Friday, April 10, 2015

Arizona Road Trip (11): Lower Antelop Canyon

I had an almost OK sleep the night before this adventure. It was a little bit cold but I managed to survive using an extra blanket which was available. I made a couple of cups of coffee in the kitchen. The motel's stuff was all Wal-Mart sub-par quality. Lucky me that I had some coffee left from Views Inn! Before heading out I caught up with an American fella named Matt. from Phoenix, originally from Michigan. He told me about a good experience he had at Lower Antelope Canyon and I told him about Glen Canyon Dam. These American guys, some of them are terrific. He even gave me the telephone number of the tour from his iPhone! We shock hands and he headed out. 
I then wanted to grab a breakfast sandwich and headed to McDonald's but realized it had been passed the breakfast hour so I just went to the nearby Wal-Mart to break a note for the tour. I forgot to mention that I called and the guy told me that the tour would have cost $28 and would have started at around noon or so. So that was why I wanted to get exact cash for the tour. I also spent a little time in Glen Canyon Recreation Area and took a few photos as I had time and then got on the road and headed east close to where the power plant is located.
Strangely shaped rocks under the ground have created this amazing maze! 
It was not really hard to find the tour place based on what the guy had told me on the phone. I parked and there were only 4 other people: A Japanese young couple and an East Indian young couple. Add to that our tour guide who was a nice young Native girl: A small group of 6. I have to say that I really enjoyed the tour. We walked for 10 minutes to reach the entrance and then walked down from the ladders and followed the girl. She provided knowledge and answer every questions we had patiently. I asked her about the power plant and she said that was a coal power plant. The coal mine was further east and connected via railway. The facility belongs to Navajo Nation and possibly ran by them, I don't know if technically. The tour took a bit one hour and it was amazing to see how the rocks had been shaped. I took several photos and we all came out of a different hole and appeared on the ground. 
Another shot showing how you would go through cliffs 
There are other similar tours available in the area but I learnt that they cost more and take longer. In my opinion 1 hour is enough and you get both exercise and opportunity to see and take photos. The price is OK and you don't have to pay much or get on trucks but others might like to try other tours as well. The other good thing about this tour is it is not very crowded. So you can enjoy very much. These tours all are managed by Native people of the area as the land belongs to them. All the people in addition to our guide that I already mentioned her, the guy who answered the phone and the girl whom I paid to were Natives. What amazes me the most about this Native people is I can't recall seeing one of them smiles in the entire road trip of Arizona! Obviously they are upset that their land is occupied but that was 200 years ago. Get over it! 
(Photo, top: Navajo Generating Plant, as they call it in the area,  in the east side of the town)

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