Final Stop: Antelope Canyon

The decision is near-unanimous: we’re going to the Antelope Canyon.

After two weeks driving around much of western U.S.A., the option is easy to just sit back and relax until our flight back home. That we’re in L.A. and in a neighborhood in Long Beach, where time seems to slow down makes taking it easy all the more tempting. But there’s still an itch we — or at least most of us — have to explore this place in Arizona that doesn’t figure much on regular tours, but we know of based on word-of-mouth and too much time on Google Images.

And so we spend another half a day in the interstate, passing through Barstow in California; Las Vegas in Nevada; St. George in Utah; then going south across the border to Arizona; before doubling back to Utah, in Kanab. Here we stop by a Chinese restaurant, which is about to close, and order takeouts for dinner. Finally we reach Page in Arizona, where we stay in a motel for the night.

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The next morning, a pickup truck arrives in front of the motel and the Native American driver steps out to greet us. Access to the canyons is only possible through Navajo-led tours, especially since the site itslef is located in the middle of a desert a few miles from Page, the nearest town. The site is actually composed of two separate slot canyons known as the Upper Antelope and the Lower Antelope. The former, which is more accessible, is our destination. Aside from the hour-long regular tours, a photographers’ tour is also available, in which Navajo guides will show participants where are the best angles, direction of light, and so on, as well as direct visitor traffic inside the canyon to the photographers’ advantage (since the canyon sees a lot of visitors everyday). But that would cost an additional fee and since we’re 15, we settle for the regular tour. But all’s well. The beauty of the canyon — created by erosion due to flash flooding — remains regardless of what tour you choose.

An hour later we have our lunch at a Safeway in Page. Then we return to L.A. with a brief stop at Lake Powell. And so our trip ends.

(Sorry for this short and hurried entry. I think I squeezed myself dry creatively over the past few entries.)

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