The Most Amazing View on the Most Amazing Vacation (part four)
Wednesday morning was the chilliest of the trip. We were up in time to see the sun rise from the aptly named Inspiration Point. Bryce Canyon might have been the most stunning location of the trip (but please don’t repeat that too loudly, because I’m sure someone else will disagree) and watching the sun creep over the rocks was a highlight of my trip.
The rock formations are striking and dramatic, and when they are backlit by the sun they seem to glow. I know that most of the group were huddled in the van when I took this, wishing we could leave to get breakfast, but I’m glad I stayed to see it. This simple iPhone photograph holds more memories than I can put into words.
We ended up back at the Mount Carmel Junction gas station, and ate lunch in the Thunderbird Resort Cafe across the street. They brag about their pies, and after seeing the signs for the third time in as many days I just had to try one. And speaking of iPhones – you know what happens when you get a bunch of photographers together? You get a some pretty ridiculous iPhone setups. This photograph of my apple pie with hot buttered rum sauce and ice cream only took three people working together to make it happen. And yes, it was delicious…
After lunch we hit the road towards Page. At some point we pulled off onto a dusty dirt road that headed out into the desert. A sign along the way said “Grand Staircase Escalante, National Monument”, so I imagine we could find it again, but I am enjoying the idea that we ended up at some unidentifiable isolated location. The scenery at this spot reminded me overwhelmingly of an area of the arctic that I have lived in. I guess a desert is a desert, and they will have similarities, but to find such strong resemblances in a hot dry climate was startling to me. This desert has more plants though…
Upper Antelope Canyon near Page was incredible. We were not there at the best time for photographs but no-one let that stop them. Access to the canyon is limited, so at 4pm we all climbed into the back of covered truck for a bumpy dusty ride to the canyon entrance. We had an hour to explore the canyon, which didn’t feel nearly long enough, and then we got to enjoy the dusty bumpy ride back. It was quite fun, actually… I have included one photo with people in it for scale. I have a memory of someone saying this slot canyon is 30 metres deep, but when I went online to check that number I found it recorded as 120 feet deep. I’m not sure which of those numbers is correct, but either way it is jaw dropping.
Our last stop of the day was at Horseshoe Bend. I had gotten a little dehydrated by this point and was feeling headachy and not particularly well, so I almost stayed in the van to rest. Luckily I am incapable of turning down an opportunity and I made the trek to the edge anyway. Horseshoe Bend is stunning. And scary. Very very scary. There is very little warning of the edge and there were a lot of people walking right up to the lip and looking over, or letting their kids run around in the area, and it is a loooooong way down. The sun set moments after we arrived at the edge. Glorious.