Visiting Arizona, Part III: Land of Canyons

Before I really start, I want to apologize to hard core fans of either the Grand Canyon or Antelope Canyon. I’m bundling the two, no matter how unique and pretty they are on their own. On our Arizona trip, we saw a whole lot, but that’s no reason to go all ‘How I Met Your Mother’ on describing it, and chopping each real time hour into five different twenty-minute episodes, and calling it the final season. Dear producers, this season doesn’t count anymore, give it up.

Stockholm syndrome: the only reason people still watch HIMYM.

Stockholm syndrome: the only reason people still watch HIMYM.

Anyway, we went to the Grand Canyon. It’s big. One of the things I never realized, is that it’s a canyon. Let me explain. On pictures, the things looks like an interruption of mountainous terrain: a giant rocky valley, as it were. Not the case. In fact, when driving there, it is all flat. Driving through Arkansas is more spectacular. All of a sudden (not really, because you have to pay to enter the park, and there’s an entire village on the edge, but stay with me here) this boring tundra-like environment is interrupted by two huge cliffs standing at least four miles apart, and 6000 feet deep. I always thought pictures of the Grand Canyon weren’t as impressive, and the grandeur of it all is very hard to capture even in 3D. Standing on the edge, it took me a lot of effort to understand just how big it all is. Your eyes aren’t used to perspectives on that size, and only when you think about it, and take some anchor points do you start realizing just what the distances are. 

The plateau on the left, in the sun, is about halfway in depth, and nowhere close to halfway in width.

The plateau on the left, in the sun, is about halfway in depth, and nowhere close to halfway in width.

A whole different ballpark is Antelope Canyon. Carved by nature’s forces into a rocky formation in the desert, this canyon is almost an open tunnel. The part on the ground is much wider than the top is, a phenomenon caused by flash floods and wind erosion. Basically, it feels like walking in a beautifully carved, smooth cave, with some natural light coming in from the ceiling. It is breathtaking, and probably a photographers wild dream. The weird shades, the dim lighting, and the unique environment do make a fantastic blend, that is easy to capture on camera. I am no photographer by any means, but our tour guide like taking pictures with my phone, so I ended up with some insider shots (that everyone immediately copied, so I don’t feel that special anymore). In seven pictures, a short impression of Antelope Canyon:

Antelope Canyon 1

I really like behind the scenes photos. Every tourist attraction ultimately looks the same.

I really like behind the scenes photos. Every tourist attraction ultimately looks the same.

IMG_0542

Heart of Antelope Canyon

Tilt your head to the left, and you’ll see why they call this the heart of the canyon.

This light was surrounded by paparazzi-like types, while their tour guide was dancing around so the dust would stay up.

This light was surrounded by paparazzi-like types, while their tour guide was dancing around so the dust would stay up.

IMG_0622 IMG_0528

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5 thoughts on “Visiting Arizona, Part III: Land of Canyons

  1. The Grand Canyon is truly one of the seven wonders of the world. Pictures do not bring it justice. The first time I saw it, it took my breath away. It should be on every ones Bucket List.

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