Antelope Canyon

We had about 10 days left on the road and Mig and I were starting to get excited about the things we were going to do and people we were going to see when we got home. That said, we tried to remain “in the moment” in order to properly savour the special things we were seeing and doing. Page, Arizona, is a small tourist town and we were lucky to find accommodation without a reservation. Even more lucky that we found a place with a pool! It was ridiculously hot and all we had on the agenda was a tour of the very famous Antelope Canyon and a quick sunset visit of the famous Grand Canyon bend called “Horseshoe Bend”; the rest of the time was for resting up for the long drive home (and I had to finish an article I was working on), so the pool was key.

We both have mixed feelings about our experience of Antelope Canyon. It is, without question, a stunning place and no surprise that photographers come in droves to try and capture its beauty. However, the magic, wonder and solitude portrayed in the images of this famous slot canyon are hard to actually experience when you’re there in person. One can only visit the canyon by guided tour and considering how much it costs one would expect to have a (more or less) intimate tour with a knowledgeable guide, as well as time to take it in and take some photos. But this was definitely not the case for us. We were herded through the relatively short canyon like cattle, alongside 4 or 5 other groups, with a *very* limited amount of time at each “photo opportunity.” Our guide shared some interesting facts and he was nice enough on the surface, but really he seemed bored with his job and annoyed with tourists in general.

We were certainly impressed by the amazingly narrow, water-washed, underground tunnel, as it were, and its fragile, textured, sand walls. And we did our best to tune out the noise and ignore the crowds to appreciate this (supposedly) sacred place, but it wasn’t easy (as it was in other tourist destinations like the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Bryce, for example). We are still happy to have gone, though. It’s just interesting that often times we struggle to take photos that do justice to the beauty around us, where as this time I think our photos actually depict a more beautiful moment than what we experienced. Perhaps this is because it’s easier to block out the “noise” in a photo than it is in person, in order to reveal (exaggerate, even invent) something magical, unique and extraordinary.

* click an image for larger size (cliqué sur une image pour la voir en grand format).


4 thoughts on “Antelope Canyon

  1. I think a lot has changed since I was at the Grand Canyon, Antelope Canyon, etc. because it sounds as though it is way more touristy now. My Aunt and Uncle, who were there with me in 2007, were there again this summer and also commented to me how different things are. Tourism has taken over nature’s serenity and awesomeness. I am saddened by this. Your photos are truly spectacular!

  2. @Natalie, @Lise: Thanks for the comments!!!
    @Monica: Yeah, it was sad to see actually. It seemed like they were trying to get a little too much out of the canyon and it was starting to lose its meaning. Quite sad. Having said that, it was still possible to take a pretty good picture. We’re pretty happy with the results!

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