From my previous post I explained that two years ago we found ourselves visiting Antelope Canyon. The day before we had gone to Monument Valley and met Brian at the visitors' center. Brian was an Englishmen from Manchester. We were both looking at that magnificent view overlooking those famous landmarks, The Mittens. He was traveling alone and asked us if we would mind taking a photograph of him. We of course obliged and he did the same for us. When we told him we were traveling through the area and wanted to see as much as we could, he asked us if we had seen Antelope Canyon. We had never heard of it and he told us that it was incredible, and that we really ought to check it out if we had the time. He gave us an idea where it was and after we left the Valley, we headed towards Page in Arizona.
Above and below Gregg and I are hanging on for dear life. I had a seat right at the end of the truck and I grabbed my sun hat before it flew off my head and clutched it in my hands for the rest of the drive. I enjoyed this ride better than the last rollercoaster I went on when I decided five years previously that it was going to be the last one I would ever go on. This particular ride was exciting and so much fun but there wasn't a lot of talking going on in the back of that truck. There was, however, a lot of laughter because we were all merrily having our derriere's lifted off the seat at every bump. Everyone must have been wondering what was in store for us. Gregg was sitting on the opposite side and we were grinning at each other like a couple of Cheshire Cats more often than not.
We have reached our destination where you can see other tour trucks parked by the entrance to the canyon. The opening in the wall is on the right of the picture.
Hat now firmly on head we wait until it is our turn to go inside, but we don't have to wait for long.
Before we knew it we were inside and looking at all the magnificent sandstone formations. In sections there was sunlight streaming in from openings above. In other areas it was very dark.
Our guide Carol Begay of Navajo Tours told us how the Navajo had given names to certain shapes in the rock walls, the bear, the eagle, and many more. She also told us that a relative of hers as a young girl had been the first to discover the canyon when a sheep ran into the opening in the canyon wall many, many, many years ago.
This is our guide Carol. She was the best and told us the history of this place. She also showed us how to use our little cameras for the surest shots. We all followed her advice as best we could and if we had difficulty she was kind enough to take a photo with each of our cameras, so that we could be sure of at least one shot we would be happy to take home with us.
In the photo below a lightbulb went off in my head and I suddenly remembered a very famous photograph I had seen of a shaft of light streaming from above in this very same spot. I believe the photo was in the National Geographic and I'm sorry to say I can't remember the name of the photographer but it was an absolutely awesome photograph. You had to be there at a certain time of the day when the sun was in the correct position. This is what many of the more knowledgeable photographers with tripods had come for and I watched them set up their cameras in the hopes of getting that same shaft of light. It wasn't a very strong light at the time, so Carol threw up some dust for it to appear more clearly. I got a little one that I was very happy with.
That's Gregg heading out in front of me.
There were plenty of willing volunteers to take each other's photographs and this one was taken by a nice young Russian girl visiting with her family.
Gregg wanted me to take one of him holding his Ralph Waldo Emerson book that he had been reading throughout the trip. It seemed appropriate considering our surroundings.
We are back at the entrance now waiting for all our fellow passengers to gather near the truck. Gregg who over the years is getting just like his father and knows no strangers on this planet, was chatting to another tour guide from a different company. He had pointed out this flower growing out of the wall of the canyon. We don't remember it's name, just the information that it was incredibly poisonous. Do you know what it is? I've seen it before somewhere.
We are on our way back now on another helter skelter ride along the wash but this time when another truck approaches, Carol slows down to a stop and she has a friendly chat with the lady driving the other truck. What is truly fascinating to me is that it is all in the Navajo language. Their conversation lasted for about five minutes.....
and then we were waving goodbye and resuming our speedy ride. I made sure I wasn't sitting on the end this time, being a bit tired and having visions of doing an ungainly somersault into the sand. I knew that there would be plenty of willing takers for my seat. I might not be going on any more rollercoaster rides but I will definitely look forward to that ride again when we come back this way. It was quite an experience and one I look forward to repeating.