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Bend - Horseshoe Bend

A river making a huge U-turn

Horseshoe bend from the top

Having had the best sleep of the trip, it was time to head out to Grand Canyon in Arizona. But, before we got there, we planned to see one of the most beautiful desert landmarks in the world - Antelope Canyon. It is a shallow canyon with steep passages that let the desert sun come through and make interesting shapes. The walls of the canyon are full of yellow and orange hues and are a favorite amongst photographers.

Vastness of the bend

The Antelope Canyon is also a dangerous place. When it rains in the desert, it creates a rush of water through the narrow streets of the canyon, which can leave a lot of visitors drowning 😢 The design of the canyon makes the water run fast and gain speed as it squeezes through the walls of it. When it happens, you don't have any place to run because you are cramped in the canyon, and there's no way up. Interestingly, the canyon was made that way - through the water erosion of the Navajo Sandstone that happens in the rainy season.

Bend More
Horseshoe bend from the top, but full this time

The canyon is complex and dangerous, and you can't go alone in the canyon. You need a local guide. Of course, we hadn't booked our guide and couldn't go 😱 So we ate food at the town where the tour started, shrugged our shoulders, and moved on to the next stop - the Horseshoe Bend.

The Horseshoe Bend is a rock formation where the water runs around it, resembling a horseshoe. Bear in mind we were still on the Navajo Nation land, even though we stepped into Arizona. They were still responsible for tours, tickets, and pretty much everything in that area. The famous bend was no different. We paid for the parking and hiked down to the massive cliff overlooking the bend.

Peeking through the rocks to see the bend

There were a lot of tourists, including ourselves. Strangely, there were a lot of Asian tourists when we visited. You had to hike from the parking down to the cliff for about 10-15 minutes, and it was crazy crowded for that setting. It was the middle of June (almost a month since the trip started), and it was scorching hot. The sun was not forgiving at all, and just hiking that small amount of distance got us panting.

Folks arriving at the landmark

We snapped some photos, looked at the bend, and looked at tourists, I was pissing off Talu for fun, and I lost my lens cap for Zenit 122 😔 A great thing to see, but I have no reason to come back there again. It was time to head out for the greatest hiking challenge on the trip so far - the Grand Canyon.

A "small" boat enjoying the view of the bend from below

In the next post, I'll share how we attempted to climb down and up the Grand Canyon in a day. Stay tuned 📻

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