Out West 2017! Arizona

Our day in Arizona is a long one. We started early from the grand canyon to head north to Page, Arizona. Today we were going to see some really cool natural wonders.
First up is Upper Antelope Canyon, a slot canyon you can walk through.
We meet in the tour office and they take us in a back of a pickup truck a few miles away to the canyon.
These canyons are formed when water rushes through them time and time again. Luckily we are in the dry season so there is no reason to fear this visit.
After we finished our antelope tour we thought we would stop for some authentic Mexican food.  It was pretty underwhelming but at least we got in a full meal and dessert before moving on.
Next on the agenda is the Horseshoe Bend. You’ve probably seen it in travel articles and instagram. It really is that pretty in person.
Next on the agenda was supposed to be Monument Valley on the way to Moab. Unfortunately since it was late fall we lost our sun and lost our opportunity to see it.
I loved my trip out west so much that I am sure I will be back on that side of the country some day in the future. No reproductions of Forrest Gump today…..

Out West 2017! Grand Canyon Day 2

Day 2 of the grand canyon I wake up early to get those sunrise photos. I am out of photo practice so my photos don’t come out that spectacular. Luckily my subject matter is beautiful just on its own. After photos I go back to my cabin and get ready. After breakfast it is time to go Day 2 of hiking in the canyon. I am prepared with the appropriate layers today.

Today’s trail is Bright Angel trail and it is very near to our cabin. We hiked down into the canyon like we did the day before, this time going further down.

This squirrel kept trying to steal my banana. He was quite aggressive.
A couple times for the hike we had to move away to give room for the people coming up horseback. To go all the way down is not a day trip. There is lodging below, if you are lucky to get a booking. Hiking back is a day’s work and rough so many travel back by horse.

Magnificent views

After returning back I reward myself with a margarita. And we decide to check out the bar in the lodge. It is a not the best entertainment act they could have booked there. But it was nice to relax with some drinks.

The next day we are off north to see some more natural wonders. We stop for some more morning viewing of the canyon.

The grand canyon really is “all that”. I cannot believe it took me so long to visit. November seemed to be the perfect month to visit. It is fairly warm with cool evenings and mornings and no snow yet to worry about. I highly recommend that time of year

Out West 2017! Grand Canyon Day 1

Next stop on our road trip is the Grand Canyon. Yes, it is amazing as everyone says it is.
We spent two days here and splurged a little and stayed on site. I wanted to make sure we had as much time as possible to get at the Canyon.

We drove up from Flagstaff that morning and it took about an hour and half to arrive. We had some time to hike a little before checking into our lodge Bright Angel Lodge.

We started with the South Kaibab Trail. It seemed like an easy day one hike to do. It was fall but still very warm in the sun. I wish I would have worn shorts and a t-shirt.

We hiked down to the recommended day hike stop, Cedar Ridge. There were bathrooms and some room to eat some snacks with a spectacular view.

This is also the trail where I lost a friend the previous year. In an unfortunate accident she fell below. I took a moment to remember her and her sparkle. Her name is also unfortunately in the book that chronicles all the canyon deaths.

Out West 2017! Get your kicks on route 66

One of my favorite Depeche Mode songs is their remake of the song Route 66. 
Route 66 always symbolized an idyllic road trip. The song lists all these towns that you will see along the way. For my road trip out west, I had a chance to take route 66 along some of my route. I didn’t get to hit many towns listed in the song, and we left too late to really enjoy lots of daylight hours on the road, but it was still and interesting trip.
First there is a stop at the Lake Mead Recreational area to get a good look,

Then we stopped at an old time-y gas station. It had closed just before we arrived since it was already getting late. I snapped a couple pictures and got back on the road.

The rest of the drive to Flagstaff was dark and isolating. It reminded me a little of the latest season of Twin Peaks, kind of creepy. But we made it to Flagstaff safely for the night. We had a little time for local craft brews and pizza before calling it a night. We are heading to Grand Canyon the next day.