Desert Escape

How about a fun little post with lots of pretty pictures? I certainly could use a little happy distraction. Before I jump in and overload you with sandstone pictures, just a quick little health update in bullet-point fashion:

  • I’ve been seeing a neurotologist for the last 4ish weeks here in CO.
  • The jury is still out as to whether or not I like him/trust his opinion
  • If nothing else, it’s just good to get all the testing stuff done now so I have a complete set of tests and records to hand over to the real experts
  • Speaking of testing…it’s no fun! ENGs are the worst and 2-hour MRIs are in a close 2nd place
  • Still keeping my UCLA appointment in January and crossing my fingers I get in a bit sooner
  • The end!
David and I decided a few weeks ago that it was high time we get outta dodge. We love to travel as it is, but whenever life gets hard, travel is just more appealing. Something about escaping. Something about getting out in nature, spending some time alone. God’s creation is cathartic.
We literally planned nothing for this trip. We didn’t even know what town we’d be in or if we’d be camping or staying in a hotel. We just threw some bags in the car, loaded up our tent and hit the road. The only 2 things we wanted to do was enter the lottery system for The Wave (if you don’t know what it is, just look at some Google images of it. Killer!) and Antelope Canyon, both of which were down in Arizona. Our trip down was absolutely beautiful!
We found ourselves in Kanab, UT-home of the walk-in lottery system for The Wave, which allows 10 hikers in per day. We thought we’d try our chances. Umm, there were 86(!!!) people who showed up for the lottery. Needless to say, we didn’t win a spot. So, we found a trailhead on a map that looked promising and headed towards Buckskin Gulch. We were not disappointed!

After our beautiful 6 mile hike, we headed towards Page, AZ. We caught the sunset over Horseshoe Bend, which is a really phenomenal place. It’s maybe a mile hike to the cliffs overlooking the Colorado River. 

Not pictured: the several busloads full of elderly tourists who were quite unstable on their feet, yet continued to inch closer and closer to the ledge. I could barely watch. It absolutely terrified me watching them!

I posted this photo on Instagram and I will probably be one of my all-time favorites forever and ever. As David and I were swarmed by crazy elderly tourists, I looked over and spotted this photographer set up on a ledge, probably 1/2 a mile away from where we were. He clearly knew that in order to experience this place and all it had to offer and to get a unique angle, you had to get away from the madness of everyone else. A highly valuable lesson for aspiring landscape photographers such as myself! I also like this photo because it kind of looks like a painting…something about taking it in low light made it look so different.  
We stayed in Page, AZ that night after the sunset. The next morning we headed out to Antelope Canyon. We opted for lower Antelope Canyon because it seemed less busy. It’s located on Navajo land and you can only go in with a guided trip. So we signed up and headed in! This place was unreal. I can’t even really describe it and the pictures don’t do it justice either. It’s incredible!

After exploring Antelope Canyon we made our trek back towards Colorado. The first snowstorm of the year had moved in over the mountains, which made us reroute our trip. We didn’t mind though, sometimes the slowest way home is also the best! We roamed Monument Valley for a bit
 Stopped at Gooseneck State Park

 Wound up at the 4 Corners, which was hiliarious

We grabbed dinner in Durango and eventually settled on Pagosa Springs for the night. On that note, I’ve decided that I want to retire in Pagosa Springs. It’s the cutest little mountain town. It’s got a lot in it, but it’s not so big that it attracts too many tourists. Plus, it would make us that much closer to Utah and Arizona if we need a little warm weather escape in the winter! Our drive home was uneventful, despite driving through snow for 6 hours or so.
See? Tell me you wouldn’t love to retire here 🙂

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