Canyons and Stuff - August, 2016

10:57 PM

My cousin came to visit us from Hong Kong and I accompanied her on what I call an "old Chinese people tour."  It is actually a pretty good value (especially if you do the buy 2 get 1 free) and ends up being under $400 after tips and the "optional" Antelope Canyon tour, assuming you share a room.  I think having 3 people share 1 room would end up costing only like $288 per person, after everything (you need to pay for food).

The first day was mostly driving out of California, but they did let us off at the London Bridge in Arizona.  Apparently, it was moved there in 1974.  I've been here before (a lot of the tours this company puts on stop here as a destination on the first travel day) and it wasn't the main attraction.  Plus, it was ridiculously hot.  The land here is super cheap though ($995/acre).



Small collection of locks on either side
 


We stayed in Laughlin that night...it was STILL insanely hot.  We ended up eating at the buffet for $15 (bought from the tour guide) and the food exceeded our expectations.  =)  The first destination of the following day was the Grand Canyon (4:55 a.m. morning call?!).





Next was Antelope Canyon (probably the "best" destination in terms of pictures, plus I hadn't been there before).  We were put into the back of these "Jeeps," which were nothing more than modified trucks.  In Chinese, these would probably be called "hog cars," as in, the trucks that transported animals in cages.  The ride was pretty uncomfortable...I found it ironic that there was a sign that asked if we had a safe driver because I was definitely thinking, "Um, nope!"






The pictures inside the caves were oh so worth it though!  Unfortunately, my two batteries went flat, but not before I got some decent looking pics.  Our guide/driver was super knowledgeable when it came to taking pics of the caves.  He knew how to use all of the phones, changed to the correct filters for the colors to come out better, and told us to stand at the exact spot to get the cool looking angles (actually, he just took the picture for most of the people in our group).  I just did what I could with my camera...=)








Afterwards, we went to the reason we went on this tour in the first place - Horseshoe Bend.  This was the place my cousin really wanted to visit, I think. I had never been either, so it was great.  Unfortunately, there was actually quite a walk from the parking lot to the view (I would say, not quite a mile?).


Pondering
You can see the people walking towards the view
When you finally get there, the view is pretty amazing.  Too bad the tour didn't go at the right time and it was behind the bend.  My lens wasn't wide enough either (24mm equi.), so I had to use Lightroom to stitch a panorama together.  There was a LOT of "boundary warpping," but I guess it's better than nothing.




And that was it for the 2nd day.  We stayed in a motel in Kanab (this was the worse day, btw, cause they did not really drop us off to eat lunch nor dinner!).  Woke up early again to go to Bryce Canyon (see one of my very first posts!) and then drove through Zion, which was nice because I didn't get to go last time I was in Utah.






Zion



What is everyone looking at?

Finally, we arrived in Vegas, where I promptly proceeded to lose the very last of my money (the majority of it was lost in Laughlin), and we spent the last day going back to LA.  Well, we did go to the Chocolate Factory/Cactus Garden and the outlets in Barstow, which is pretty standard for this company's tours.

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