2012-08 Arizona / Utah, United States (part 3/3)

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In 2011 we came to Arizona half-prepared and organized. This time we wanted to visit some of the sites we didn’t have a chance to explore.

Horseshoe Bend And Glen Canyon Dam

At Glen Canyon Dam all we wanted to do was the guided tour. It was about 30-45minutes long which included a presentation of how it was built and a tour inside the complex. It was worth to do it once. Few miles down there is Horseshoe Bend. Last year when we looked into Page, Arizona it was a picture of Horseshoe Bend that got us intrigued.

It is a maybe 1 mile trail down to the Bend and it was amazing. We brought some snack and water hung out there for a view–enjoyed the view, the sound, and it’s beauty.

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Horseshoe Bend -- Page, Arizona

Drive from Page To Zion National Park

They say sometimes it is not about the destination, but the journey. The drive was very scenic along the way. We must have gotten out of the car several time to enjoy the view. We left Page in the late afternoon in hopes to see some interesting sunset. What we saw was a sunset a a storm combined.
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Zion National Park

This is a hiker’s fun park. There are so many places to go, I will not dare to list them. Some of the hike ranges from easy to extreme difficult. Due to my knee injury we only done the easier one–I love my friends for being considerate, thank you. You can literally spend all day hiking and still go for more.

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Tired of Hiking?

If hiking is not your cup of tea then how about horse back riding? We did a half-day horse back riding in Zion. There is a full-day, but I would recommend half-day if it is blazing hot outside. None of us rode a horse before so this was a new experience all together. The horse are well trained and the guides are very helpful and entertaining. It is well worth every dollar.

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Hike All Day + Sun Burned + Food + Beer = Silly

Exhaustion fueled with food and beer will bring out the silliness in us. Simple ramen with steak never tasted so good. We bought a local beer called Polygamy because the slogan was so funny. This was our last night in Zion so we decided to get silly with out headlight with a slow shutter speed backed up slow sync flash. We were goofy and yet very quiet and respectful to other campers.

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Valley Of Fire State Park

If it is within your route or have the time, it is worth to drive in it. It is nothing compared to Bryce or Zion, but it is still worth it.

Side Note: Make sure to bring cash for the pass. There are no credit card machine for it.

Valley of Fire State Park -- Neveda

Valley of Fire State Park -- Neveda

Map Of Our Trip

Here are all our destinations and basic route we took starting from Phoenix ending in Las Vegas. My advice is to do it with 2-4 people. Split the cost and take turns in the drive. Also bring audio books to listen to you–you will have plenty of time on the road.
View the map on Google

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2012-08 Arizona, United States (part 2/3)

This was our most anticipated part of our trip. Quite frankly I’m not sure what to say, since it was so kick-ass mind-blowingly amazing. Last year we did a trip with the boys at at Hidden Canyon Kayak (HiddenCanyonKayak.com). They showed us such amazing time we just had to come back for seconds. This year we did 3 nights 4 days and we were sad to leave. They take you up the river, set up tents for you, assemble a kitchen, cook meals for you, take you on site seeing, hiking, kayaking, adjust the trip according to your taste–this is truly a vacation. If you want to explore Lake Powell go all in with Hidden Canyon Kayak for the multi-day trip. It’s just so worth it.

Up the River–with ease

Last year we thought we had to kayak all the way up to Rainbow Bridge (which is estimate 40miles from the dock), but that was far from reality. We just hauled all our stuff into this boat and the captains took us up the river like we’re looking for Walter E. Kurtz. We would find a camp site then take the boat to the mouth of each canyon and kayak.

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Our BaseCamp

This is where we will slept underneath the stars. Is sleeping outside not your things? Hidden Canyon Kayak set up tents for you anyway thus you have a choice.  Sometimes I just came out of the tent naked in the middle of the night, look at the stars our ancestors gazed upon, listen to the breeze, and just be One with nature.

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Kitchen and Food

Hidden Canyon Kayak not only take the boat up river, but they make a kitchen, set up a tent, and cook you meal for the mulit-day trips. “FOR SEROIUSZ” Last year when they say “meals provided” we really thought it was PB&J with soda; perhaps a bag of chip. They cooked us teriyaki chicken, steak, omelet for breakfast. It was five star experience for us.

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Pitch Black Nights

I thought I saw a lot of stars back in Hawai’i, but this was far better. With our bare eyes we saw the Milky Way and infinite amount of stars. It’s night like this you feel so small and yet humbled to be part of nature’s grand scheme.

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Kayak, Hiking, Diving, Swimming

What to say, we’re on a lake in a dessert. This was one of my main activities, besides eating and drinking.

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Rolling Thunder

I have never seen a storm just roll in. Sounds elementary, but in the city one’s view of the horizon is limited. This storm we watch it brew, move left to right, then it slowly creeped upon us. We just sat in our chair, drank beer and stared in the horizon for a good couple of hours.

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2012-08 Arizona, United States (part 1/3)

Rarely do we visit the same place twice–but Arizona was an exception. There are so many places to visit, ruins to see, canyons to explore, the list is endless. We came here on 2011 to visit Antelope Canyon, some part of Utah, and Bryce Canyon. This time we wanted to visit other places we just didn’t have the time to last year.

Cathedral Rock and Bell Rock Pathway

As soon as we flew into Phoenix we went to Sedona. Next day we went to two trails Cathedral Rock Trail and Bell Rock Pathway. Each trail are worth while to do, they are easy to moderate and doesn’t require any special gear. I did notice some sort of positive chi (energy) from Bell Rock Trail. On each trail we didn’t do the whole hike just went close and walked around since we had limited time. I really wanted to visit our next destination–the ruins.

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Palatki and Honaki Ruins

Ruins and archeological sites for me is a must. I believe it is a gift to visit some of these places where our ancestors once roamed and lived. These two destination are off the beaten path. Palatki you can do it with a sedan (carefully), but Honaki I wouldn’t go there with anything less then a jeep–it can get very rough. I did hear there is a 4×4 touring company, but I like to push our limit.

Side note: I found this place accidentally when I was here on a photo shoot last May. There was this eagle who was floating mid-air like a UFO. I followed it to take its photograph–which was unsuccessful–but then it lead me to found the path to Palatki, what a good omen.

I was so touched and awe when I saw the petroglyphs–imagining what our ancestors saw back then. From the animals to the vast stary night. It is truly humbling. Please check the time they open and close before your trip. We were lucky to able to visit both; and it’s well worth it.

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Meteor Crater

Meteor crater I must say was slight disappointment for us. Though it is spectacle to see it, but overall the experience was okay at best. Luckly we stayed overnight in Flagstaff thus it wasn’t too far off our path. It is worth while to see it once though.

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Best Place To Eat and Drink in FlagStaff

For all our travel we carry a huge ice box for food, drinks, and snacks. This allows us to conserve our cash flow. However this day we were so hungry we decided to eat out. When we eat out it has to be local establishment–no franchise. After driving around I saw this place and decided to try it–because of one reason I liked their font on their signage. It’s called Beaver Street Brewery (beaverstreetbrewery.com) and good lord was it good! They had a bier garden in the back, we drank and ate for 3 hours, it was a grand time. We had their Hefe Weizen, Pilsener, Big Rapid Red, Marzen Lager, Bratwurst, pizza, and more.
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