Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon.

After a night in Flagstaff, I was on the road bright and early to get to Grand Canyon in time. It wasn’t that long of a drive, and I arrived at the park around 10 in the morning. After getting convinced to buy a park pass for all the national parks for a year, I drove in and parked. I expected there to be a crazy amount of people, but it wasn’t too bad actually. I love the feeling when you know that you’re about to see something spectacular, the expectations as you walk towards the first overlook and know that in just seconds you will be seeing a world famous phenomenon.
P1000866
Seconds away from seeing the Grand Canyon for the first time…

And it was just that good. I was in awe from the very first moment I laid my eyes on the canyon, and just never stopped. It’s hard to capture just how beautiful and magnificent it really is, but I tried my best. Here is a tiny amount of the photos I took at the park. 
P1000933
37892
There were warning signs that you shouldn’t leave the path and climb the rocks. Well, not a lot of people listened, me included. But I never went as far as the people in the picture above, that is just stupid. 
P1000981
There are a lot of hiking trails down into the canyon. Can you see the switchbacks in the corner? 
P1000906P1000916
(it looks worse than it is, there were cliffs all around me, you just can’t see them in the picture. I promise I was never at risk of falling.)
P1000936
Once again, some people were just being plain stupid. 
P1000939P1000947P1000887

I took a bunch more pictures, but I won’t bore you with all of them. I did manage to meet some Swedes though! As I was climbing up from having taking one of the pictures, a family came climbing down and I knew right away they were Swedish. One of the sons even had a NY rangers t-shirt, a dead giveaway. Why? Henrik Lundqvist, duh! We had a quick chat, which was nice, but nothing too long, we’re still Swedish after all… I did have a longer talk with an American family I helped take a photo off though, they were super nice.

After having spent 5 hours just walking along the rim, I got back in the car and headed northeast towards the city of Page. It was only a 2,5 hour drive and I had a stop planned just before Page: the Horseshoe Bend. This was also on the list of beautiful places I should see, that I googled a few weeks back, and once again I have to thank google (and National Geographic!) for guiding me to the most amazing places. Just take a look at this:
P1010043 P1010040
You might not be able to see it on my face, but I was absolutely terrified. It was SO high up, and super windy, so for some reason this was much scarier than Grand Canyon. You could tell that this was the general feeling, everyone was almost shuffling towards the edge to be able to get the best picture. You had to almost lean over to get the entire bend… scary! But so beautiful. Just unreal.

Minutes after I arrived to my hotel in Page, and during the check in the lady asked what else I had planned for my visit here.

Me: Tomorrow I’m going to see Antelope Canyon.
Her: What tour company have you booked?
Me: No, I’m just planning to go by myself.
Her: Oh no, it’s on the Navajo reservation, you have to book a tour and guide, otherwise you can’t get in.
Me: What.

Note to self: start doing better research and don’t leave everything for the night before! But I started googling and luck was on my side because I found a company and could book a tour for 10:30 the day after. The tour began with a Navajo man showing us the traditional hoop dance which was very impressive. I filmed the ending of it, where he was covered in all the hoops.
P1010055
Then we boarded the cars, and were driven to the park.
P1010056 P1010058
At the canyon the driver of each car also turned out to be our tour guide, mine was a native Navajo man named Leonard. All the guides were Najavo, which I think is pretty cool, it’s their land after all. We entered the canyon, and I was just in awe once again. Seems like that’s my constant state recently. Leonard told us stories about the canyon and its history but also turned out to be a great photography guide as he kept telling us where to stand and where to point the camera to get the best shot. The light was just amazing and I got so many great photos that I want to print as paintings when I get back to Sweden and have a home again, that I’m not sure how I’ll be able to pick. But here I don’t really have to pick, so you’ll get to look at almost all of the pictures I took.

