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.
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?