Today started bright and early since we had to leave our hotel at 6:30 am for the 2 hour drive to Page, AZ for our 9:15 am tour of the Lower Antelope Canyon on the lands of the Navajo Nation. Along the way we were suddenly confronted with a perplexing dilemma… although we departed with plenty of time to make our planned 9 am arrival, our navigation system indicated we would arrive an hour later than planned. So what was happening?… Were we in some sort ripple in the fabric of time and space, or was there a simpler explanation?
We were all certain it had something to do with the mysterious “Sedona Vortex” which is described as areas of concentrated energy rising from the earth. But, alas the real reason was that the lands of the Navajo Nation, which encompass parts of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico, do not adhere to Daylight Savings Time, so they were in fact using a different time standard.
Upon arrival, we began our guided walk down a steep metal stairway to the sandy floor of the Lower Antelope Canyon. We were immediately transfixed by the beauty of the sandstone walls, especially as the light and shadow played across the surface of the canyon walls to reveal the vast array of shapes and textures in the smooth sandstone.
After a tasty lunch at the Ranch House Grille in Page, we headed a few miles out of town to the Horseshoe Bend Overlook at Glen Canyon, where the Colorado River has created an “entrenched meander” resulting in a spectacular 1000 ft deep canyon where the river turns a full 270 degrees. We learned that the orange rock all around us is the Navajo Sandstone, the single largest sandstone layer in the United States stretching from Northern Arizona to Wyoming and formed of compressed sandstone layers up to 2000 ft thick.
Then it was back in the car for another 2 1/2 hour drive to the South a rim of the Grand Canyon. Although a bit tired from all the driving, we pushed on in anticipation of the inspiring views that awaited us in the hours ahead. Along the way we were treated to grand vistas of sage, sand, and rock that seemed to go on forever. At last we arrived and were treated to a clearing sky and the simply breathtaking views from the south rim of the canyon. From where we stood, the canyon was over 10 miles wide and 5000 ft deep, a true wonder of the world and witness to the power of the elements that created it over millions of years.