Let me take you on an adventure.
At this point I had been traveling across the United States (East to West) for a few weeks now. I had been staying mostly at Bureau of Land Management sites with no amenities and had hiked Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park just a few hours prior to visiting Antelope Canyon.
Let me set the scene.
We hop in a janky 1999 trail blazer and set off with our Navajo guide, Lionel, with a van full of poised French tourists. I rode shot gun and will never forget the thrill of getting lost (briefly) in the sands of the Navajo territory towards steep, seemingly-drop-off dunes into the Antelope Canyon basin. Our guide seems proud that he got us there before the other vans, despite getting lost on the unmarked trails. He ushers us into the canyon as other groups are pulling up and piling into the narrow crevice of the entry.
We wind through the canyon; our guide grabbing our iPhones and changing filters before capturing a perfect shot with an aura of passion. Groups of people are packed before and after us, leaving me feel rushed, yet in a meditative state. A slow breeze whispers through the maze of the canyon. Our guide jokingly grabs a pan flute from a fellow guide and suddenly becomes solemn as he begins playing to honor the spirits of the canyon. The notes drift up through the slots of the canyon and echo back down. A ray of sunlight drifts through a slot in the canyon wall, illuminating the rust orange tones of the towering walls surrounding us.
Winding further into the passage, Lionel suddenly stops and points at me, nodding, “get up on that ledge”. I’m sure my expression was priceless. I manage to stabilize my sore muscles on a sliver of a ledge on a canyon wall as he says, “Now gaze up at the light.” I felt all eyes on me and tried my best model –stoic face. He snaps the picture. I envision it to capture the ethereal essence of my experience. I smirk as I think of how great it will be for social media.
We finish our tour, and as I walk towards my car I pull up the picture to finally check it out. I look absolutely wrecked and hilarious. Probably one of the most unflattering pictures I’ve ever had taken. I’m holding strongly to the belief that nothing could compare to the beauty of the canyon itself, hence making all pictures inadequate and unflattering.
Check out the details of my tour at www.missrover.com