I still can’t believe this is actually a real place that I got to see, and these are pictures that I actually took myself. While Grand Canyon was amazing because of how huge it is, Antelope Canyon was great because of the light and the shape and the colors. Both beautiful but in completely different ways.
P1010065 P1010068 P1010070 P1010108 P1010109 P1010111
P1010114 P1010118 P1010125 P1010137 P1010146
P1010161
P1010185
I must admit that this picture is a bit fake! You can’t actually see light unless something is blocking its path, so the guides would stand and throw sand into the air and then jump out of sight so that we could take pictures like this. I think this is my favorite out of all the ones I took. 
P1010163
This is Leonard, my guide. He played the flute when we exited the canyon on the other side, such a nice touch.
P1010186
Heading back through the sand towards the cars. It was a very bumpy and dusty trip, I had sand everywhere when we got back to town.

After a quick lunch stop I got back in the car and headed north towards Lake Powell to go for a swim. As I approached the area I had seen on the map, I realized that I was entering another park, and that it had a 20 dollar fee to get in! Once again I was in luck, as the national parks pass I had purchased at Grand Canyon was valid here as well. I think it has almost already payed off actually, and I have a bunch of parks left to visit.
IMG_4959
IMG_4967 IMG_4972
Yay, the beach! And look at the little cooler Janet gave me, it’s perfect! I can finally buy yoghurts and cheese and other things that needs to be kept cool without problem. And it’s very cute.

On my way back to the hotel I drove past the Glen Canyon Dam. It seems like Arizona will never stop surprising me.
IMG_4983 IMG_4980

Tomorrow I’ll have an early start, as I’m driving to Zion National Park in Utah, about 2 hours away. I’m planning on hiking the Angel’s Landing trail there, which is supposed to be pretty hard so I want to get started early. It’s supposed to be really beautiful.

How am I doing otherwise? I must admit I’m doing very well. I’m happy, very happy and I feel so blessed to be able to do this and see all these amazing things. Life is easy at the moment, and I’m living the best life I can imagine there is. All I worry about sometimes is how much money I’m spending, but it’s just that, money. No matter how old the saying might be, you actually only do live once, and life is for living. And I sure am living. I can afford to do this, so why shouldn’t I? Yes, I’m spending a lot (A LOT) more money than I originally intended, but I’m gaining so much experience that I wouldn’t change it for the world. As I have experienced myself on this trip, you never know what might happen in your life, so what’s the point of waiting? I’m living my dream, and yes, it comes at a cost but I wouldn’t change anything that has happened to me up until this point in my life. I’m a firm believer in that everything happens for a reason. 

The hand situation is a little bit better. The bump is still there right behind my knuckles, and there is a constant tension across my upper hand and the knuckles. I can use my hand without problem but I have to flex and stretch it a lot. I had originally planned to go whitewater rafting as I get further north, but I don’t think that is an activity I’ll be able to do soon unfortunately. Holding on to a paddle while in a raft on wild water is not the smartest thing with an injured hand.

Okay, time for this lady to sleep, so that I’m ready to go hiking tomorrow! Expect an abundance of pictures…

Comments

  1. Ingegerd Alvbring says

    What a great area! I really would like to go there. And the pictures. I was sure you were taking pictures of a fire! Good to hear you’re enjoying everything so much.

  2. Saskia says

    it’s like you could read my mind, because yesterday when i saw all these pictures on facebook i was wondering how you’ve been a the moment. and also i have noticed the cooler right away and thought “omg, how awesome is that?”

    i have the feeling that it can’t get any better with every day. and yet you keep surprising me with all these beautiful pictures. so it DOES get better with every day.

    As i have said plenty of times before, it’s so great to see you enjoying your life! it’s wonderful how your adventure and accident turned into something so utterly beautiful.

    Go Cecilia! Enjoy your life to the fullest. Do everything you want without any regrets. As you said, you live only once.

  3. Anita says

    It seems as though the only downside to the Cecilia Route is that one must sleep (well, that and slow internet sometimes).
    Love your little cooler. At one time that style was The Cooler to have. You would see them everywhere – on construction sites, fastened to the backs of motorcycles, on picnic tables in city parks… Now they have more competition, but they are still popular.

  4. Sandra says

    Fantastiskt fina bilder på fantastiskt fina platser. Det är som du säger, det är bara pengar och de upplevelser du får är ju egentligen ovärdeliga! Skulle vilja åka dit en dag.

