We’ve been feeling like we aren’t really able to use our van for it’s intended purpose because it’s been too hot here. It’s been an average of 45 degrees each day and it barely drops below 35 degrees at night so we’ve had to stay in a lot of hotels. It’s been like that since we left Vegas. After being amazed by the Grand Canyon we drove to a town called Page and once we got there found that nothing was open apart from McDonalds so we ate McDonalds for dinner and went straight to sleep, waking up bright and early the next morning so that we could watch the sunrise at Horseshoe Bend. The colours in this part of America have been amazing, intensified by sunrises and sunsets so we stayed at the bend for a while before heading back to the hotel to chill out for a couple of hours before going out to Antelope Canyon – a place we had both been dying to see!
The Antelope Canyon didn’t disappoint, although the compulsory tour did. Our tour guy smelt like he had had a big night and he looked almost as bad as he smelt. We made sure to hang out at the end of the tour so that our nostrils weren’t assaulted by the smell. Even though it was probably one of the worst tours we had been on we didn’t care. The canyon itself was amazing and we enjoyed hanging at the back of the tour, taking it all in on our own. I had never seen anything naturally shaped the way this was and with such vibrant colours. It was well worth the compulsory tour!
We left Antelope Canyon excited for what the next few days would hold. Mark had planned out the next week with hotels booked so all we had to do was drive and take in the sites. Our next major stop was a visit to Zion National Park. Mark really wanted to do the Angels Landing Hike and he had shown me photos of it. It looked really difficult so we packed backpacks each and prepared ourselves for an intense hike. The group of 21 continuous switchbacks was meant to be the hardest part before reaching the main landing and it was intense but after a few of the hikes we had done recently it actually wasn’t that bad. What was full on was the part after the main landing. Mark had told me that there was a part of the hike that went up the spine of the mountain so they had a chain that you could use to hold on. In my mind this didn’t bother me but once we got to the landing and I looked up at the next part I realised the landing was only half way up and the small chain section we had just walked through was nothing compared to what we had to do. A fear of heights I never knew I had suddenly came up and I couldn’t seem to bring myself to move my legs to get going. We sat down for a while and Mark tried to convince me I would be okay. After probably 10 minutes I stood up and said “lets go”. I didn’t want to psych myself out of it so we began the climb up and during the climb I found myself unable to look out over the edge of the mountain. Once we finally made it to the top I was relieved to be on flat ground but also still nervous about the sheer drops on either side of me. We stayed up there for a little bit until a huge gust of wind came and I said it was time to go. The climb down was much easier and we were able to take our time, stopping on any flat parts to take in the view and we both agreed that Zion was so far our favourite National Park in the US.
Bryce Canyon was our next adventure for the following day and we thought we would take it easy so we didn’t get up early like we normally do. That turned out to be a mistake because once we got there it was already full of people. We only walked along the shorter trails here but after a few hours we were back at our van, starving and tired. That didn’t matter though because we had more driving to do so we got back to the car and took off for Moab. Moab itself was not a very interesting town but we found a mechanic who could look over our van to check everything was still okay so we stayed for a couple of days. The mechanic looked over everything, changed the oil in the van and then confirmed that our “battery probably wouldn’t last much longer.” So a new battery it was. On our last day in Moab we packed our backpacks and were at Arches National Park as soon as the road in was opened. We drove straight to a hiking trail we wanted to do and set off. It was a short hike but pretty much on a constant incline so I was so glad to get to the top. Once there, we sat around for a while and ate the breakfast we had packed ourselves and watched people continually drop things and race after them as the began rolling down the ledge. We left before anything of importance or someone began rolling down the ledge – you would be surprised how many people don’t think when it comes to places like that.