We’ve had the most fantastic day today. The sites we have seen have just been fantastic and the pictures will speak for themselves!
First of all we went on a guided tour of Antelope Canyon. It is the most-visited and most-photographed slot canyon in the American Southwest. The land is owned and the tours run by the Navajo. Our guide Cheryl was fantastic. Her knowledge was one-hundred percent and she instructed everyone in our group on how to take each photograph to get the best light and angles and she knew everything there was to know about all the different cameras in the group too. Well done Cheryl.
Antelope Canyon was first discovered in 1934. A young Navajo girl was out looking for her lost sheep and found them in the Canyon. Those sheep were not stupid, they were sheltering from the sun and heat.
The Canyon was created and continues to change due to the monsoon rains and flash flooding they have in July, August and September. Rain floods down the river bed and the only place it has to go is into the Canyon and as it flows it spins against the walls and in so doing and as it is made of sandstone, erodes it very slowly into fantastic shapes. The floor of the Canyon is shifting sand and today in one particular part the floor was 20 feet higher than it was this time last year and that was due to the last monsoon being fairly mild. When the monsoon rains are very harsh the floor height decreases dramatically.
One funny thing about today was that for the whole tour all the camera-bearers walked, well rather stumbled mostly, through the Canyon because their heads were always tipped backwards staring up at the roof taking pictures.
After visiting the Canyon and being the mad English people we are, we then went on a hike in the hot midday sun and shifting sands to visit Horseshoe Bend. This is the name for a horseshoe-shaped meander of the Colorado River located near Page. According to Google terrain maps, the overlook is 4,200 feet (1,300 m) above sea level and the Colorado River is at 3,200 feet (980 m) above sea level making it a 1,000 feet (300 m) drop. That drop is very scary! In fact when Si was taking his photos I grabbed hold of his belt just in case he went flying over the edge!
The hike down is not too bad but coming back up is a different story! If Sue and Nicky are reading this they will remember how I was at the end of the duathlon we did together. Well, today was a million times worse!! I like to think I’m quite fit, but it was a bit of a struggle at the end but well worth it.