A couple of weeks ago Chris and I went on a rather spontaneous road trip. Since a planned trip to Mexico was cancelled due to a hurricane, we decided to use our new found free time to go somewhere we had never been before and make a road trip out of it. I had the idea of visiting Upper Antelope Canyon, since photographing those amazing slot canyons was a bit of a bucket list item for me. Chris was totally on board, especially when we realized we could make a stop at the Grand Canyon at some point, since going there was something that was on his bucket list. It was a win-win!
And so, after a couple of hours of research online, we booked a hotel, reserved two spots in a professional photographers’ guided tour of Upper Antelope Canyon, and decided to figure everything else out along the way. We left bright and early on a Friday and drove most of the day, arriving in Page, Arizona that evening.
Determined to document the heck out of this trip, I had three different cameras on me: my phone, my DSLR, and a vintage Polaroid. So this post is gonna be a mixture of all three! We used the Polaroid way more than I expected to, which was great, and I loved that we stopped to use it at each state line we crossed. Three states in one day…now that’s a road trip!
Once we got to Page, we had dinner and went to bed with absolutely no idea what the next day had in store. When we woke up the next morning I remembered that in my research of the area, I saw that there were pontoon boat tours of the Colorado River, which basically began at nearby Lake Powell. I called the tour company, got us two spots on the tour, and a couple of hours later we found ourselves on a bus, headed to the Colorado River. The bus drove us down a long, dark tunnel that spat us out at the base of Glen Canyon Dam. For the short walk from the bus to the boat, you had to wear a hard hat, in case anyone dropped anything from the bridge above the dam onto our heads.
I was completely in awe with our surroundings once we boarded the boat and started down river. Our tour guide told us that the walls of Glen Canyon are about 1,000 feet high, but when you’re down at ground level looking up, it’s hard to imagine that they’re higher than a few hundred feet. It was more than a little mind boggling.
My favorite part about the boat was that you have the option of sitting on one of the pontoons instead of on a bench in the middle of the boat. It felt much more adventurous that way and I loved having one foot hanging over the edge of the boat.
About halfway through the tour, our tour guide docked our boat onto a little beach area to show us some Native American petroglyphs drawn onto one of the sandstone walls. Those were cool, but I was more interested in the photo opps. ;)
I am so glad we did this and I think it was made ten times better by the fact that it was completely spontaneous. Spontaneity can be an amazing thing when it comes to traveling because you don’t have expectations that may or may not be met. So, no disappointments! This is an especially good lesson for someone like me who tends to plan things to death. Sometimes it’s great to just let things unfold!
Day number two of our trip was just as cool as the first, and I can’t wait to share those next week.