got to the entrance of the park. The park was huge and quite crowded for Memorial Day weekend. Eric had been here before so he knew exactly where to go to get us to the top of Angel's Landing.
This hike was extremely fun and was considered dangerous and strenuous although I was having too much fun to really notice how easily someone could fall off. The beginning part of the hike was fairy straight forward (just going up) but the really exhilarating and exciting part was the last mile where we climbed up to the top with the help of metal chains. There were so many people going up and down that there was traffic so we could all safely go the direction we wanted.
The views. Man, the views were amazing. While I was going up, I stood there for a moment and just thought to myself about how these rocks and mountains have been here for thousands of years. I wondered who else in the ancient days got to see what I was looking at. Did dinosaurs roam around here? It sure looked like it!
We actually completed the hike fairly quick considering all the traffic and inconsistent weather. When we got to the top, we celebrated by making tuna sandwiches at the top and a well-deserved nap.
A few of the best things about travelling were all captured on this road trip. We got to see new sights, meet local people (and do local things), as well as end the trip feeling more fulfilled and full of life. Being spontaneous allowed us to have more fun and create the kind of memories that we can look back on and laugh at. I really am so lucky to have been able to see all these places especially with my favourite person.
Cheers to more adventures!