How weird is it that writing about Travel Fails is so much more fun than writing about the places you actually loved? So much for Stefan’s dream of me being a famous travel blogger being paid for us travelling the world! I put that idea out of his head quickly 😛
Maybe I am better with fails because I run mainly on sarcasm. And when talking about the places I love I try to bite back as much sarcasm as I can. Sometimes it comes out nonetheless, like a burp, with no chance to holding back. I actually don’t mind those little burps that much. If they manage to wiggle out I guess they have every right to stay.
Ever since I have freed myself and decided that I wouldn’t hold back anymore but unleash my full personality on you it feels a lot easier and natural. And the occasional burp is just part of that. Stefan and I call it “Hirnfurz” – but I won’t translate that here.
Nevertheless as much as I like to show you my sassy side, today I still have the second installment of my favorite moments travelling Canada and the USA for you. Today we’ll cover the Southwest which means I maybe should cross out Canada in the headline. But nah….
6. Fay Canyon – Sedona, Arizona
This was maybe the most beautiful place I have ever been to in my entire life. And as an experience rewarding in a metaphorical sense as well. When we arrived in Sedona it was hot and already late. We wanted to go on a hike (yes even though I kinda despise hiking) and had picked an easy and short trail. The trail was exactly that short and easy and kinda picturesque but nothing special at all. We arrived at the end of trail after maybe 30 minutes and stared at a giant stack of rocks piling up next to the mountain. Then two hikers were climbing down and told us we just had to climb up. Usually I am a chicken but I made it a point to be more daring on this trip. So we climbed up. Holy cow, I was scared but it was so so worth it. We arrived at a plateau and even found us a place in the shadow of the rocks. The view was breathtaking! This time for real 😉 The pictures don’t do the view any justice. We had lunch up there and took a shitton of selfies. The good, the bad and the ugly. Most of them of the latter.
We climbed down after maybe 2h and practically ran back to the car and drove straight to the nearest Safeway for primary a toilet but also coffee. Another downside when it comes to hiking: no toilets and usually too many people to find you a nice little rock to duck down behind. Or have you read those signs that ask you to pee at least 50 yards from the trail? Hello 50 yards? That’s down in the canyon. I have more severe problems than peeing if I end up there! But I digress…..
7. Slide Rock State Park – Sedona, Arizona
I knew I had to go there the minute I learned that place existed. There are three natural slides in the river that can get quite fast. You can slide them down easily when you
a) don’t mind to get bruised
b) can handle the temperature of the water
c) are cool enough to do so with people staring at you – maybe you can even give them a little show 😉 I didn’t – I was absorbed!
Seriously everyone was watching. But we didn’t mind. Some followed and slid as well and we had the blast of our vacation. We took pictures but also filmed the slides. We have yet to watch those films but I guess we might find some time this weekend to do so. In a nutshell: I bruised both my legs so badly that you can still see the marks now more than two weeks later. I dared to jump of a cliff *cough cough* okay it was only 3 meters but it was daring enough for me. I have never sworn so badly as when I first dived into the water. My heart must have missed a beat or two, I am sure! I was sunburned and entirely happy. If you’re ever in the area this is a must do!
8. The Narrows – Zion National Park, Utah
This was really the coolest hike I have ever been on. It’s quite dangerous (only days after we hiked there 7 people were killed in a flash flood in this park) and you have to prepare very well.
a) hiking boots and a waterproof backpack (seriously we’ve seen people with flip flops and leather bags!)
b) dry fit warm clothes (the water is icy!) and hiking sticks (god was I glad I had them!)
c) water, water, water (we took 6 liters and drank it all!)
d) food, food, food (you get insanely hungry!)
d) checking in at the visitor center and making sure there’s no flash flood warning
In the beginning it’s quite crowded but those flip flop and leather bag people usually don’t get very far. About 90% of the hike is in the river and depending on your height and the water levels you might even have to swim. We walked in for about 2h and then walked back. The whole hike is maybe double of what we hiked but this would have exceeded our skill level by far. I badly bruised my knee and once fell in a water hole in the river which soaked me from the shoes to my chest. It was more than great. Of course the intense hike was my favorite. I am so adventurous 😉
9. Lower Antelope Canyon – Page, Arizona
Okay this IS a real tourist trap! It is overcrowded and overpriced and you feel like you want to enter a Japanese underground rather than an Navarro Canyon. But the Canyon is really worth every hassle! I’ve googled the Antelope Canyon and read almost only horrible reviews in terms of the handling of those tours. You can’t go on your own as this is Navarro land and they owe the right there. So you must book a tour. All the reviews said that it’s better to go to the lower canyon as it’s less crowded than the upper canyon (I can’t imagine how so) and going in the morning at 10 am is best as the light is the most beautiful then.
Ultimately we decided to book the trip with Ken’s Tours. We had good weather and everything went smooth. Our guide was a lovely girl and she pointed out interesting and famous rocks and also good spots to take pictures. But seriously it’s almost not possible to take a bad picture in there. But it’s also almost impossible to take a selfie without anybody photobombing.
I guess in the end the tour was great because we had a great guide. With a different guide it would have been a totally different experience. What I liked best about her was that she didn’t lecture about the rocks and the history. Because hey there, I don’t care…. She helped to take the best pictures and I was there for the pictures. I admit it!
10. Paddle Boarding Antelope Point – Lake Powell, Arizona
Besides the Upper Antelope Canyon and the Lower Antelope Canyon you can also explore a part of the canyon from Lake Powell. I am an okay paddleboarder but Stefan is not. So I got a board and he got a kayak instead. We got it from Lake Powell Paddleboards – a company I would highly recommend. We got the right gear for our trip, useful information, good instruction and they also lent us a roof rack. Plus they are pretty cheap.
In hindsight I would rent a kayak for me, too. Due to the current I paddled the better part of the way back only on my right side. It was horrible and I was totally done when we arrived! Paddling the canyon was really a cool experience. The tour from Antelope Point is maybe 6 miles. It took us 5 hours but we really took our time, swam a little in the lake and paused in the shadow of a rock a few times.
In the beginning the canyon sloth is wide and even bigger ships can enter. This sucks a little as they really get the boards rocking and you have to make sure not to be hit by a wave in the wrong angle. I managed brilliantly unless I noticed to be filmed by an Asian tourist on one of those ships. I got distracted, the wave hit my board and I made an epic backflip from the board. When I had my grip back on my board, still spitting water I looked up and saw him still filming me!!! WTF??? I highly expect to come to never-ending youtube fame any day now!
Oh and make sure to apply sunscreen. Preferably on all body parts!
So that’s it dudies. I tried to keep it short but let’s face it, that’s none of my strong traits! It was fun to show you my 10 favorite moment of my vacation but I guess it’s time to stop being cheesy and keep on being sassy.
With that being said, have a great Friday I am going to work on my travelling bucket list. It’s quite long with this one right on top!