  5. says

    Sponsorerna måste känna sig mycket nöjda. Har du sålt cykeln för bensinpengar? Tur att du både kan vandra, köra bil och paddla när du surfar. Måste verkligen vara en allvarlig skada.

    • Cecilia says

      Hej Daniel Svensson, tack för din kommentar. Jag tycker att det är så intressant när män som du (för det är alltid män), ska berätta för mig hur jag mår, eller hur jag känner, eller till och med som nu, hur skadad jag egentligen är efter att jag blev påkörd av en bil. Är inte det fascinerande, att andra ibland tror sig veta bättre än jag själv hur det känns? Jag tycker det i alla fall. Jag skulle nog inte kalla det en allvarlig skada heller, jag menar, hade hon varit några centimeter närmare mig med bilen kunde jag lika gärna brutit alla ben i hela kroppen eller till och med dött – det är en allvarlig skada! Men när jag efter 1,5 månad fortfarande ibland får så ont i handen att det känns ända ner i skelettet, då tycker jag ändå att beslutet jag tog var helt okej. När jag håller min hand böjd i mer än ca 10 minuter så får jag hiskeligt ont i den, att jag måste stretcha ut den och massera. Bara för att jag inte skriver varje liten detalj så kanske det finns mer till historien än så, har du tänkt på det Daniel? Det går bra att köra bil för en motorväg i USA kräver inte så mycket mer än en hand på ratten, vänsterhanden ligger utsträckt i mitt knä ca 90% av tiden. Men att cykla med handen böjd hela dagen och med kroppstyngd på den, det vill jag inte ens tänka på, trots att det gått så pass lång tid sedan det hände. Du vet, jag får till och med ont i den nu, när jag skriver den här uppsatsen till svar av dig, för att jag använder båda händerna när jag skriver och det gör ganska ont när jag tvingar knogarna att röra på sig så här mycket. Det är därför varje inlägg jag skriver tar flera timmar, för jag måste pausa och stretcha ut handen. Men det kanske inte räknas för dig Daniel, för det är inget jag berättar för någon. Och paddla behövde jag inte ens göra när jag surfade, vi var på så grunt vatten att vi gick till midjedjupt, hoppade på och sedan tog jag två tag innan jag var uppe på brädan. Och det gick faktiskt helt okej, vilket jag var otroligt lycklig över, men jag förstår hur detta kan göra dig upprörd. Det måste vara ett jobbigt liv att vara dig, och gå runt och tänka så mycket på hur andra egentligen mår. Jag är inte avundsjuk! Själv försöker jag fokusera på mig själv och att njuta av varje dag,för vet du vad? Livet är förbannat kort, och vad som helst kan hända. Jag njuter varje sekund just nu, för centimetrar den 21 juni i år gjorde att jag fick leva vidare, med bara en liten skada i min hand som resultat. Och mina sponsorer? Jag hoppas att de är lika glada som jag är för att jag är i liv, och att jag kunde fortsätta min resa, även om det inte är via cykel. Det kallar jag änglavakt. Men jag förstår hur detta gör dig upprörd. Verkligen.

  6. Gun-Britt Alvbring says

    Men Daniel Svensson vad är du för en sorglig person?! Ta hand om ditt eget liv och ifrågasätt inte något som du inte har en aning om. Du tror att du är i din fulla rätt att skriva precis vad du vill till min dotter utan att veta ett skvatt om hur hon har det. Är det så att du är avundsjuk för att hon lyckades ta sig vidare och fortsätta sitt äventyr på ett annat sätt? Fokusera du på ditt liv så är jag säker på att du också kan komma vidare.

  7. Ed. says

    [the bikepacker] life is either a daring adventure or nothing (bikepacker.se)
    [adventure] a risky undertaking of an unknown outcome (Collins English Dictionary)

      • Ed. says

        Föralldel, hoppas att det ger dig lite energi på vägen.
        När det numera är ett äventyr att till och med åka tåg (När kommer det fram? Hur kommer det fram? Kommer det överhuvudtaget fram?), hur kan då någon överhuvudtaget förvänta sig att ett klart och tydlig uttalat äventyr skulle vara som en svunnen tids tågtidtabell?

Send some encouragement!