Photography by Dennis Phan





We went to Arizona and Utah for our family Spring Break get away this year with our daughter.
When the pandemic eases up a bit, we decide to travel again to catch up what we have been

We booked the Antelope Lower Canyon tour in 2020 but it was canceled due to the pandemic at
that time. This year, we make up for the trip with our daughter during her Spring Break from her
university. We originally wanted to visit the lower and upper canyons during the trip but the
upper canyon tour was totally booked so we settled for the lower canyon tour and use the extra
time for other ventures.

We left Upland on Sunday March 21st for Page Arizona. It was an 8-hour drive via routes 210,
15, 9 and 89 crossing Utah and Arizona state lines occasionally. Because of time zone difference
between two states, we were "time travelers " going 1 hour into the future for a brief moment
during the trip. We let our daughter be the main driver to let her get more experience for long
distance driving.

We arrived at Page in early evening. After checking in our hotel, we were out for Mexican
dinner in Page downtown. The restaurant was quite busy but the waiting time was not that bad.
During dinner, we chatted with a local couple in nearby table for points of interest suggestions.
We got good tips from them on how to plan our itinerary. By the way, the Mexican dinner was

The next day, we had breakfast in our hotel. It was a simple breakfast but it gave us enough
energy to explore without spending time eating breakfast in restaurant. Our first stop was the
overlook of Glen Canyon. Only minimal hike needed for the view. It is good to view the natures
again after the pandemic lock down! When I was at the Glen Canyon, I noticed interesting
"water marks" on the rock. In my opinion, this canyon could have been an ancient ocean floor
hundreds of millions years ago. It this is true, then it is truly amazing how the landscape of this
planet had evolved.

Then came our main attraction: The Antelope Lower Canyon. This is a guided tour with certain
guidelines to follow to ensure guest safety and to preserve natural beauty of the canyon. As the
name implied, the canyon is completely underground with some steep stairways to climb and
descend. The rock formation is simple amazing! The tour guide pointed out three rock
formations that resemble smiling shark, lady in the wind and the chief. This is a place where we
can take random photos and still have more than 50% chance of getting a good view of the
canyon. The tour guide did a good job telling us about the history of the land and how the canyon
was formed. She also knows exactly what angle to take good photos of the canyon. We did our
homework so we picked the best time to see the canyon for the best scenery with the sun in its
perfect position for light reflection. It was an hour tour and it was worth every second of it!
Leaving Antelope Canyon, we headed to Horseshoe Bend nearby. This is another scenery spot in
Page Arizona. This is a typical canyon view we see throughout Arizona and Utah. There are
several angles to look at the Horseshoe Bend. It is up to the visitors to decide which one is the
best in their view.

Page is a small town in Arizona so after 2 nights stay, we left for Zion National Park in Utah
which is about 90-minute drive away. We entered the park from the east entrance. The landscape
changed almost immediately inside the park. The scenery is fantastic with ample of photo
opportunities. I remember one of my Malaysian friends once told me the scenery was so
beautiful that she didn't have enough time to take all the photos! I guess she must be in Zion
National Park back then. The park main thoroughfare is paved so it matches the stone color.
When we drove along it, we found numerous photo taken spots. We were here 16 years ago with
our young children. The scenic drive surely reminds us of our sweet memories. Due to rules
changed, no private vehicles allowed for main attractions. All visitors must use the park public
transportation to get to the main points. Because of it, we had a hard time finding a parking spot
in the visitor center parking lot but for some miracles, we found one and hopped on the bus for
our park exploration! One thing I want to mention is to make the most of our travel, we must do
it while we are still physically capable of. Life is too short to wait for the perfect moment to do
what we want. The perfect moment is now. The ongoing pandemic is a good reminder to us not
to wait. That is why I love Nike slogan " Just Do It!"

On our last day of the trip, we decided to visit Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park in Utah before
heading home. We were the first visitors of the park so we had a chance to witness the dunes
completely untouched by footsteps. We were there at sunrise to capture the most scenic photos of
the dunes with shadows created by the morning sun. This State Park visit was not planned but we
were glad we added it to our itinerary.

To close this article, I like to borrow two phrases my daughter posts on her facebook about our

"It awes me to this day what this country has to offer in terms of its versatility. Whether you
want mountains, beaches, canyons, or big cities, different parts of the country can give you
something to experience."

"It's trips like these where I feel so thankful that I have a healthy, moving body that allows me to
experience different facets of life that make it so special - whether I am descending the steep
stairs of Antelope Canyon, climbing slippery rocks up to a fall, or running along a vast
untouched sand dune, I am so incredibly grateful for the experiences that make life, life"






Dennis Phan   潘家墉

Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., 25 Jun 2020



















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