Arizona For The Weekend
My friends and I took a weekend trip to Arizona in October and it honestly ended up being one of the best trips I have ever taken. I had volunteered as tribute to come up with our itinerary and this is what I came up with. I did a fine job if I do say so myself.
I live in Southern CA so it takes about 6-7 hours to get to Arizona. We left Friday at noon and got there Friday night at round 7pm. We stayed in the cutest little Airbnb yurt in Williams, AZ that sleeps about three people. Since there were four of us, we took turns sleeping on my friend Gabby's truck bed. My friend Lauren and I slept outside on the bed of the truck the first night.
We all ate vegan hot dogs, Oreos, potatoes and hummus, drank white claws, and chilled at the camp site until it was time to go to bed.
The next morning, Lauren wanted to see the sunrise so we got up at the crack of dawn at 6am. I don't even know when the last time I had seen a sunrise so I said, "F*ck it" and joined her even though according to my schedule we didn't have to be up until 8am...
After having woke everyone up to see the sunrise, which was very nice by the way, we got ready as much as we could with one sink and no shower, unless you wanted to freeze to death. Our first stop was Horseshoe Bend. We originally wanted to see Antelope Canyon but it was closed off at the time due to COVID-19 restrictions.
It took nearly three hours from our campsite to get to Horseshoe Bend in Page, AZ. It cost $10 for parking and we were there for an hour, which gave us plenty of time to do the 12-minute walk down to Horseshoe from the parking lot, explore the area, and walk back.
I absolutely loved it and I definitely recommend going to anyone who finds themselves in Arizona. I've seen plenty of pictures of Horseshoe Bend on Instagram and like always, the pictures don't do it justice. It's truly massive and even more beautiful in person.
Our next stop was the Grand Canyon, obviously. We wanted to catch the sunset and that's exactly what we did. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant on the way to take it to eat the Grand Canyon. I know, how cute are we. It costs $35/vehicle to get into the North and South rim of the Grand Canyon and the pass lasts you a whole week, which I guess makes up for the cost.
At first we were going to do the non-scenic route but decided against it. So we took the scenic route, tested out a couple spots, and finally decided on one. We got there at 5:45pm and stayed a little after dark.
It was around 8:30pm by the time we got back to camp and settled down. Our second night called for more Oreos, glow sticks, and Lauren and I inside the yurt this time. Thank the Lord.
Oh, this night we also decided that we were going to be really cool and watch the sunrise at the Grand Canyon which meant we had to be up even earlier. Me not being a morning person I also said, "F*ck it" to this decision and went with it.
Sunday ended up being my favorite day and I am so thankful I have great friends who are down to be up by 5am to watch the sunrise at the Grand Canyon with.
The sun started to peak out at 6am but didn't fully come out until 45 minutes later. It was a lot of sitting down and waiting but it definitely was one of the coolest things I have ever done.
The scenery was amazing, the weather was perfect, and I felt really at peace with where I was.
After soaking up all the Grand Canyon had to offer that morning, it was off to Sedona, AZ where we had a 11:30am Pink Jeep Tour reservation to get to.
We got there a bit early so we went back to the truck, ate pb&j's, and my friends recorded me shot gunning a white claw for the first time. Anyway...
We weren't trying to spend too much money but still get as much out of the experience as possible so we did the Hiking Tour for $84/each. We ended up getting one of the few woman tour guides that happened to also be one of the best guides. I would tell you her name but I forgot. I'll ask my friends soon.
We went off roading towards the Cow Pies hiking trail. The off roading was insane and very bumpy but overall, a lot of fun. I did get a headache though towards the end. It was that rocky. As for the hike, it was very chill, not strenuous, and accounted for some amazing views.
The hike was also quick and informative, although I already forgot half the things she told us. Oops. I did remember her talking about Agava and Manzanita plants, mountain bikers, the Oregon trail, and something about being able to eat some plant that we did actually end up eating.
I was mainly there for the hike and scenery, can you tell?
By the time we were done it was time to eat. Our tour guide recommended a couple restaurants, Sound Bites Grill being one of them, which had a great view of the mountain we had just hiked. I got an Impossible burger with sweet potato fries and to this day, that was the best Impossible burger I have ever had. Granted, it has been the only one I've had since then but it really was delicious.
Our next and last stop was Cathedral Hike, which uhm, is only about 1.2 miles round trip but no one tells you that it's actually all up hill, you'll be on your hands, knees, and @$$ majority of the time, AND that it is hard as hell to complete. BUT the scenery is worth every huff and puff and few shedded tears it'll take you to get up. We started at around 4:30pm and reached the top at 5:15pm.
My friend pointed out beforehand that Cathedral Rock is actually a vortex site, a rare place where energy enters or projects out of the planet's core. I personally didn't feel the calming presence nor energy. The air was fresh and I felt good overall but maybe I didn't feel the the powers of the vortex because I was too busy taking in and capturing my surroundings and thinking of cute pictures to take. Oh well, maybe next time.
I definitely don't doubt that it's possible to experience the "feminine" energy and connection. Many people were sitting down, meditating, and enjoying the moment. I, on the other hand, had a mission - finding a cute spot to take pictures at, which I did find and it was very much worth it.
We also had to worry about getting back down before dark. I was not trying to be dragging my butt down the mountain in pitch black, having to hold up my iPhone flashlight. My sister told me she had to walk down at night and almost stepped on a spider. Me being an arachnophobic, I was not taking any chances.
Long story short, we were lucky and found a nearby parking spot and only for $5, got all of our pictures in, took in all the Cathedral's beauty, broke a sweat, slid on some rocks, survived the hike with no injuries, and made it back to our car just in time before dark. Major success.
Before we headed back home, we had to stop for gas and went to change into some comfy clothes for the drive and just so happened upon a McDonald's. This isn't just any McDonald's though. Sedona, AZ is the only place is the world where it has a McDonald's that has blue arches. The reasoning? They changed it to blue so the original yellow arches wouldn't clash with the surrounding red rocks. Interesting huh.
We left at 7:30pm and got home around 2am-3am. BEST WEEKEND EVER.
Cover Image and Pictures by Melina Joseph