The Traveling Native // Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and The Narrows in Zion National Park
Day Four // Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend
I have always known I wanted to go to Antelope Canyon since my trip to New Mexico last year. I hiked Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks and unknowingly, found myself in the midst of a slot canyon before ascending up the mountain. I have never experienced that before and after talking to a few travelers and learning more about slot canyons, I came to learn about Antelope Canyon and told myself I would one day visit.
6-months later, here we were...on the back of a truck with about 10-12 other people sitting across from one another with our tour guide JR leading the way.
On this trip to Antelope Canyon, we had a very special interaction with a couple from Chicago. You see, the day before when we were driving out of the Grand Canyon to Page, David and I had stopped at a random scenic viewpoint and found ourselves hiking in 111+ degree weather. We did not make it far on this scenic trail and on the way back ran into this couple who had asked me, "Was it worth it to check out?". I hesitated (only because the heat made it tough to hike), we laughed, exchanged some words and then carried on our own separate ways with our travels as intended.
That would have been the end to that part of that story; however, sitting across from us the very next day, hundreds of miles from where we first met, was Julie and Mike from Chicago. At first, we had no idea. There was a moment of waiting from getting onto the truck and heading towards the canyon with the other tour guides that I decided to initiate some small talk with the people sitting in front of me. A few seconds later, we realized that we had run into each other the day before and then we laughed again, exchanged some more words, but this time, we stayed together.
I use to always say things were a coincidence when things like this would happen. "Oh how weird, what a coincidence". But as I travel and through my experiences of owning a small business, I have come to the realization that we are all connected and we are all meant to cross paths for one reason or another. For some, our paths will find themselves crossing over and over, while others, our paths cross just once in a lifetime. That is why I honor traveling with all of my soul. If you do it with intention and purpose, there will be a lot of realizations to be had, and for me, it all relates to the concept of connection without attachment.
Life lesson // Happiness is in the form of non-attachment and understanding that the only moment that you have, is the one right in front of you happening right now
With running into Julie and Mike there was no way we could have planned for that to happen. Four strangers from different walks of life, in that moment, came together to experience something greater than themselves. That was the magic of Antelope Canyon for me, and in a way, the power of travel. Seeing the rock formations and knowing that timing and having the right elements coming together created something so beautiful for us to enjoy and paralleled our experience in one another. With Julie's heart-warming laugh and Mike's playful, jokester personality, it made for the perfect concoction for a wonderful afternoon together visiting Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend.
Antelope Canyon was beautiful and incredible.
Horseshoe Bend was magnificent.
We invited Julie and Mike to join us to check out Horseshoe Bend on the way back to the Sheep Ranch. They said yes and we said, "Let's Go". We all walked together out to the edge of the cliff and had a glimpse of the gorgeous Colorado River coming around a bend through the canyons. We enjoyed our time there and found our way walking back. And in the few hours that had passed from our first realization that we had once met before, our time together was done, and we all went on our way and said our goodbyes.
That is why I love traveling in the form of exploring, immersing and just being. There is an openness that you have to others, your experiences and your overall way of understanding life. Not only do you learn a whole lot about yourself, but you also learn about how the world works; how at the end of the day, we are all on our own journey to just try and figure things out. It's a beautiful thing...definitely not easy, but there is always beauty to be found in this thing we call life.
We spent the rest of the night at the sheep ranch spending time with the dogs, hanging out with two travelers over a campfire and laughing throughout the night because it was just so hot. One of my favorite memories is being in the dark and having my husband covered in wet towels because he just wanted to cool down at 11 pm at night, but with no air conditioning, all he could really do was to make wet towels...bless his heart.
I thank him all the time for being such a willing husband on all of these adventures. I know that we have different styles to what we consider a vacation and I am lucky to have a partner that not only supports me in these journeys, but also is curious enough to be side-by-side with me on these adventures.
Reflecting back, our time at the Sheep Ranch was one of my fondest memories from our trip. It had the most personality that I was seeking while being off the grid. I really appreciated all the small details that our hosts had put into creating the cabin and the overall environment on their ranch and although most of our stay was outside of the cabins while we wandered to Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon, I knew from the very beginning, that this place not only was our home away from home, but our destination as well.
Day 5 // Zion National Park. The Narrows
We said our goodbyes in the morning at the Sheep Ranch and drove Northwest towards our final outdoor destination. This was the one place that I did not "plan" anything and we just decided to figure it all out once we arrived. When we usually travel, I like to have a general map of places that I would like to see and locate a few things in that area without any real commitment. I feel like it helps us have a vision and direction to go in without have a structured schedule to see x, y or z, so it is the best of both worlds: structured with flexibility, and as someone I know wisely says, "There's freedom in the form". I suppose that would be a life lesson as well.
We arrived to Zion from the east entrance, so we had the opportunity to drive through the canyons.
The drive into the park was really breath-taking.
The switchbacks through the mountains was filled with cars slowly driving and stopping along the way to just look at the majestic view of Zion's empowering mountains and landscape.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon walking through a canyon only accessible by hiking in a river. It by far has been the best hike we have both experienced and I am so happy we got to do that together.
I had a moment to share a little thought on Instagram the other day, "When I was walking through the canyons on this hike I had a lot of realizations; one of which was related to taking risks. The risk to trust myself in the unknown, the risk to say yes, and equally so, the risk to say no. I'm always learning each day how to create a service that is meaningful, thoughtful and intentional. That's the power of travel • life lessons at its finest".
It's true though...owning this business and traveling has taught me a lot about taking chances. In order to take chances, you have to know that you are capable of taking those risks. From there, it is all trial and error, but at the end of the day, there is nothing more empowering than to know that you tried and trusted yourself enough to make those decisions.
Day 6 // Vegas
After a few days on the road with very little to no cell service, some days without electricity or running water and just seeing every sunrise and sunset on this trip, we were happy to arrive in Vegas to just have a day to transition to city life without having going back to Los Angeles. I always tell my friends and family that you need a day off after coming back from a vacation to have a nice transition back into your daily life. For us, we knew Vegas would be an easy stop before coming home for some relaxation. It wouldn't be the gambling or the nightlife, but more so, the spa, dinner and a nice room with air conditioning.
The Shio Salt Room at Aria for a little spa time.
Oh and we ran into one of our yoga friends in Vegas for a little dinner, xo
As you can see, we got in a lot of nature and a little nurture on this trip through Arizona, Utah and Nevada to make it back home into California. Looking forward to the next trip, but happy to be home to celebrate all my lovely ladies and shower them with flowers here in the upcoming months.
Arizona Trip // June 18-June 24 2016
In honor of our 3 year wedding anniversary, xo
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