Guidelines for domestic travel as it relates to camping and parks:
“Going camping at a time when much of the United States is experiencing community spread of COVID-19 can pose a risk to you if you come in close contact with others or share public facilities (like restrooms or picnic areas) at campsites or along the trails. Exposure may be especially unsafe if you are more likely to get very ill from COVID-19 and are planning to be in remote areas, without easy access to medical care. Also be aware that many local, state, and national public parks have been temporarily closed due to COVID-19.” -CDC
Please read all of CDC’s park and rec guidelines for travel here.
It was bittersweet leaving the glampsite and the group of people I’d met there but my next stop was Arizona- Page to be exact. This is the place with Lake Powell, Antelope Canyon, and Horse Shoe Bend. I booked 2 nights here. I wanted to make time to see everything before my dad flew in to crash my solo adventure. I’m happy I did because the first day was spent at Zion… the whole mandatory shuttle service at Zion National Park set me back a day but I couldn’t miss out on Angel’s Landing.
I arrived that night to my Airbnb, I booked a private but attached in-law suite. I quickly locked myself out right after arriving- my phone was inside and I hadn’t remembered the door code. At first I freaked out, it was late and there were wild coyotes out here. I saw one near my car. Luckily it was attached to the owner’s home so I gently knocked and met my host.
Shortly after settling in, and with a quick Google search, I found out I’d need to book a tour to see the famous slot canyon of Arizona. What am I saying? Antelope canyon is one of the most famous slot canyons in the World. It took millions of years of wind and flash floods to form the sandstone into the sculpted shapes that remain. That night I stayed in- reading up on the best tours as well as catching up on my shows.
The next morning I started early- I first drove to the site offering the photography tour* of upper Antelope Canyon. This tour would have less people and allow tripods through the canyon. However, I left when they said absolutely no people in pictures- only scenic shots. Ummm… no thank you. I will not pay upwards of $200 and not have at least 2 pictures with me in them. There are amazing pictures taken from those tours online; I don’t want my adventures captured in what would appear to be a screensaver. *I’ve since learned 2018 was the last year of the photography tour option.
Lower Antelope Canyon
Instead, I joined a tour at noon for lower Antelope canyon. To be clear, there are Upper Antelope Canyon, non-photography, tours as well. I chose based on the time of day with remaining time slots. I really wanted to do the lower canyon tour. For those of you planing to visit- time of day is the biggest determining factor for the dramatic lighting in these canyons. The best time to visit the canyons (upper and lower) are mid-day between 11a.m. and 1:30p.m. I think only the upper canyon will showcas the lightbeams. For light beams, you’ll need to go at the above time and clear skies- clouds will block the rays.
I had the best guide, Raymond, and a small group of about 8 tourists from all over the world. One guy in particular seemed to take a liking to me. He was taking pictures of me without my knowledge while we were in the canyon. I guess he figured I’d give him my number to send them to me… instead he got my email. Raymond also took photos of me, knowingly. So while the random guy taking photos was a bit creepy- I have some candid shots and some ‘plan-did’ shots. Not too bad for the steeply decreased price tag of $50. After the tour ended I drove to Lake Powell where I saw an older very tanned man’s ball sack.
Lake Powell & Big Bend
The man was wearing short shorts in the desert heat and I assume no underwear. Regardless, I hoped to take a boat tour in Lake Powell, but I didn’t have the time to do so. I’ll just have to come back. Instead, I sat at the edge of the lake just to enjoy the view for about 30 minutes. The view was great until I spotted the man in the short shorts- his balls handing lower than the hemline. It was gross and it turns out this is a small town. I’d see him later at Walmart. I’d also see my ‘stalker’, from the tour earlier, as I drove to Walmart.
Majority of my time at Lake Powel consisted of me talking with my sister on the phone about my nephew scoring the winning goal in his soccer game by a corner kick! I’m excited to watch him play when I get back to Maryland. I took very few pictures before leaving and then made my way to Horseshoe Bend. After such an action packed and hot day, it was nice to just relax and sleep in. I had one last thing before that- I booked a full body massage in the small town. I don’t have anything nice to say about that experience… let’s move on.
ARIZONA DETOUR- we have a visitor.
Right before 11a.m. I left my Airbnb and drove to Phoenix. I wanted to make sure I’d be there in time to pick my dad up from the airport. He would arrive the following morning. The total drive would be 4 hours from Page to my overnight hotel. As soon as I arrived I changed into a bikini- it is 88 degrees and so sunny! The water was cold and refreshing. I mostly stayed only waist deep because the whole pavilion was shaded by the hotels height. Sun was on the verge of setting; still, I stayed.
Dinner in Scottsdale, Arizona
Once the sun had set somewhere West of here I went out for dinner in Scottsdale. I picked a cute little taco place because it was Tuesday. It’s called Diego Pops. I really liked the old town in Scottsdale and am excited to come back. I planned to bring my dad here to have lunch before dropping him back off to depart- after our aventures up north.
The food was delicious, now off to bed. I pick up my dad in the morning and will head straight to Sedona from there. I’m not a huge fan of Phoenix* but I will be back to Scottsdale. I have a lot more of southern Arizona to explore- mainly the Saguaro desert and the Suspicious mountains. And I am excited to revist the north, too. You’ll notice I missed the Petrified Forest on this trip.
*Phoenix is not a horrible city- in general all cities have lost their luster in my eyes. Mainly due to trash and fast-paced living. MY love for nature seems to have reated a hate for most man-made things. I visited my favorite city recently (Feb2020) and despised it.