. . . on a horse with no name
On the first part of
the our journey #2500mi
I was looking at all the life #frommycarwindow
There were plants and birds and rocks and things #mostlyrocks
There was sand and hills and rings #norings
-A Horse With No Name by America
The thing about vacations is, that when you haven't been on one in a while (a long, long while), you might try to cram too much into your allotted time frame. The downside to that is you just don't get enough time in any one place, but the bonus to that (and thankfully there is one), is that you get to see many things and then you can decide where you want to go back and spend more time.
This is one of those places for me....
This was our last day in Arizona before heading back home and we had just finished a tour through a slot canyon and this place was only 10 minutes from there. And I'm SO glad we didn't decide to skip this!
Horseshoe Bend, Glen Canyon
When we arrived at the parking lot, we were at the bottom of a large hill. Once we climbed the hill (thank you new hiking shoes) we quickly realized there would be some more walking involved until we reached the awe-inspiring bend in the Colorado River. About 1.5 miles round trip to be exact, up and down a very sandy hill and across a sandstone incline.
So away we went....and if you look really, really closely (you might need a magnifying glass) you can see dots of people way in the distance. There are some even sitting and standing that very large sandstone hill on the right. And beyond that are the Paria Plateau and Vermillion Cliffs.
As we got closer to the bottom it got a little bumpier as it alternated between the sand and the slopping Navajo Sandstone. Now you can see those people a little better. Sure gives a perspective of how far away 3/4 of a mile is.
So, one thing you should know about me is that I'm deathly afraid of heights. I get chills up and down the backs of my legs and feel a bit disoriented, and just looking at a picture will do the same thing. And, you have to understand that there are NO railings here whatsoever...you are on your own, at the mercy of a gust of wind or someone else standing close to you. This explains why my son went on ahead of us...he was sparing me some stress, and he has heard the lecture of how NOT to stand too close to the edge. Really, the whole thing just freaks me out.
And the next thing I know, my daughter hands my son her phone and says take a picture of me laying within an inch of my life on a narrow strip of sandstone? Seriously?
So, I find a spot that gives me enough room to get this shot without (hopefully) rolling off the edge myself, 'cause I do get in the zone when I have that camera up to my eye!
She says to me...mom, this view is amazing and very peaceful. And then I think to myself...I didn't come 2500 miles, and trudge all the way down here to be a coward.
So you know what? I said what the hell and I handed my girl my camera and starting about 5 feet away I laid down and crawled to edge. And you know what...it was so beautiful and peaceful, and awe-inspiring. And then I performed my biggest feat of all...she handed me my camera and I put the strap around my neck, and I leaned into the landscape...and I'm still here.
Because you can't get this view...unless you are within an inch of your life, or the edge. And the only thing I was wishing for at this point was a wider lens. But I was just in a canyon prior to this where they were throwing sand and I wasn't about to change my lens without a blower. And by the way, it's 1000 feet straight down to the bottom, to that gorgeous Colorado River. See that white fleck near the edge of the bank on the right side, that's a large boat.
And somewhere on the river below the dam, there is a panel of petroglyph left by Ancestral Puebloans over 800 years ago. Putting that on the checklist for next time.
On our way back up, and as an excuse to catch my breath, I tried to take in as many details as I could.
I was fascinated by these rock sculptures that were very meditative. I couldn't help but wonder who had put them there.
And then we finally made it back up to the top, and I sat under this gazebo to rest.
I have to admit, going back up sorta felt like a stress test!
It had also been a long, busy week and we were all tired.
(KK 1217 music)
And as I was sitting there, and getting one last view of where I had just been, it hit me all of a sudden. And I know this is chronologically out of vacation order, but the whole trip even though it was amazing and fun, was a little hurried for me...the wanderer. I just didn't feel like I had the time to explore and discover, and even though I personally would have loved to stay here a little longer, this is where I finally found that moment of peace and tranquility.
The place where I reached out and conquered a real fear, and it felt powerful. But just to be clear, I'm still afraid of heights.
"Take risks. Ask big questions.
Don't be afraid to make mistakes;
if you don't make mistakes, you're
not reaching far enough." - David Packard
Have a great day!