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Grand Canyon

36°1' 39" N 112°11' 6" W Grand Canyon

Nov 21, 2014  –  by Maeva

We drove to Grand Canyon at night time in order to be ready to visit early in the morning. The road was completely empty except for deers… So in an unlit road at night, we were carefully scrutinizing the road to check for animals crossing the way. Even in the dark, the canyon revealed itself by the side of the road, thanks to a strong moonlight. As we reached the first viewpoint, we stepped out and almost flew away with the crazy wind! Still, Steph braved the elements to find the tripod and take a night shot of the canyon under the stars.

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We found a great campground in the forest and allowed ourselves to have a well deserved good night’s sleep with no alarm clock! In the morning, after struggling to make breakfast with such wind – picture glasses and bread spreads flying away – we passed by a deer on our way out. We might get used to this! We then chose the bus loop we’d go for. Yes, we were surprised to learn that we couldn’t simply drive or walk wherever we wanted. We had to park and then take the free shuttle towards different viewpoints. A bit of a disappointment to learn that after November 28th all roads would open and people wouldn’t need to take the bus. So close! We did the red loop, the Hermit’s Rest route. We stopped a the first viewpoint and walked towards the next few while contemplating the depth and size of the canyon, fighting the wind and getting some fun shots! The entire loop made it clearer and clearer just how gigantic and imposing the famous Grand Canyon is.

Steph and Maeva sitting in front of grand Canyon
Steph and Maeva sitting in front of grand Canyon
Maeva jumping in Grand Canyon
Maeva jumping in Grand Canyon
Steph jumping in Grand Canyon
Steph jumping in Grand Canyon
Steph and Maeva in Grand Canyon
Steph and Maeva in Grand Canyon

Horseshoe Bend

36°52' 46" N 111°30' 45" W Horseshoe Bend

Nov 21, 2014  –  by Maeva

Oddly enough, we hadn’t even planned on making a stop there. But after hearing a bunch of people mention Horseshoe Bend that morning at Antelope Canyon, we thought we ought to go take a look! And thank god we did!

The best word to describe it? IMPRESSIVE! We walked for a mile to discover the gigantic rock in the middle of the canyon surrounded by a halo of turquoise water. All the more impressive was just the steepness of the cliffs we stood on. Nature once again reminded us how little we are and capturing the scene from such heights and posing so close to the edge was a little stressful… But absolutely thrilling!

Maeva on a cliff on top of Horseshoe Bend
Maeva on a cliff on top of Horseshoe Bend
Our feet dangling above Horseshoe Bend
Our feet dangling above Horseshoe Bend
Maeva sitting above Horseshoe Bend
Maeva sitting above Horseshoe Bend
Steph crawling above Horseshoe Bend
Steph crawling above Horseshoe Bend
Maeva and Steph in Horseshoe Bend
Maeva and Steph in Horseshoe Bend

 

 

Antelope Canyon

36°51' 43" N 111°22' 28" W Antelope Canyon

Nov 21, 2014  –  by Maeva

After a night spent in Page, we drove bright and early to Antelope Canyon, ready for a day full of adventures! We arrived at the Upper Canyon only to find out that it cost $8 for the park entrance but then we had to pay another $40 per person for a guided tour. Our faces clearly read “WTF?!” as the woman in the booth told us that. It turned out you can’t go to Antelope Canyon without going with a guide, end of story. So much for travelling cheaply…

Hoping to find better prices, we headed to the Lower Canyon and opted for Ken’s tour – $28 per person (including park entry) – hoping it was really worth it.

Fortunately, it was more than worth it and is officially one of the coolest things we’ve done on our trip! What is really amazing is that the surface is completely flat and you can’t see anything until you spot steep ladders going underground. We went down in a small group to find ourselves 5 meters deep into the canyon. Unlike other canyons, this one is a tunnel of perfect waves of sand offering an incredible display of red, brown and beige colours, with beams of light passing through at times. It is created by water and then moulded into a smooth and dizzying zigzag of curves and narrow passages by the force of the wind. It honestly made us feel as if we’d entered another dimension.

Steph in Antelope Canyon
Steph in Antelope Canyon
Maeva in Antelope Canyon
Maeva in Antelope Canyon
Shark face in Antelope Canyon
Shark face in Antelope Canyon
Curves of Antelope Canyon
Curves of Antelope Canyon

As we visited the canyon, we got to chat with our super friendly guide and learn more about it and why it is only accessible via guided tours. It turns out the entire canyon is maintained by the people who organize the tours: they set up the ladders, clean up the water when it floods and add sand to create the path for people to walk on at the bottom. Otherwise there would only be a breach (faille check) and you would be walking with a foot on each side.

