| Travel Photography Desert Southwest >
parked along the road, there were no signs to indicate this was Antelope
Canyon, but I could see the fissure in the distance. There was a red Jeep
parked there, and a man reading a map. I knocked on his window and introduced
myself. "It looks like the Navajo Guide decided to sleep in this morning,"
he said. "Its still early." We waited some time. I liked this man right
away. He was a photographer in his 50's, had driven here from Georgia
on a month-long trek across the West. We talked maps, and places, and
then we saw a trail of red dust in the distance, the Navajo Guide driving
across the sand in a blue truck.
followed him a ways and introduced ourselves, paid him the fee, and he
listened to the weather, and pointed to the fissure. We walked up to it;
it was a one foot slit in the earth - and below, blackness. I said, "Where
do we enter?" and the photographer said, "Obviously not here." A better
inspection and I found a ladder hanging off the edge of the fissure. "Here
it is," I said, looking into the darkness. "You first," said the photographer.
He followed me in, and we descended. Lower Antelope Canyon was a wonder;
although dark and cold, it was also a tangled display of contorted, smoothed
rock angling in every direction; every foot a composition of anarchy,
of thousands of years of flash floods.
climbed its quarter mile length, walking parts, dropping or climbing others.
In an hour, we were at the end. We stayed there for hours, and met up
near the entrance. I said, "You want to do the Upper?" He said, "Absolutely."
While he cleaned his gear by our Jeeps, I wandered the area, looking at