I thought I would be able to be a tourist in my own town and take in the sights. Trying to make myself useful, I thought I would go and visit the popular Antelope Canyon. Unfortunately my hook up was only for the upper canyon, so the choice was easily made. I haven't done this excursion since I was little. I only remember bits and pieces, walking though it with my uncle, him telling me stories of what the navajo believed were signs and warnings. I don't recall half of what he said, so this would be a nice refreshing blast from the past.
I drove into the gated enterence and proceeded to the check in point, more family who recognized me and welcomed me back. Wondering why its been so long to see me, and a quick summary of how life for them was.
I pretended like I was paying attention, I mean we are family, but more deemed as distant family. Half of the names she was talking about, I have never heard of in my life. Lucky for me, more vehicles came from behind and gave me the friendly horn. So we parted and I resumed my journey upward. I went to the small outhouse looking checkpoint to check in. Next one in 15 minutes, I was in no hurry... but the 90 degree heat still flourished on me. I do admit it was a nice break from the triple digits of Phoenix, but 90 degrees sure felt like 90 degrees. I didn't know these indians working but they sure knew me, speaking in Navajo they thought I was just a city boy whose mother didn't raise him right. Lil did I know I could make out some of what they were saying.
Talk about a REZ TRUCK... = )
.. it didn't take much to know that they were talking about how my family - who my father is, mother, sister - ya know the latest gossip. As I continued to wait, more and more tourists came and started asking questions about this and that. Being the nice guy I am, I made small talk... I tried to throw TRAVBUDDY in there as much as I could. They said they would check it out since they tend to travel alot but you just never know. Much to my avail, the 4 door truck came making loud noises which brought questions of wether it would be able to make its journey. I mean this truck has to travel through sand for a few miles to make it to the enterence - I wasn't worried since I know how rez trucks work and how reliable they tend to be.
But one can only hope and wonder...! More time passed and they herded us like cattle on the vehicles and drove us through the bumping and thumping of sand hills till finally the enterence was in sight. Nothing spectacular, just a crack in the mesa. We could see numberous 4 wheeled vehicles parked in front, I could see 5, but that was only in the front row and wasn't counting the ones in leaving or the ones traveling in front. Seemed like everyone has their hands in the pot, good for them. I just recall the old timers saying how their party spots are now fenced off and being made money off... I couldn't help but laugh. Picturing nothing but inidans drinking beer and having a good old time in these now famous canyons. Anywho, I was able to venture off while the guide seemed to be making up some legend stories to strectch the 25$ admission fee that was paid before hand.
Once I entered, I was caught off guard by the beauty... definately something that you don't see everyday thats for sure! The temperture cooled off significately, and I was now one happy camper. I walked and walked, taking numerous pix and talking to the many people inside. There seemed to be alot of tours taking place at the same time, yet there was plenty of room for the flashing cameras and posing individuals to enjoy the priceless scenary. I can clearly see what the fuss was about, yet the memory of my uncle made my heart miss him even more... I sure wish he could be with me now, but he is on a different journey in a better place.