Shadow and Fire
Antelope Canyon captured my interest from the moment I stumbled upon images of light pouring in though the the Canyon's ceiling and striking the sand below. It's a truly beautiful canyon with striking shadows and highlights dancing on the curves and bends of the warm rock. The images in this post are from Lower Antelope Canyon. The Canyon is separated into upper and lower with the upper being at least twenty times more popular. While I got hustled and herded through the crowds of Upper Antelope Canyon, in the lower canyon, I had all the time I wanted.
I was actually alone for large periods of time in this section of the canyon, and I savored the opportunity of taking it in at my own pace. I was able to take the time to capture the sweeps, curves, and edges that flow through the rock.
The Navajo name for this Canyon was something like the Canyon of Flowing Water precisely because of the sandstone's suggestive sweeps and waves. As a side note, the name Antelope Canyon seems a little strange. There aren't any antelope around the canyon, and, if there were, they'd be too big to fit through the narrow corridors of this canyon.
A Few Words about the Navajo
Antelope Canyon is on Navajo land and is entirely administered by the Navajo people. While the Navajo have some beautiful land and a noble history, their nation stands in seeming disarray. Everything about Antelope Canyon is poorly managed. Visiting the sight is expensive (at least $51 for one person to see both canyons), the crowds are haphazardly herded through the Upper Canyon, the tours leave when they feel like it, and if you try to find a halfway useful website administered by the Navajo, you are wasting your time. This site is the closest thing you'll find. Additionally, I doubt if the greenhouse-gas-emitting Navajo Generating Station fits in with the Navajo's history of respecting the land.
The Navajo have forgotten their values, they have been uprooted as a culture, and they have lost their identity. It serves to remind me that when people loose sight of their purpose, they cease to be great.
More on Antelope Canyon
From above, Lower Antelope Canyon is little more than a crack in the ground. The images above are from Lower Antelope Canyon. For info on getting to the Canyon and shots of Upper Antelope Canyon (including the famous light beam), take a look at an article I wrote for Adventure Trip Magazine.Never forget who you are. -Ben