Do you know how it feels when you drive through the sheer endless desert? I do not know it yet, but I know how it feels driving through Arizona! It is hard to imagine how the first settlers managed to get through Arizona with their trail wagons on the quest for the Pacific Ocean and their new future. Arizona is hot, very hot indeed in the summer and Canyons are shaping the landscape. When the sun rises it feels like in the bakery when the oven has been turned on and you are one of these buns in there. Temperatures of 45 degrees Celsius are normal during the summer and the wind that might blow is like a hairdryer. Humidity is extremely low and the defining colours are ranging from any shade of light sandy browns to the real red rocks in Sedona. Water!!! – your mind will cry out the word quite often and you better make sure that you stay hydrated under this sky. We explored the area around Page and Lake Powell and said briefly hello to Bryce Canyon on our way. It is magic how your view of this landscape changes, when you experience it from a different perspective – from above or below.
What I mean is the magic of Canyons will only reveal itself to the wanderer when you are on the inside. The light is incredible and the life down there is following different rules. Make sure you do not wander in one of them when skies turn grey and rain starts to fall. The risk of flash floods is incredibly high and regardless whether Michael Phelps is part of your group no-one will be a good enough swimmer to withstand the force of the water coming down the Canyon. It will flow with a speed of up to 70 km/h and you understand why it was able to shape these Canyons as deep as they have become over the centuries. We specifically explored the Cathedral Canyon. The tour can be booked in Page and is really worth every penny. We were only 8 altogether and we had a great guide teaching us about the wildlife, the plants and the place itself. Spatzl started to listen particularly interested when he pointed out how the natives use some of these plants. Not only can they be used as an excellent shampoo, however, some of them brewed up as a tea will take you on a spiritual journey while they help to cure your cold as well. You choose what is the important ingredient for you, but I can only point out that the hair of the native Americans are beautiful.
The wildlife is richer than one would think and besides the usual scorpions, snakes and rabbits, you will find coyotes, roadrunners, bobcats and mountain lions. Equally there is a huge variety of birds from falcons, owls to vultures. Where they are the drama has happened in the desert – hence they are the best paparazzi in this environment with the only difference they only arrive after the fact and never you are caught in the act in the desert.
Make sure in the desert to rise early as the light then is beautiful and after sunset there is not much to do anyway. We enjoyed the BBQ from a real smoker (yes baby in America size matters! not only talking about cars) in Page served in the rustic American setting of a country bar. It is sad that everything is served on plastic plates and you wonder if some canyons will fill up quite quickly with the results of human life. In Arizona vast areas still belong to the native Americans, especially the Navajo. You understand why so many places where sacred to them. They have a mystical power that can almost be felt physically when you are there. Our spirits charged their batteries in Sedona and while spending three nights at the Boulders Resort in Scottsdale. Spiritual for sure and for those of you, who are into golf or tennis, make sure to come in the winter months or springtime. It is simply a paradise here for these sports. Sedona even in the summer has a wonderful climate and it is a magical place to get out on a trail exploring the nature and its beauty.