I went away for several days last week. And we went to Arizona and Utah to look at a bunch of canyons and canyon related stuff. And although I was sort of looking forward to it, I was also skeptical. I expected myself to be hot, and tired, and miserable, and complaining all the damn time. And you know what? It was exactly like that: I was hot, and tired, and miserable, and complaining (I make a great travel companion). But it was also oh so worth it. Because the views we got to see were damn right gorgeous, and breathtaking, and like being on another planet. They were also mostly orange, as my sister pointed out from my pictures.
So here we go, the trip to orange lands.
We had an early 6 am flight to Phoenix. And that went fine. Mostly because I seem to be enjoying flying, and also because American Airline planes have my favorite time-killer game Plants Vs Zombies (I am not getting paid for any of the company references. Sadly). All the time I was enthusiastically playing, I could feel another passenger behind me looking at me with amusement, or it could be pity. Either one of those, probably.
As soon as we landed, we picked up our rental car and took off on, what turned out to be, a 7h drive. Looks like somebody forgot to take their meds. But in all seriousness, it wasn’t all that bad. Because red bull. Also, because the scenery we got to see was really cool. Cacti at first. Huge ass real cacti. I was yelling at them ‘you are so cute!’ for no good reason at all. Then it all changed into these vast open lands of nothingness, and I felt like my mind was going to explode. Because why don’t they build like an airport, or something there. And then it changed into these gorgeous orange mountains for the lack of a better word. As such.
Our final destination that day was Grand Canyon, the Northern Rim. Why Northern? Because it’s not Southern and we’re rebels like that. But in all seriousness we’ve been to the Southern one before, and thought Northern one might be different. It’s not. It’s the same Grand Canyon, which is still pretty grand and all, just not radically different. It was however have a lot less peoply (peoply – is my favorite made up word, invented on Twitter). Like to the point there were none other people. We drove to this Point Imperial overview and we were the only ones there. And absence of people might be my most favorite thing in the whole world. It was like a private viewing that we didn’t even pay extra for (my second favorite thing in the whole world). It felt like we were cheating, and it felt good.
That night we drove to the city of Page, which was a good strategic location point for the next day. And I had surprisingly good ravioli for dinner in this somewhat dingy looking place. Well done, dingy looking place.
The next day we had a 9am reserved tour of the Antelope Canyon. The Lower one. There are two of them: Upper and Lower. Decisions, decisions. And I chose the lower one because, surprise, the reviews said they’re a lot less crowded. And if you haven’t heard of Antelope Canyon google the damn pictures. Like I was showing my coworker before I went on the trip and she said ‘oh wow, I think this is my computer background’, and I said ‘I’ll make you a new one. With myself in it.’ Because I’m selfless like that.
And the tour was awesome. I mean the tour guide just led us inside and occasionally pointed out certain places for a good picture shot. Which was exactly the perfectly tour to do. Ken’s tour – send them my love if you decide to go. Meanwhile, enjoy the photos.
Right after the tour we grabbed some iced Starbucks and drove to the Horseshoe canyon. And this involved a good 1.5 mile hike through a hilly and sandy trail, with the beating overhead sun, and signs everywhere advising to have water with you at all times. Pffft. Screw water. We had iced Starbucks. But this walk was totally worth it. It was breathtaking, free, and very high. As a person with major height issues, some of these experiences were truly not welcomed.
(If you’re looking for more thrilling adventures in the Grand Canyon – you can always try canyoneering in Zion National Park)!
Right after the Horseshoe Canyon we drove to Lake Powell. It is all located conveniently close to each other. It’s like Mother Nature is a marketing genius. And also, we got in for free. And free National Park entrance is not exactly free shots, but no less pleasant. It turns out August 25th is a National Park Services day and they decided to celebrate the only way they knew how – not to make any money. You might want to check in with Mother Nature’s marketing strategy next time. Just saying.
This same day, we drove some more one hundred million miles to the city of Bluff. We got in pretty late and spent the rest of the evening, wait for it, watching TV. Considering I haven’t owned a TV for about two years now, this was also an attraction. That’s right. I’m looking down on the rest of you, humanity.
