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_Bucket List | Arizona, Part 1: Red Antelope Canyon

No matter how many times I see it, desert landscapes are still freakin' amazing.

A bit late I admit, but... ok, I can't think of any excuses good enough to explain why I postponed in posting this for almost a whole year. Maybe I was still in shock of the amazing experience. I mean... how often do you get to check not one but three travel destinations off your bucket list:

  • Finally seeing Horseshoe Bend
  • Photography session within Red Antelope Canyon
  • Hiking into the Grand Canyon and taking a dip in Havasupai Falls 

Hak trying to dial in on the desert landscape.

My buddy from work came along for the ride, a complete outdoors virgin. Added on top the long hikes and desert landscape just made the popping of his Merrell cherry all the more entertaining. Nonetheless, it's great to have company and share in the moments.

Our first destination was actually Horseshoe Bend. By the time we arrived however, it was well into the night. We still made our way to the cliffs, where I managed to capture a few great night shots of the Milky Way overlooking the Bend. I say "great", but needs some touch-up in post, so those will be up later.

First lesson of the trip: bring an ultra wide angle lens. ALWAYS bring a good, ultra wide angle lens. 

Little did Hak know that there was a rattler 10 feet behind him.

Our first official stop the next morning was a scheduled photography tour of Red Antelope Canyon. Our Native guide actually took us to 3 or 4 other canyons first because he warned us that Red Antelope may be overcrowded... and he definitely made the right call. Not only was Red Antelope insanely crowded, people were pushy, rude, and constantly walked right in front of my shots. Even some of the other guides showed little consideration of other tourists trying to take pictures. To be honest, I enjoyed my time in the other smaller canyons more due to the crowds, so I may consider going back there during the off-season one day.

Oh, did I mention that all the canyons precede dried up river beds (drove right in via the guide's pick-up truck)... where flash floods can happen at just about anytime? Slot canyons are no joke - don't try to explore these alone unless you know what you're doing.

Fruits straight from the Bucket Basket - absolutely, totally worth the heat and sweat from the 150lbs. of gear I had to lug around.

Next up, Horseshoe Bend and Havasupai Falls.

P.S. - I want to give special credit to a friend of mine who originally came up with this travel itinerary. We were supposed to take this trip together a long time ago, but life takes unexpected turns, and we were forced to cancel before we finished booking everything. Wherever you are, I hope you got a chance to see these beautiful sites. During the trip, there were times where I felt like you were right there, snapping shots alongside me. You would have loved it.

Steven WongComment