My girlfriends and I were in the mood for adventure, and so last summer we planned a spontaneous trip to explore Northern Arizona and its vast beauty. Courtney, Chelsea and I took off after work one Friday and drove up to Flagstaff where Courtney’s grandmother has a cabin. We pulled into the gravel driveway just after dark and rolled down our windows. Flagstaff has a memorable smell, it’s a mix of pine needles, wet earth and clean air.
We woke up bright and early and drove the two hours to Antelope Canyon. No road trip in Northern Arizona would be complete without a stop at Wicked Coffee though, so we first got our fix and then were on our way.
Antelope Canyon is on a Navajo reservation just east of Page, Arizona. I have no statistics to support this, but I think after the Grand Canyon Antelope Canyon must be in the running for most photographed place in Arizona. And for good reason!
The canyon is on Navajo land; you need to purchase a parking permit and tour to go through the slot canyon. There are two different portions of the canyon accessible to the public, upper and lower. We toured Lower Antelope Canyon.
Our second to last stop was Halong Bay. Halong Bay is in the northeast part of Vietnam and is one of its most photographed locations. As the bus approached the harbor I immediately saw why. It’s majestic! The first thing I noticed was the water, which is a rich, emerald green. As your eyes travel up you see impressive limestone islands covered in jungle plant life which makes the deep green vegetation a stark contrast to the dark grey stone.
Our group was fortunate to have rented out an entire Chinese Junker boat to ourselves for the evening. Vietnam will always be a beautiful place, but if you are going to visit I’d suggest you go soon. As our different guides pointed out the country is just starting to get used to having tourists and is still navigating the waters of opening up their country to Westerners. There is still a lot of freedom for visitors and not many regulations on your travels. As time goes by, however, more attractions are being more tightly regulated. A perfect example is Halong Bay. Presently most tourists stay overnight on a boat as they cruise around the bay. In two years from now, however, you will no longer be able to stay overnight on a boat and will have to stay in a hotel in town. We heard several examples like this of upcoming proposed regulations on different areas we visited.
I’m excited to announce that we have a guest author here on Roving Photography. Check out this post from my brother, Preston Alexander Long, about his current adventure in Oregon.
For the past week, and for the next five, I will live alone in a cabin. It’s located in the back corner of a massive piece of Southern Oregon forest. The owners reside out of view behind a hill about a quarter mile away.
Arizona has some amazing hiking and backpacking spots. We recently went on a great backpacking trip to West Clear Creek near Camp Verde, Arizona. The hike was beautiful, the trail tough, the heat brutal. I’m an Arizona native and am used to playing tennis in August on 120 degree courts, but this was intense.
We left Saturday morning, gear packed and ready to go. If you are interested in specifics on how to get to the trailhead follow the link to this great blog post on Todd’s Hiking Guide Here. It’s a pretty rough road once you get off the main road back in to the trailhead so we ended up walking the last mile.
Do you ever just get this overwhelming feeling that you need to see the beach? That you need to hear the waves and bury your toes in the sand? Well I do. I’ve been feeling some beach lust for a few weeks and decided to take a trip to San Diego for Memorial Weekend.
Justin and I rented a beach condo on Airbnb that was right in between the bay and the ocean. Perfect location for visiting both Mission Beach and Pacific Beach. Our first morning there we walked along the bay to this cute breakfast and bakery, Olive Cafe. They have great food if you are staying in the area for pretty reasonable costs. We took our coffees to go and sat on the beach. Finally, I was there!
Guys, it’s been too long and I apologize. But I’m back (and ready to talk about my latest adventure)!
Justin needed to travel to Santa Rosa, California for work recently and when we looked it up on the map and saw that it was in Sonoma County we realized we needed to make a trip out of it.
One of the most fun parts about this trip was the mustang convertible we rented. Justin and I both want one now! We drove through the city, under the Golden Gate bridge, and then headed out on Highway One along the ocean.