Maeva and the zigzags of Antelope Canyon
Maeva and the zigzags of Antelope Canyon
Steph and Maeva among the crazy curves of Antelope Canyon
Steph and Maeva among the crazy curves of Antelope Canyon
Beams of light through Antelope Canyon
Beams of light through Antelope Canyon
Maeva underground in Antelope Canyon
Maeva underground in Antelope Canyon
Steph underground in Antelope Canyon
Steph underground in Antelope Canyon

Like a lion in Zion

37°19' 22" N 113°2' 45" W Zion National Park

Nov 17, 2014  –  by Maeva

After yet another night on a Walmart parking lot (hey, it’s free!) we made it to Zion National Park on a Saturday morning. It was probably not the best idea to do it on a weekend, but something had to fall on a weekend at some point.

Based on friends’s advice we decided to take the Angel’s Landing hike to the summit of the canyon. Classified as a strenuous hike guys! It was really cool, with lots of steep and narrow ways up top, bringing quite the aerial experience! There were chains to hold on to and steep cliffs right by us. It was quite exhausting and painfully reminded us that we’re not on the best diet for exercise… But reaching a breathtaking 360 view at the top made it absolutely worth it! I even managed to hurt myself, “falling like a baby goat trying to walk for the first time” according to Steph.

All in all, we had no idea why to expect and were offered a truly scenic 4 hour hike that was absolutely amazing and truly deserved its name: Angel’s Landing. If you’re in the area, this is where you want to go. Except if you’re afraid of heights, we did see some people crawling on the floor at the beginning – don’t think it they made it too far!

Zion National Park from below
Zion National Park from below
Maeva hiking in Zion
Maeva hiking in Zion
Maeva walking in Zion
Maeva walking in Zion
Incredible view in Zion
Incredible view in Zion
Maeva on top of Zion
Maeva on top of Zion
Maeva sitting at the summit of Angel's Landing
Maeva sitting at the summit of Angel’s Landing
Maeva posing at the summit
Maeva posing at the summit
Steph sitting at the top of Zion
Steph sitting at the top of Zion
Incredible view at the top of Zion National Park
Incredible view at the top of Zion National Park
Maeva on top of Zion
Maeva on top of Zion
Spotting a ram in Zion
Spotting a ram in Zion

Death Valley

36°30' 19" N 117°4' 46" W Death Valley

Nov 15, 2014  –  by Maeva

After waving our goodbyes to California and selling our surfboards (no Steph didn’t cry) we took the road towards Nevada. This is where the endless roads in the middle of nowhere officially began – and it was quite a change after getting so used to California. After a quick sleep on a rest area by the highway in the desert, we drove to Death Valley!

Now this is where you want to make sure you have enough gas because we probably crossed 1 car every 50miles/80km. We took the scenic road of Badwater, feeling the heat increase by the minute as we got closer to the desert. After passing by a cute little fox and lots of driving in an incredible Mad Max like setting, we reached the desert of Death Valley at Badwater basin. This location is all the more impressive when you realize it is the lowest elevation point in North America: 86m/282ft below sea level. Totally inspired by the location and the imposing scenery, we walked in the middle of the white and dry soil for a little photoshoot! Absolutely ideal to show off our brand new rounded sunglasses! Don’t you think?

Death Valley desert
Death Valley desert
Maeva portrait in Death Valley
Maeva portrait in Death Valley
Steph and Maeva selfie in Death Valley
Steph and Maeva selfie in Death Valley
Steph's crazy jump in Death Valley
Steph’s crazy jump in Death Valley
Maeva's jump in Death Valley
Maeva’s jump in Death Valley
Maeva in the desert of Death Valley
Maeva in the desert of Death Valley

We then took a quick walk in Golden Canyon under an indescribable heat, which then led us to a well deserved stop at the visitor centre of Furnace Creek. A quick tour around the museum, a good lunch and a bit of chilling outside and we were back on the road towards Las Vegas. On our way, we stopped at the Twenty Mule Team Canyon to observe the pudding like dunes spread out in front of us. We then continued on the endless and incredibly scenic roads under a colourful sunset. Now that’s my kind of road: large, empty, straight and with incredible views – one of the few where Steph isn’t too scared to let me drive.

Steph in Golden Canyon
Steph in Golden Canyon
Steph and Maeva selfie in Golden Canyon
Steph and Maeva selfie in Golden Canyon
Twenty Mule Team Canyon in Death Valley
Twenty Mule Team Canyon in Death Valley
Death valley endless road
Death valley endless road
Maeva driving in Death Valley
Maeva driving in Death Valley