Grand Canyon and Monument Valley

grandcanyon-monumentvalley-4grandcanyon-monumentvalley-17grandcanyon-monumentvalley-16grandcanyon-monumentvalley-8grandcanyon-monumentvalley-19 grandcanyon-monumentvalley-20grandcanyon-monumentvalley-18grandcanyon-monumentvalley-5grandcanyon-monumentvalley-11grandcanyon-monumentvalley-3grandcanyon-monumentvalley-13 grandcanyon-monumentvalley-15 grandcanyon-monumentvalley-14
grandcanyon-monumentvalley-12 grandcanyon-monumentvalley-10 grandcanyon-monumentvalley-9 grandcanyon-monumentvalley-2 grandcanyon-monumentvalley-1

About a month ago now, I went adventuring – with my parents! And I left poor Jinn at home. Yes, I know I know, most of you are wondering what on earth possessed me and there were indeed some moments I asked myself the same. Being of the incredibly strong, stoic and self-sacrificing species that is commonly known as “the migrant parent” (holler if you know what I mean), my folks have never travelled a great deal, choosing to pour all their money and resources into funding my and my brothers’ education. I’d long promised to take them somewhere different, somewhere exciting, and these were a couple of our favourite stops.

The Grand Canyon is one of those places of such vastness and great age that you can’t help but see yourself and your place in this gigantic world with renewed perspective. Discovering that the beautiful natural phenomenon was created out of countless layers of soil laid over millions of years and then eroded and carved away by the Colorado River for millions more makes me realise that I’m barely a twinkle, a flash of a shooting star, across the face of this earth. And if that wasn’t enough self-contemplation to make me burst, we arrived to be welcomed by some rather inclement weather, causing me to bitterly rail against our tough luck. I was convinced that our trip was “ruined”! However the upshot was that mist, rain and unseasonal snow shrouded the iconic crags and knolls to create some truly spectacular sunrises, silencing my selfish complaints to a simple, awed “thank you”. (Props to Dad for getting up with me everyday in the subzero temperatures and pitch black dawn!)

Zipping down a few very picturesque highways to the border of Arizona and Utah into the heart of Navajo country, we made our way to the very different but equally striking Monument Valley, which was equal parts cultural experience as it was visual adventure. It’s no surprise that every western movie ever (plus probably every Jeep ad ever) was filmed right here. As we wound through the strangely shaped mesas and buttes, past herds of mustangs grazing and hear the unmistakable sound of coyotes howling in the distance you truly feel like you’re deep in another land. We spent the evening watching sunset’s dying light play shadow puppets with the unusual rock formations, and listening to the songs and stories of our local Navajo guide, Will Cowboy. (His real name, I kid you not.)

There was so much more I wish I could have seen and done, and after seeing these photos Jinn made me swear to return. There are worse promises I could make.

Advertisements

White Elephant beach cafe

white-elephant-cafe-1 white-elephant-cafe-2 white-elephant-cafe-3 white-elephant-cafe-4 white-elephant-cafe-5 white-elephant-cafe-6 white-elephant-cafe-7 white-elephant-cafe-8 white-elephant-cafe-9It’s amazing how much you notice the weather change during the drive down south. We embarked from Perth on a 39 degree Celsius day and I’d packed four sundresses, a pair of shorts and a bikini. Thank goodness I threw in a cardie at the last minute! Searingly bright blue skies were replaced by muted grey clouds, and unforgiving rays of sun made way for a nippy breeze that surely raised goosebumps!

Breakfast at The White Elephant was tasty and unfussy. A lovely view of the waves constantly lapping against Gnarabup beach was the perfect accompaniment to my bacon and eggs on toast. The coffee too was just right. As their sign recommends, if you look out onto the ocean and look left you will notice a formation of rocks that resembles an elephant’s head side on with just a tiny stretch of the imagination!

Alas, the water was way too icy to take a dip. But fret not, we’ll definitely return to this spot on a future road trip.

White Elephant beach cafe / Gnarabup Rd, Gnarabup WA / Mon-Sat 7:30am – late / Sun 7:30am-10pm

%d bloggers like this: