Have you seen that windows wallpaper which showed a bright orange cave like structure with all those gorgeous gradients and lines making their cut thru the rocks? I always wondered where that place was when that wallpaper was released with windows 2000. Over the years I did find out that was in Antelope Canyon in Utah USA. So when I decided that I was going to make my way from Vancouver to Miami enroute to Latin America I had decided to make a pit stop at Vegas and find my way to the canyons which were about 300 miles from there.
As luck would have it one of my “chaddi dost” from the school days with whom I hung out in Seattle for a couple of days decided that he wanted to join me. Having him as a travel buddy made it easier for our transportation as we had made up our mind to splurge on a decently expensive BMW Beamer Coupe for those 3 days and wow, how awesome of a choice that was. As soon as we landed in Vegas that night and made our way towards Utah on that bright red car, we were already on a different kind of high without even smoking anything 🙂 For the record neither of us are smokers at all but we could feel that kinda high.
We had pitched ourselves at this beautiful town of Kanab for the night and it did say we were in some sort of red canyon valley. But it was only the next morning when we woke up and saw outside of the window how amazing of a place it was. The canyons were bright red with snow sprinkled all over them. And we were surrounded by the bright red rocks 360 degrees. The sun was out at it’s full glory and we drove off to Antelope Canyon. Now it was time to put the car roof down and blast our music while we were in full control of the freeway. On the way we came across a couple of beautiful spots – Lone Rock and Glen Canyon Dam. Both were equally amazing in their own ways, one completely natural while the other totally man made.
From there on with the usual stops, breaks, devouring food etc etc we made it to Antelope Canyon. Now at this Canyon you cannot go to the canyons by yourself as it is a protected area by the Navajo people. Instead you have to take a tour with one of the registered operators. We managed to get a 4pm slot and were worried that the light was fading away. We were all taken in a dozen trucks with about 10-15 in each vehicle. When we did reach the Canyon again the groups were taken one at a time. A few mins apart. But boy ! The minute you walk into the Canyon it’s amazingly mesmerising to say the least. Every step you take and make your way in, makes you go wow. I just shut myself to whatever the tour guide was saying cuz I was so engrossed. A good hour or so walking inside the canyons and back made me want more n more of it. It was honestly the best natural wonder I’d ever seen in my life.
With the satisfaction of having experienced something unbelievable and thankful for getting that opportunity, we then made our way that evening to the town of Panguitch Utah, a couple of hours away from Antelope Canyon. It was a cold evening, we got ourselves some beers n pizzas, checked into the motel and crashed for the night. I spent an extra hour or two just looking at the photos from the day and reliving it as I hit the bed. The Canyon walls, the bright colours, the peeking sun rays and the silence of nature all still fresh in my mind as I lay my head on the pillow with a smile on my face.
The next morning kicked off in an adventurous fashion already. Overnight our car was dumped with at least 6inches of snow fall. We had to brush it off and shovel it away for a good half hour before it could be made road ready again. Loading ourselves with hot coffee n egg rolls for brekkie, we hit the road to enter Bryce Canyon national park. It was a short 15min ride from our motel and the second we entered the park, we were already in awe of what we were about to see. A bright giant orange natural arch welcomed us into the area n we had to make a quick photo stop. While doing so, in the distance we spotted a family van stuck in snow on the curb side, so we decided to give them a hand to help out. We did whatever we could and eventually they managed to fit the snow chain and rescue themselves.
As we entered deeper into Bryce, it was like a scene from a movie where we were completely in the middle of a snow mountain with all the snow capped trees all around us. For miles we were able to drive without anyone or anything taking away our attention. We had the car roof down, music on and GoPro out 🙂 The bright red car stood our amazingly well given the white background. And my mate who’s normally a very silent bloke was in his full elements. Was a pleasure to see him get himself out of his normal self.
A few miles in and we reached the car park inside Bryce Canyon National Park, pulled over, got our jackets to make our way to the viewing area of the Bryce Canyons. And oh my god, what we saw was like a page out of a fictional winter wonderland book !! I thought I couldn’t be more wowed than the Antelope Canyon from the previous day but this one took that wow factor to a whole new level. It was like the Putangirua Pinnacles n Punakaiki Pancake Rocks of New Zealand, mashed together, increased the size ten fold, splashed with reddish orange paint and sprinkled with snow dust all over. No words can describe how gorgeous it was. The winter period made it even more beautiful than otherwise and I couldn’t have been more happier to get an opportunity to witness what I did. There were a few walking tracks down to the valley and with our regular sneakers on we decided to go anyway irrespective of how much we slipped and fell on our butts while wading thru the snow. Every step we took and every foot we moved made it more n more worth it.
We both spent the entire day at Bryce Canyon checking out both sunrise and sunset points in the area. Took a lot of pictures, shot some videos, had loads of fun and later in the day we started making our way to Vegas. It was only a 4hr drive to the party central capital of the world and given how insanely amazing and crazy the last two days in the canyons were, we decided to celebrate that joy with a night out in Vegas. And we did !! From 8pm to 5am we were totally out and about, drinking away, gambling and having a great time. We deliberately didn’t book a hotel that night and for 2hrs we managed to grab some sleep in the car. And thus without detailing all of that, whatever happened in Vegas stayed in Vegas 🙂 But the canyons obviously took all the thunder it deserved for the previous two days and we couldn’t have been feeling more accomplished than what we did….