Lottery The story, Jamie's style: Went on a hike; it was pretty!
The story, Gregor's style: After almost 7 years of entering the monthly lottery for tickets to The Wave - my first entry was May 2007 - we finally win tickets! Yeay! Our friends Jamie & Gregor are joining us for this rare opportunity. Traveling with friends is always tricky, and this is our first time traveling with Gregor & Jamie. They turn out to be amazing traveling partners! Though we think the separation damaged their little boy Griffin who missed them tremendously. "Mommy, I'm not strong enough!" Awww. Sorry about that buddy!
Tuba City First order of business is to figure out where to meet up. We decide Flagstaff is the best option; minutes after we, Dan & Assana, buy our plane tickets we realize that doesn't quite work with Gregor & Jamie. Change of plans: Gregor & Jamie fly to Phoenix, rent the car, and pick us up at Flagstaff. Ironically we all land in Phoenix within an hour, and two gates apart! After a temporary separation we rejoin in Flagstaff and off we go to Page. Unfortunately the road to Page has a 40 mile detour to avoid a massive sinkhole... gives us a chance to go thru Tuba City! Incidentally, we eat lunch in Tuba City on our way back to Flagstaff. In a pupular restaurant full of people, the four of us are the only white people, and the thinest. Jamie is even thinner than a 6 year old sitting behind us. Quite sad.
The Wave Page had had rain and snow just before we arrived, but we wake up to clear blue skies, and what ends up being a perfect temperature. Heading to The Wave we only have a stylized detail-free map that came with our permits. We find our way to the visitor center where we are supposed to check in only to find it shut for the winter. Next we take an unmarked dirt road which we hope will get up to the trail head (it did). As for a trail map, again, all we have is what came with our permits: a bunch of GPS coordinates and photographs of what is supposed to be the trail. Turns out there is no trail! If only we had a dollar for each time we ask each other "Is that the saddle/double butte/tree/crack?" Having said that, we only get lost once… kind'a, if we don't count the back-tracking we did to make sure we not lost.
The Wave, O. M. G. 'Nuff said!
Red Jamie has never been to this part of the US, so we want to make sure she sees enough to get hooked! Next, Antelope Slot Canyon. We are in super-shoulder season and the weather has turned cold and rainy so we don't have to wait much for the tour.
The Canyon is as gorgeous as we remembered, and this time around it is nowhere as crowded. Our guide cuts to the chase, knowing that we are all there to take photos, and bosses us around on photographing the canyon. Works out pretty well.
Blizzard As we drive up to the Grand Canyon NP the weather gets worse and worse, until we are driving in a full blown blizzard! Doh. The Canyon, she is invisible. It is Jamie's first time to Grand Canyon. She seems skeptical about the alleged crack in the ground! Eventually, but the next afternoon, the clouds and the fog lift up enough for the canyon to be visible. Gorgeous as usual.
Ghost Our last night is in Flagstaff in a crappy hotel which is more like a hostel. Assana is not allowed to complain since she picked the place. Their only claim to fame is that they were part of the "Top Ten Haunted Hotels" show on Travel Chanel. But we have an amazingly good dinner followed by a review of Gregor's photos. We fly out of Flagstaff. But Jamie & Gregor fly out of Phoenix with the whole day to get there thru Sedona. Of course we factmo them about hikes and sites of Sedona. They stay in touch with us through out the day so it feels like we are right there with them!
Gregor & Jamie, thank you so much for joining us! We can't wait to travel with you again.