Northern Arizona Part 2: Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River

Odometer (Legend):  532,455


Odometer (ILX):  112,326



The story of our weekend’s canyon crusade left off when we had finished visiting the Utah/Arizona state line after our hike through Antelope Canyon.  But the fun wasn’t over quite yet.  Turns out, the timing was perfect to make a sunset-time visit to nearby “Horseshoe Bend.”  That name refers to a section of the Colorado River where it makes a 180-degree turn just south of Page, Arizona.  We were not prepared for the grandeur of this site!

Just a 3/4-mile hike from the trailhead, we stood at the edge of a 1,000-foot dropoff that rivals the nearby Grand Canyon.  We had to hike along the rim of the canyon with care, as the sand on the rocks made for a slippery surface.  None of us felt particularly like taking a freefall to the Colorado, though Peter stood on a pretty precarious looking ledge as if he entertained the idea:


Here I dangled my legs out a little.


Sunset lighting and some fresh rainwater puddles in the trailhead parking lot made for the perfect photo-op on our way back to Page.  Can you believe these pics we got of the ILX?!


Our night finished out with an enjoyable Italian meal at Strombolli’s.  Best of all?  We banned all electronic devices.  Here’s how that played out:  At one point, someone realized that all eight of us were iPhone users.  Naturally, we had to stack all the iPhones up in the center of the table for a picture.  This triggered an idea.  “Hey,” I said.  “Let’s challenge ourselves to leave these phones here for the entire meal and not touch them.”  I saw some fear struck into the eyes of a few, but we all agreed.  And what a great hour it was!  Talking — without feeling the need for constant text-messaging and Facebooking.  Just like in the olden days.  Stephen missed out on 24 text notifications but the rest of us only had a few.


iPhone Jenga


We all crashed out after an exhausting day and a dip in the Comfort Inn hot tub.  Sunday morning, I peeked out of our second-story hotel window and saw that the sky was completely clear and there was a thick layer of frost on every vehicle in the parking lot.  Sure enough, my weather app confirmed that was was a mere 30 degrees outside.


We fueled up on hot breakfast in the lobby and headed out on our return to Phoenix by about 9:30 a.m.  In Flagstaff, we had a driver change and Peter took the wheel while I lounged in the back seat.  Peter commented that he felt that the ILX was faster than his Acura TSX which has a similar horsepower rating.  He had a great collection of tunes to entertain us with for the 2-hours remaining in our drive:  hits like Billy Joel’s “For the Longest Time,” and Aerosmith’s “Dude Looks Like a Lady.”  Nice selections, P!

Phoenix was crawling with Super Bowl festivities so my friend Scott and I couldn’t resist the temptation to drive over to the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale later that afternoon to see some of the chaos.  Sure enough, road closures, coned-off lanes, parking attendants, and plenty of police presence kept us from getting very close to the venue.  I did still manage to get a picture of the ILX in front of Super XLIX!  It was taken sometime during the second quarter of the game.


Please enjoy the rest of these pictures and a short video from Horseshoe!


A few photographers waiting for perfect sunset lighting


Pretty amazing all around


Silhouettes of our group


Back at the trailhead, some pics of the cars in the puddles


Talking on 8 iPhones at once at dinner


Chilly Sunday morning


Highway 89 southbound with the San Francisco peaks in the distance, approaching Flagstaff


Peter at the wheel of the ILX, and Chris in shotgun


Driving past the Super Bowl while it was going on!


Super Bowl pic with my buddy Scott from Massachusetts (obvious Pats fan)


Hey, did everyone see the side-by-side of the 2013-2015 ILX next to a 2016 model?  Thanks to Acura Connected for the image.  What are your thoughts on the changes?


16 Responses to “Northern Arizona Part 2: Horseshoe Bend, Colorado River”

  1. Quite the adventure – another successful road trip for the books! I logged in to read your Antelope Canyon post and was slightly caught of guard with this. I can’t wait to visit the Antelope Canyon for myself.

    • Definitely, James – it’s a must-see. It’s too bad the snow has kind of tapered off in the Flagstaff area – would’ve made some nice pics rolling through there. I do remember that Mount Humphreys had a ton of fresh snow on top but I’m not sure how easy that is to access. I’ve never been skiing up there before.

  2. The pictures of the ILX in the puddles look like something that would be in an Acura brochure! As for the 2016 ILX, although I do like some of the changes that were made, I’m still leaning towards the 2013-2015 ILX.

    • Thanks Farid, glad you liked the pics. I think the 2016+ changes are nice. I liked the revised grille, and of course those “Jewel Eye” headlights. Of course I’m upset about the fact that they discontinued the manual transmission, though.

  3. Those are same great shots you got with the water reflections, nice job. I do take issue with your frost pictures – please come to my house where until yesterday I had 2 feet of snow in my yard here in New England! Yikes! However the Patriots won the Super Bowl so who cares??? And I got the following day off because it snowed…again!

    You know my honest opinion? I think the ILX, with its redesign, now makes much more sense than the TLX. Same features, same engine, same transmission, etc. but at a price that makes it more sensible than the TLX, which I feel is a step above the Accord, but just a baby step.

    Whew long post…Thanks for listening.

    • Haha, okay, I’ll stop making a big deal about the fact that I had to scrape a little ice off my windshield 🙂 Haha. I kind of agree with you on the ILX. Let’s see where the pricing comes in at – I wonder if this will help sales numbers. In January the ILX sold fewer than 1,000 units (one of its worst months ever) and the TLX sold something like 2,500.

  4. Tyson, what a difference in those ILXs! The 2016 is sure slick in the front end. Just so disappointed in it for reasons you know about. 🙂 Photos are amazing and looking back at this makes me REALLY want to explore stuff like this more. Thank you for helping make this last weekend quite memorable. Let’s get crackin’ on the plans for our next drive! 🙂 I’m down for another long haul to maybe UT or you can come to NM for some underground coffee in Carlsbad.

    • Thanks for letting me use some of your pics! This weekend was a blast and I’m glad you (and your crew) were able to meet up. That underground cafe is calling my name. I was talking to Peter and we definitely want to plan something special for the big 2-0-0 in his TSX in the next few months, so be thinking about ideas for that…

  5. The water reflection is a true calendar/promo quality photo my friend! Sorry we couldn’t catch up super bowl Sunday.

    • I know! It ended up being such a crazy weekend. I wish I hadn’t been out of town on Saturday so we could have met up. Our travels to Antelope were already booked by the time I found out you were coming. Anyway we will connect I’m sure in the near future. Hope you enjoyed your time in AZ, and that’s pretty awesome your friend lives right near my place in Scottsdale.

  6. Incredible pics of the canyon and the ILX!

    • …. and of ME…?? Just kidding, Brad! You know this was a fun one. Get your snowblower out, clear a path to AZ, and get your butt out here to join us on the next extravaganza.

  7. Amazing pics! A few of them almost don’t look real

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