Second Stop - Monument Valley, Utah; slot canyons in Arizona; Horseshoe Bend in Paige, Arizona; Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona; Las Vegas, Nevada
This was the busiest day of the trip where we were attempting to take in as much of Utah and Arizona as we could until we reached Las Vegas. We drove through Monument Valley and stopped on the side of the road to take pictures every few miles.
Then we drove back into the Arizona state line and found a spot to pick up a hiking permit for the slot canyons since they were in Navajo territory. Then we spent a couple of hours walking through the crevices between rock cliffs.
On our way out of the slot canyons, we found some rather interesting hieroglyphics on some of the large boulders. We dated them as rather old considering the subject matter. Some people had taken much time and care in carving out the word “HOMOTRIP” and a rather artistic picture of the male genitalia. I guess older generations had some of the same humor as us in the present do ;).
After we filled up with gas, we drove to an overlook side for Horseshoe Bend outside of Paige, Arizona. From the parking lot, all you can see is a large hill with a trail leading over it. Once you get to the top of the hill, you see a large hole in the ground like a miniature canyon, but you can’t see what is down in the hole until you reach the edge of that small canyon. Then this view seizes your attention and holds you sway in a trance of absolute majesty:
I am pretty sure we spent a good 30-45 minutes just taking this view in. One of my favorite moments of the trip.
Then we drove another two hours or so to the Grand Canyon which none of us had really ever seen, but we knew it would be a sight. We took the trail to the Bright Angel Point overlook where we climbed up on a jutting rock and looked out over this:
As we reached this point, being the extremely mean person I am, I turned to my buddies and said, jokingly, “Man, I thought it would be bigger.” Yeah, I am THAT guy! Ha! In all seriousness, the feeling of complete insignificance throttled through me. It made me wonder what non-believers think about when they look upon this and if the violent beauty of these scenes would shake them like they do for the believer. On our way, back out to the car we had a slight panic when no one had the keys to the car. We tried to track down every place they could be which brought us to the car and, lo and behold, there they were, on the roof of the car, baking in the evening sun. Thankfully the car was still there.
After that was a rather lengthy drive to Las Vegas where we stayed at the Monte Carlo and received an upgrade to suites on the top level. We felt like the four guys in The Hangover but without the tigers or Mike Tyson. We wandered around in the night life, were cursed at by strip club promoters and had a few drinks in the lounge bar as a night cap before we passed out from a long day in our swanky abode.