National Parks part one – Utah and Arizona

We left California behind and by accident ended up on the legendary Route 66. In Arizona we stayed on a campsite in State Park Homolovi, an empty place in the middle of nowhere and a meteor crater over 1 kilometer in diameter. The ruins of Hopi indians’ settlements left us wanting to learn more. They also left this feeling of sadness about the fate of native citizens of North America. The Trump’s madness about illegal immigrants seems to be even more absurd knowing this.


We also visited Painted Desert and Petrified ForestNational Park, It was impressive. Trees which remember dinosaurs and due to geological and chemical processes turned into multi-colored stones, while keeping their tree-like structure. Vast space, dyed with iron and manganium oxides and who knows what else, makes you think you are on a different planet. Mum, we should have more than one moon.

From Homolovi we drove north looking for a campsite close to Antelope Canyon – the only place we had to book in advance due to limited „seats” and the need of a guide. We ended up at lake Powell.. A huge water reservoir with a marina full of boats in the middle of the desert looked totally absurd but I guess there are less and less things in this country which could surprise me now.

We also visited Horsehoe Bend – a must see viewpoint of Colorado River. There we got a little terrfied with the number of Chineese organized groups and the fact that our phones were showing two different hours at the same time. This place is between two different states – Arizona and Utah – operating on different timezones. To make it more complex, one state observes daylight saving time, while the other does not. And there is also Navajo land across both states and it runs on timezone of one state but with no DST. Finally no one had any idea what time it is now. Our Antelope Canyon trip, booked weeks in advance for certain time slot at 12:15 was coming and I would take my eye out with a fork if we missed it.

At Antelope there are in fact two canyons – Upper and Lower. We decided to go to the less popular one, hoping for less crowds. In the other one someone made a very famous photo and sold it for millions while our one has stairs (and as Kung Fu Panda says, the stairs are the biggest enemy of pandas). It looks like the Americans took this advice to their hearts.

At the entrance it did not look good. One big group crowded on stairs just behind the previous one, waiting for them to move forward. Additionally the guides were walking one lady out as she panicked inside the canyon. Finally they saved her, the crowd moved and we had half of the canoyn to ourselves. Magic! Worth visiting, seeing with your own eyes and hard to describe with words.

My next „awe moment” was in Monument Valley especially when we realized our camping’s name – „the view” – is for a reason. Views straight from the tent included. We liked the place so much that despite desert heat and dust everywhere, (inside tent too), we decided to stay longer. There was shower, Internet access and we even managed to sneak in a cake to throw a surprise party for Tytus’ birthday.

While staying there we also made a one-day trip to Arches but to be honest it was not as impressive as I was expecting. We were also late a few minutes to the visitor center with the task booklet to get the Junior Ranger badge for Szymon. The lady inside ignored our begs and did not want to open. Our Junior Ranger went into tears because mum, the badge with the arch was so important and tore the booklet into pieces. A little annoyed and without the badge we left the Arches and the place where Forrest Gump stopped running. Next stop – Zion National Park.



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