I awoke with a start. It was early. Around 3 am. Today was the day. A day I had been looking forward to for a long time. Would it be everything that I had dreamed? Would I be able to get that perfect picture? Would the light be just right? Would we have a good guide and tour group? So many thoughts were racing through my mind. Of course I couldn’t do anything about it at 3 am. I finally drifted back to a dreamful sleep.
On the other side of sleep Antelope Canyon was waiting. If you have ever seen photography of this place you know about how amazing it is. The light and colors play with each other to provide images that words can’t describe. This is what woke me from my sleep. I felt this pressure to have that perfect picture. So many of my friends knew I was going here and were looking forward to seeing what I would come back with. I was feeling the pressure.
That morning I had butterflies in my stomach as we drove. I was finally here. After years of telling my parents I wanted to go there, we finally made it happen. Waiting for the tour to start was the longest 30 minutes ever. Our group was about 14 people and we quickly became friends. Soon everyone was aware that I would be the one who would be at the end lagging behind because I was trying to take a picture. Lucky for me, there were 3 guys about my age who also felt the same way. At one point the guide said “We are missing 4 people, where are they?” The 4 of us were just around the bend and laughed. Nothing like the “young ones” getting yelled at!
From the outside it doesn’t look like much. Just a split in the rock. Then you walk in. It is cool and dark but the small opening that makes it a canyon is what makes it so special. The light dances on the walls of sandstone. How the light moves is what makes each angle and photo different.
Within the first 30 seconds I could feel my heart swell! There was a magical feeling here. Here is something that is so basic, a canyon, but so so amazing at the same time. My soul was alive. After seeing the result of my first few pictures, I began to relax and enjoy the journey.
The hour was full of lots of clicking cameras, craning necks upward to look at the canyon walls, weaving through passages that were about shoulder width, and not hitting your head or foot on the walls when you were not looking where you were going. There was also a feeling of happiness and peace. Not only was it from the faces from the people in our group or their laughter, but the dancing feeling in my soul. Nothing else quite compares to being in nature like this. Nothing sets my soul on fire more. My anxiety at 3am was gone and all that was left was this light dancing through my soul.
Here is just a small taste of Antelope Canyon!