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A Trip to the Canyonland – Antelope Canyon and Lake Powell

Read about the first day at the Grand Canyons here.
The second day of the vacation dawned bright and early. We’d be visiting the Horse Shoe Bend, Antelope Canyons and the lake Powell today. Our vacation was planned thick with activities and a lot of ground covering each day.
For the husband and the official photographer, this was the most anticipated day of the entire vacation. He’d made it known many times to the entire group. While the rest of us were still reeling from last night’s fatigue, he was the first one ready to get going in the morning. Shaved, showered and dressed, before I was even up.
After the dinner fiasco the previous night, we were extra careful about our breakfast. We had another long day ahead of us, and we needed the fuel of food to sustain us till the end of the day. Thankfully the complimentary breakfast at the hotel turned out to be of high quality. We stuffed ourselves with eggs, waffles and turkey sausages.
The horse shoe bend was literally at a stone throw distance from the hotel. We’d seen many beautiful photos of this place and now were eager to see for ourselves. We literally ran the ¾ mile uphill hike. The desert stretched everywhere. The small bushes that grew here and there made it look like a massive polka dotted sheet spread over the earth. 
The sun burned hot on our backs as we looked down the cliff finally.

The river Colorado flowed 1000 feet below. I could not believe that this tiny river was once powerful enough to cut through the canyons and form such a dramatic landscape. AB even found a few campers down on the river bank.

While we were scared to go too far near the stiff cliff, a group of teenagers sat there with their feet dangling! Reckless they were but I envied them their courage.
Our next stop was the Antelope Canyons. Driving through the rough and uneven Navajo Reservation when we reached the place it was a little before noon. We’d booked a tour of the lower canyons. Our tour guide Vans, of the Navajo, told us the story of the canyons, while we waited outside patiently for our turn to enter the depth of the canyons.

Hundreds of years ago a big herd of pronghorn Antelopes lived in these canyons. They roamed freely inside these canyons and grazed. That is how the canyons got its English name. The entire region was divided into two distinct sections: the upper Antelope canyons and the lower Antelope canyons. Thousands of years of rain water seeped though the sand rocks and created this unique structures. Narrow passages, the sculpted walls and the play of light and shade – no wonder it was considered one of the 8 wonders on the world. It was impossible to take a bad picture there.

The ancient Navajo tribe used these canyons for hiding and hunting. It was also the home for their fertility deity. It was a sacred place. Even today the guides pray to the spirits of the canyons before entering inside. Vans did too, he prayed for our safety.
For it is dangerous inside. Flash floods are common occurrence. “When you see water inside you run, you run as fast as you can!” he said. Water comes like a whirlpool and in minutes fills the canyon up. Five years ago, he showed us the memorial, twelve people of a tour similar to ours, died in a flash flood inside the canyons. Seven of them were a family from France.
It turned out Vans was a great photographer too.
And he showed us two footmarks! Of dinosaurs!
As we said goodbye to him and started toward the lake Powell, I couldn’t stop my thoughts from returning to that magical place! I wanted to go back to the canyons immediately. I loved the Antelope canyons.
But the lake Powell took my breath away. Our cruise moved slowly through the narrow passage between the vertical walls and I wanted to cry, from too much liking. The afternoon sun had given in to grey clouds, bringing in a cooler front with them. The water looked like a rippling sheet of dull grey steel. We spotted a few shapes of flat headed sharks distinctly pressed into the rocks. While we were contemplating if there were ever sharks here, and if those were fossils, the captain of the cruise told no. They were natural shapes formed by water cutting into the rocks. 

The eerie beauty of the place is impossible to describe in words.
The sun had set and we were exhausted and yet we had two more hours to travel to Zion, UT. Where we’d rest for the night and then move on to yet another adventure the next day.

Love,

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Riot of Random

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