On Krystal (second outfit): Dress: Tryb (borrwed); Boots: Isabel Marant (from a few seasons ago, similar style here); Sunglasses: Ray-Ban
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Part Three: How the West Was Won
If you're just joining our Utah adventure now, you can catch PART ONE here and PART TWO here. And if you're up to speed, you'll be happy to know, I was saving the best, the coup, the piece de resistance of the trip, for the very last installment. This installment. The final chapter, in which our heroes stumble upon great heights, narrow caves and enchanted forests.
The scene: Ironically enough, the catalyst for this Utah road trip wasn't actually in Utah at all. It was in Arizona. The very southern border of Utah and northern part of Arizona to be exact, at one of the outer rims of the Grand Canyon National Park: Horseshoe Bend, which you can see in the photo above here. I've seen plenty photos of this particular bend in the Colorado River before, each one looking almost more fake than the last. Mother Nature has a funny affinity for things like that, huh? Where you almost could swear there's no way something was made like that naturally, especially over the course of many, many years and just by wind and water erosion alone. It's mind boggling and humbling. And terrifying when you're standing on the very edge looking down at it, holding your breath all the while. Occasionally, a strong warm gust of wind would come alone, reminding Lydia and I to take a few steps back. A cautionary note: there are no handrails. So step lightly.
It's a short trail hike out to the river bend overlook, no more than a mile from the highway, and it was incredibly hot when we set out on that particular day in September. A dry heat I hadn't experienced since my summers in Reno. And much like many of the great Grand Canyon overlook points, it doesn't fully hit you until you're standing on the ledge looking out and down over it. Personally, it took my breath away and all I wanted to do, for about a half hour, was sit on a rocky edge and just be next to it. And listen to everything and simultaneously, nothing at all.
Horseshoe Bend happens to be near another popular natural attraction, that being Antelope Canyon, which we headed to afterward and I highly recommend if you ever find yourself passing through Page, Arizona, you do the same. We opted for a late afternoon tour, which I think made for some incredible golden light for our photos (see the second photo above). What is Antelope Canyon? It's another incredible water creation -- flash flooding to be exact -- this one forming a narrow slot canyon with steep vertical walls that wind and curve in a maze-like fashion. We roamed through the northern part of the canyons with Navajo tour guides leading the way, all the while feeling like kids who stumbled upon this secret hidden world, nestled amongst the desert sandstone. Occasionally, light from overhead would creep through at just the right angle, casting some of the most incredible rays and shadows I've ever seen.
As for the forest shots you see here? This part of the trip was actually quite unplanned. For our last full day in Utah, we were driving back up north to finally settle in Salt Lake City before flying out the following morning. Along the way, we meandered through Sundance Mountain Resort (right outside Provo, Utah), at the recommendation of our Air B&B host, and I'm so glad we did. Taking the Alpine Loop (route 92), we wove in and out of the Unita National Forest, just at the precise moment when you can feel the shift from summer to fall. Crisp and golden. And the perfect convertible-top-down opportunity, which you better believe we took full advantage of. The perfect bookend to a wonderful, dusty, open-road roaming trip -- one that this traveler won't be forgetting anytime soon.
Huge thanks again to the Eddie Bauer team for collaborating with us on this trip! It certainly was an adventure that came at just the right time.
This post was in collaboration with Eddie Bauer. As always, all opinions and styling are my own. Thank you for supporting all This Time Tomorrow collaborations!