Monday, 12 August 2013

Great American Road Trip - Day 11

Today was quite the experience.  We had an early morning today, having scheduled a tour for 8am.  Note to self - 8am is too early for 2 teenage boys!  However, in the end, 8am was worth it, and allowed us to have two awesome tours today!

We started with a tour of Antelope Canyon.  To begin with, we all loaded into the flat bed of a pick up truck fitted with seats, and buckled up for a bumpy drive from Page, AZ to the Navajo land where Antelope Canyon is located.  We got splattered and sprayed with red mud as we drove through the land which yesterday was a river.  It is monsoon season here, and heavy rains fill dry river beds quickly, and they disappear just as fast.  

We pulled up to a large wall of red sand stone which had a crack down the middle of it, which we entered through.  We learned that this crevice was discovered by a Navajo woman who hearded her sheep through here.  

It was slightly frightening to walk through these large walls, seeing the sand spilling over from the top down onto our heads, and praying that there were no rain storms up stream from here!  But in the end, we were safe and sound, and eventually I was able to relax and just enjoy the stunning slopes and colours of the narrow sand stone walls.  Our guide showed us where the ground had been just over  a month ago, and explained that the floor of this canyon is always washing away, and growing with every rain fall.  At one point we were able to look up and see a tree trunk stuck in the rocks above our head, which had been swept in there with a flash flood.  

This canyon is mostly famous for its light beams which shine down from the top.  However, we were here in the morning, and the position of the sun was not ideal for the famous light beams - but it was enjoyable and beautiful none the less.

Once we finished in Antelope Canyon, we made our way north to Monument Valley.  We were absolutely in awe of the scenery here!!  We booked a tour with Duffy Holiday, a Navajo gentleman who was an incredible host in this beautiful land.  

Duffy took us around Monument Valley sharing the information about his people, including showing us in a Hogan, and explaining the names of the large rock formations we were seeing.  We headed off of the main path at one point to make our way to some private land which only tourists escorted by a Navajo guide could access.  

He took us first to an arch called "Sun's Eye".  It was stunning.

We then took a little walk through the very dry, hot land to a large arch called "Ear to the Wind".  Duffy explained how sacred this space is, and asked us to just enjoy it - he then pulled out a large flute, and played some beautiful music.  We were all blown away by how precious this experience was, and afterwards all of us discussed how it felt like a real "moment".  


After our 2.5 hour tour of Monument Valley, we were back on the road headed for Bluff, UT.  The land was gorgeous on this drive with the stark contrast between the blue sky and red rocks.

Once in Bluff we checked into our hotel, and headed into town to grab a bite to eat.  We decided on the Twin Rocks.  Which was easy to locate from the road - because of the two giant twin rocks on top!

We all got to sample some Navajo bread (which we were seeing signs for all over the place) - this picture below is a Navajo taco.  

After dinner, we headed back to the hotel for a refreshing swim, and a good nights sleep.  We lost an hour today due to time change, so we'll have to catch up before tomorrow which is another pretty full day!!

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