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Rafting The Grand Canyon & SW USA - September 2007
The morning after our visit to Bryce Canyon National Pakr, Sharon went out for an early morning walk. When she got back she told us that one place she had always wanted to see was Antelope Canyon and she found out on her walk that it was in a reservation just outside Page center. We all decided it sounded great. Sharon called and made a reservation for the four of us.
We met the transportation to the canyon at the tour company office. The transportation was a large pickup truck with benches along the sides of the bed and a canopy over the bed. Our driver/tour guide was Berry. Berry drove to the reservation at about 60 MPH. Since the road went through the desert there was a lot of loose sand on the road. It felt sort of like being in a sand blaster.
When we got to the reservation we had to drive a few miles across the desert. Berry had told us that he had to keep going to ensure not getting stuck. He had also told us that only official tours were allowed at the canyon. We came across an RV with the wheels sunk so deep that the sand was up around the bottom of the body of the RV. Berry slowed enough to make comments to the two people sitting outside the RV that they were not suppose to be there. They said they had been waiting for a tow truck for a few hours. Berry told them it would probably be a few more hours before help arrived. Berry told us that they would be fined a couple thousand dollars and have to pay for the tow, which would probably be several hundred dollars more.
When we arrived at the entrance to the canyon Berry told us about the belladonna (deadly nightshade) flowers that we had seen everywhere. The flowers are toxic, but used in small amounts they cause people to experience a high. They are also used for medicinal purposes. Some indian tribes consider them sacred.
Berry told us the story of how the canyon got it's name. An Apache woman was there early in the morning and saw antelope in the canyon. That woman, now in her late eighties, at the time we were there she still lived in the hovel where she was born on the reservation and two of her daughters led tours of the canyon.
Antelope Canyon is a slot canyon that is almost completely closed at some spots along the top. This causes the sunlight coming through to make interesting and beautiful colorings in the canyon. When the sun is just right, light beams shine into the canyon. Berry had guaranteed he would have us there to see some beams. Even though we were about 20 minutes late ending the tour, Berry kept his word. The beams are beautiful.
After the tour we headed for Flagstaff. We checked in at the Holiday Inn Express where the orientation meeting would be and from which the rafting trip would leave.
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apr 27 2017