Over the Thanksgiving holiday we decided to take some time to check off another bucket list item before this little girl gets here. We opted to do a “Grand Canyon road trip” through Southern Utah and Northern Arizona to see a few of the national sights on our way to San Diego, where we ultimately celebrated Thanksgiving with Andrew’s side of the family.
We had a lot we wanted to see and covered a lot of ground in a very short amount of time. I’m sure we would have loved to add a few more stops but being preggo and it being cold outside is slightly limiting as far as intensity of activities and flexibility to camp where-ever. May not be such a great idea to camp in the snow on a deflated air mattress while lugging around those extra lbs on your belly. Don’t ask, but I will say, getting in and out of an air mattress that isn’t completely firm is near impossible while expecting. – If I may though, I have to give myself credit for being ok camping and sitting in a car for 2000+ miles considering the circumstances.
The ride was well worth it. Here are the stops we made:
Death Valley: Our first stop was in Death Valley. Here we stayed at Stovepipe Wells a first-come first-serve campground with a solo bar and general store. We arrived as the sun was going down and got to see an amazing light show by way of the infinite stars and when we left in the morning got to walk out through the Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes.
Zion National Park: Our first day here we were able to do a couple hikes through the park and overnight it started to storm. On our way out, due to the flash flooding, we were in for a treat because the entire national park turns into a bed of a million waterfalls. – Anywhere you can imagine water pouring, there is. It was quite incredible. I am just sorry I don’t have any good images capturing the beauty of it.
Antelope Canyon: It was actually quite pricy to get in here, about $46 per person, which to me is a lot for what lasted about 30 minutes. The land formations are unlike any other though, and I don’t regret splurging to have checked it off our list. Our guide was really informative and, due to the rain, which miraculously let up as soon as we got inside, the crowds had dispersed leaving us to take some really wonderful pictures without interruption.
Horseshoe Bend: Horseshoe bend was one of the most beautiful places. We were standing on top of the cliffs and it simply didn’t look real. The photo where I am sitting on the ledge I remember thinking, and it took a moment to realize how small and vulnerable we are in this huge and incredible world.
Monument Valley: Monument Valley closes around 4:30 in the wintertime so I would definitely recommend looking into that before you go. We got there at 4:31 and after a little shameless begging, somehow, convinced the lady at the gate to let us in. We had currently been watching WestWorld which made us appreciate the amazing monuments even more.
Grand Canyon: BRR! We got up early for some sunrise pictures, froze our fingers and noses and didn’t even get anything worthy – you won’t see any of the pictures we took here. However, it was definitely awe inspiring to actually be there overlooking the landscape as the sun woke up.