The next morning, I woke up with a sudden feeling that my legs are going to fall off. They hurt. Like badly. I wasn’t walking. I was gangsta swagging. Which is fine. Cuz I’m from Brooklyn, son. We had Arches National Park planned for this day. And even though I pleaded for mercy, my significant other had none of my ‘I can’t feel my legs’ bullshit. Sometimes I think he has no soul.
And we got there just fine, being followed by a local, reported to police for reckless driving, pulled over, and given a ticket, but only like once. Reckless driving my ass, old man. I truly advise you not to visit New York whilst driving. And I was all like ‘well, this is bullshit Utah, watch me give you a bad rep’. But then, the officer was super chill and gave us a ticket, but for something minor. Mostly to pacify the dutiful member of their community. And they let us into the park for free again. Either this park messed up their National Park Services calendar day, or maybe the officer called ahead and said to let the reckless drivers through. Either way, Utah is cool. It can stay.
And this is getting really long. Take a breather.
So once we got to the Arches National Park (for free, ha ha ha), it was like driving through a different planet. It was all rocks and mountains, and mountain rocks. No arches though. T he first view was saw was pretty damn magnificent and probably my favorite of the whole place. So there.
Then we drove through the park, stopped here, and stopped there, and still no arches. So then we wiped out a map because this was getting ridiculous, you don’t call a place Arches and have no actual arches. That’s like false advertising. And finally we located an arch on the map, drove to it, and there it was. Like in a reeealy faraway distance, a tiny, spec of an arch. It was called Delicate Arch. And you would need to just take their word for it because there was no telling if this arch was delicate, or muscular, or what. Albeit, there was an option of about 2 mile hike to see the arch closer, but let’s just say ‘fuck it’.
So then we drove to the next supposedly arch, and this also involved walking. But at least in this spot there were like several of arches together, and we already made the reckless drive to this place, thus felt obligated to go and hunt down some arches. We started to walk. And it was a lot of up and down hilly sandy trail walking. It sucked. The views were beautiful, arch-less, but beautiful. And I tell you most of the people who were walking with us had the same look ‘where the hell are these freaking arches?’ Finally we got to one of the most iconic arches of the park.
We saw one other arch. So umm…yeah. The park had some arches. That’s all I have to say about that.
The park did redeem itself with our final stop that we actually missed at first, and it turned out to have 4 large arches! And they were truly impressive. So unintentionally we saved best for the last. And if you decide to go, just make sure you take the first turn to the right where it says Windows, and just skip the rest because it’s rubbish.
So then we drove back to our city of Bluff, where they play a lot of poker, where a lot of bluff is involved, and poker faces, and Lady Ga Ga for that matter. This joke was almost too easy to make. Because one shouldn’t be naming a city ‘bluff’. It’s bad luck. Anyways, that night we decided to go out for some cocktails. And had pretty shitty Bloody Mary. The only worse Bloody Mary I ever had, was that one time when I decided I can make Bloody Mary from scratch myself. I can’t.
The next day we had Monument Valley planned. And Monument Valley it was. Thankfully this place did not involve much walking. You just drove around and looked at the views. And there were definitely views to look at. You would think that by this day we’d seen enough not to be surprised anymore. Not true. The best part? Sandwiches. We took sandwiches with us, chose one of the best overviews, and just sat there, munching, not even talking to each other. I was in a such good mood that I even called my mom (true story).
This same day we drove down to Sedona because it’s close to Phoenix, and it has my favorite Starbucks. Starbucks with the view And Starbucks should seriously start sponsoring me.
This composition is not too great, I apologize, I was in a hurry. That place had loooots of Pokemons. Like I caught two Pikachus. It was great. Highly recommend visiting Sedona. They have Starbucks with a view AND Pokemons.
Then we went to visit this Buddha Stupa Shrine thing. I’m not sure about the proper naming. And this place TOO had lots of Pokemons. It was also very serene and peaceful.
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