4 Days Trip to the American Southwest

What was supposed to be a fun-filled, four days weekend trip to the American Southwest ended with unexpected experiences. The plan was to arrive in Vegas and set off to Zion for the first day. Then make our way to Page, Arizona to visit Horseshoe Bend and Antelope Canyon on Saturday. Sunday was to be a spontaneous half-day and then head back to Vegas for the night. But behold, life never goes as plan, but that’s okay.

Day One – Friday

We landed in Vegas Friday morning and set off to Zion in our rental white Hyundai Santa Fe we named Chloe. We were excited to start off our adventurous weekend but Adventure had a different plan for us. We were about 20 minutes outside of Zion when we encountered our first incident.

I was sitting behind the passenger seat, browsing through my phone when I heard my friend, who was driving, cried, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh.”

I immediately looked up towards the windshield to see a large rock flying towards us, immediately ducked behind the passenger seat seconds before the rock smashed the window in front of the passenger seat with a loud “plat!”

Tiny shards of glass shattered everywhere. There was panic in the air as my friend pulled to the side of the road and stopped the car. Everyone was shaken. What the heck just happened.

I remember seeing a dump truck driving downward towards us before seeing the rock. It happened so quickly that no one was able to fully grasp what happened. We were just grateful that the rock did not go through the windshield and that no one was injured. But the windshield was done for. The damage was far too serious to continue our journey to Zion. We were only 20 minutes away! With low morale, we made our way to our hotel to assess the situation. What an eventful start!

Day Two – Saturday

We initially planned to visit Antelope Canyon on Saturday but had to postpone the trip to Sunday so we can return our rental car to Vegas. Once we exchanged cars, we made the 4-5 hours drive to Page, Arizona just in time to visit Horseshoe Bend before night fall.

Horseshoe Bend

Dubbed as one of Southwest’s “small wonders”, Horseshoe Bend was carved out over millennia by the waters of the Colorado River.

Getting to Horseshoe Bend is easy. The parking lot is located directly off Highway 89. From the parking lot, there is a relatively easy 3/4 mile hike to the bend. Although it is an easy hike, the trail is mostly sand so it’s best to wear sturdy shoes.

Although Horseshoe Bend was on my bucket list, I didn’t have high expectations. Why are people so stunned by it? Sure, it’s a great spot for photos but it couldn’t be that marvelous. Boy, was I wrong! As we approached the overlook, I was taken away by its enormity. I did not picture it to be so grand! It was a stunning sight to behold. Pictures really does it no justice.

horseshoe bend page arizona

Day Three – Sunday

We woke up to rain. RAIN! I love the rain but dislike it so much that day. We booked our Antelope Canyon Tour for Sunday but it was cancelled due to rain. Frustrated, we decided to head back to Zion to give it a second try.

Zion

Located in Southern Utah, Zion National Park is a must visit for all adventurous souls. Home to the famous Narrows and Angels Landing, Zion has activities for all ages. Since we were limited on time, we opted to go on two short hikes.

1. Canyon Overlook Trail

The trail is an easy 1 mile round trip hike that leads you steadily uphill until you reach an overlook with an incredible view of Zion Canyon. For those who are afraid of heights, just beware that there are several drop-offs along the trail, although most of them have railings.

zion overlook canyon trail utah southwest

zion overlook canyon trail utah

2. Riverside Walk

More of a leisurely stroll than a hike, the paved 2.2 miles trail winds along the Virgin River and through a canyon. It is the beginning of the popular Narrows hike.

zion riverwalk trail utah

zion riverwalk trail utah
Entrance to the Narrows

Day Four – Monday

We were ready to go home after a mentally exhausting weekend. But! Adventure wasn’t done with us. On our way to the airport, we received a notification that our flight home was delayed an hour. Okay, an hour…no big deal. We arrived at the airport and received another notification that our flight has been delayed to the next morning! Frustrated, we accepted the airline’s hotel and food vouchers for the night, as well as compensation.

Lessons Learned

Regardless of how the events unfolded that weekend, I appreciated the experience. To the rock that shattered our windshield, thank you for reminding me to be grateful for life and reminding me that I need to continue doing what I love so that I don’t have any regrets if the time came. To the rain that cancelled our Antelope Canyon Tour, thank you for reminding me that when life doesn’t go as planned, you take a deep breath, accept what is, and change course. To the delayed flight home, thanks for making me miss half a day of work.

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