In the summer of our big road trip Leah and I left Utah for Arizona. And we were in love. I know we were in Arizona because of the road signs and GPS, and I know we were in love because we’d both had been camping for weeks and hadn’t showered. And at least I stunk. They say love is blind, but perhaps love is also whatever word refers to not being able to smell. Oddly, I guess we have words like mute and deaf, but no word for a lack of olfactory sense. Moving on though, Leah and I camped at Lake Powell, which is a huge man-made lake. We were directly outside the city of Page, and at night we got confused.
Arizona does not participate in Daylight Saving Time (DST). As a result, when Leah and I crossed over from Utah our clocks shifted an hour. That isn’t a big deal, except we camped at Lake Powell so we could tour Antelope Canyon early the next day. Antelope Canyon is on Navajo Nation land, and the Navajo Nation does participate in DST. Since we were so close to that border our phones, which we used as alarms, switched back and forth between the “time zones” all night long, which made us nervous that we would miss our morning tour. Subsequently, and if you were curious, Leah and I have since each bought watches.
Antelope Canyon might be a place you haven’t heard of before, but you’ve seen the pictures. It’s actually two slot canyons—Lower and Upper Antelope Canyon—where the orange and red sandstone twists and turns and the light shines down in beams that catch the dust and look absolutely breathtaking. We went to the Upper Canyon, which like the Lower Canyon is just wide enough to walk through. The area looks a bit like where James Franco cut off his arm in 127 Hours, if that helps to visualize it. The fee to get in is a bit, but tours are the only way to see the canyon and overall the money is quite worth it.
After that it was off to the Grand Canyon, and now that I write this it’s a bit funny; while Antelope is about as narrow as a canyon can get, the Grand Canyon is, of course, the opposite. On this second leg of our journey we utilized the open roads and Leah got behind the wheel of my manual transmission car. And she did a great job! I like driving manuals because they give you more control over your speed. Additionally, once people find out that your car is a manual they stop asking to borrow it. So Leah got us to the canyon rim, where we slept a few nights. I’d been to the Grand Canyon before, but I love it so much—the place is always a new experience.
Here’s a funny story: when I was in elementary school my family went to the Grand Canyon, as seeing it was always one of my dad’s goals. However, once we arrived the whole canyon was completely full of smoke from nearby forest fires. As a result, he didn’t get to actually see it until 2014. Leah and I had great visibility, however, and were able to view all the different layers of rocks, the water at the bottom of the canyon, and the North Rim across. Also, around our campsite we saw lots of endangered California Condors and gangs upon gangs of elk. And yes, that is what we call a group of elk—a “gang.” And now you know!
–Jeff and Leah