Day 8: July 4, 2009: Kaibab Forest to Antelope Canyons to Kaibab Forest via Kanab, UT
Celebrating our Independence by Supporting the Navajo
Well, today was supposed to be the excellent day. If it weren’t for a couple factors, the day would have been excellent, however, it ended as just another good day, still beats mediocracy.
We woke up in the Kaibab Forest for the second morning and loaded up the car. We were off to the Antelope Canyons just outside of Page, AZ a jump-off point for Lake Powell. The Antelope Canyons were a place Mike had often dreamed of visiting this site as various pictures in Backpacker Magazine and other locations had often caught his eye. Little did we know that these Canyons were located on the Navajo Tribes piece of land and they were ready to charge mightily for the likes of us, to come and check it out. So after handing over $12 for our entrance fee and another $50 for a tour of the Canyon, we waited patiently to load our tour truck.
We rode in the cab of the truck with a gentle yet painfully quite young man. He led us through the canyon where Mike was able to capture some photos and we were taken aback by the curvature and coloration of these fantastic canyons. The true experience however, was listening to the Native American guides bicker with each other about holding up the line, knowing each others names and habits, they would make guesses as to who’s fault it was that this large stream of tourists was not moving through the canyon. Occasionally they would point out rocks that looked like eagles or Abraham Lincoln and even occasionally play on a tribal sounding flute. If it weren’t for being packed in the canyon like sardines and being reprimanded a time or two the trip would have been Excellent, but we’ll leave it at good and gratefully support those who were here before our European ancestors made their way over the Great Pond.
After our tour of the Canyon, we decided to make our way up to Kanab, UT where two years earlier we had enjoyed a great meal and Polygamy Porter, shortly after becoming engaged in Zion National Park. We were anxious to re-create the moment! We were seated and promptly dug into Nedra’s Café’s famous salsa and ordered our all-time favorite, Navajo Tacos. The meal met our expectations and we wisely purchased a salsa mix from the restaurant this time before heading back to Kaibab Forest.
Upon re-entering Jacob Lake, we showered at our friend Amanda’s house, which was the greatest gift anyone can offer to two camping road-trippers, and made our way up the road toward our campsite. Amanda had given us directions to a great location within the National Forest that would look over parts of the Grand Canyon. This was to provide us a wonderful point to view the sunset and a place to camp with little traffic and people. The site was beautiful! We weren’t as close to the edge of the Canyon as may have been preferred by Mike and the sky was hazy from a near-by prescribed fire, but all that being so, the trail was wonderful and the sights were breath-taking. Having taken some great sights and had a slow day, we drifted off to sleep with the chill of the mountains to cradle us.