This is installment one of my 2017 Arizona/New Mexico road trip adventures with my friend Kerri.
As we bumped down the dirt road to the mouth of the canyon, tour company owner Jackie told us that Navajo culture is matriarchal, and the land we were seeing belonged to her mother. The rocky landscape was her home, the place she felt most comfortable. Just before she dropped us off, her words captured my imagination: “This is where the wind lives.”
Antelope Canyon, near Page, Arizona, is one of the most visited slot canyons in the Southwest. (Slot canyons are narrow, deep canyons carved by water.) Tours go to Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon, as well as a few lesser-known canyons. We chose to visit “Canyon X,” with Taadidiin Tours (no affiliation).
After Jackie dropped us off, we descended into the canyon itself, where we were met by a guide. The sandstone curves, swirls, and corkscrews, carved by wind and water into sinuous shapes. Colors range from pale peach to deep purple, depending on the angle of the sun.
When the sun shines into the canyon just right, you can see the elusive trademark Antelope Canyon shaft of light. As we walked deeper between the curving walls, we saw our first one. (The guides toss fine sand into the air so it shows up in photos.)
If ever there is a place to look up, look down, look all around, it is here.
The guides helped us with our camera settings so we would get the best shots, and though they kept an eye on us, they allowed us to freely explore. It wasn’t mobbed with people the way the Upper and Lower Antelope Canyon tours can be, and we were able to take our time exploring, taking photos, and soaking up the peaceful atmosphere. I was even able to sit quietly and make a quick sketch of a section of the canyon. (The challenge will be mixing watercolor representative of the shades of rock I saw!)
A few more photos:
|Looking down into the canyon entrance from where we were dropped off.|