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Sept. 22: Columbia City

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Lower & Upper Antelope Canyons

View of the mountains from I15 North route towards Page
This Spring break we visited Page, Arizona. The drive from Las Vegas to Page was 4 hours 30 minutes. It was amazing to see the change of terrain, vegetation and weather. Whenever I was on passenger seat I sketched most of the roads. The roads were with less vehicles and as far as the vision goes one could see barren land, blue sky and mountains in background. Curvy, bumpy and straight roads. The bright sunshine was throughout with us which I literally enjoyed.

While seating on passenger seat, I sketched these roads. These curvy roads making their way through red rocks.

St.George, in backdrop was green mountains and in front red rocks rocked!

Antelope Canyon lies on the Navajo land east of Page and the only way to see them is by taking a guided tour. Antelope Canyon is a breathtaking destination. Two different slot canyons make up Antelope Canyon and both offer very different experiences.

For Lower Antelope we opted Ken's Tours and time slot was 4:00-5:00 pm, 60 minutes tour. Pre-booking of these tours is a must! A group of 8-10 people is allotted to each guide. Our guide Christen escorted us to Lower Antelope. It was very windy and sandy. No backpacks, purses, sling bags are allowed inside the canyons. Only cameras, cell phones and things that fit into your pockets and in mine, I carried Field Notes, white gel pen, Pentel paint brush pen and pigment pens. Field Notes are very handy and I thank Tina for making it available for me. Lower Antelope is famous for its ladders. To get there, you have to descend through the steep ladders. The space inside the canyons is very narrow and all the time sand particles are falling from the upper surface. It was thrilling experience to climb down those ladders. 

Industrial Park which is visible at a distance from Lower & Upper Antelope 

Sketching inside these canyons was wonderful. These are very quick sketches as we have to stick to our guides and follow them. To save my time on coloring I chose Field notes(Red) to give sandstone effect and used white gel pen for light. Though all sketches might look similar but the feel through these curvatures was stunning! I was drawn by the unique topography and sweeping red curves. Its beautiful to see the sunbeams shinning in through the canyons and I felt connected with Nature. Lower Antelope is a one way hike and comparatively less crowded.

Upper terrain(contours) of Lower Antelope Canyon
The curves are formed by water and wind rushing through the middle of Canyon. Lower Antelope also referred as 'The Corkscrew".

The beautiful red curves wanna be a part of today's world.
Through our imagination, these curves resemble a 'Smiling Shark'
from Finding Nemo and many more such fictions.
The black dots are Iron oxide deposits.
Next day at 10:00 am was the time slot for Upper Antelope Canyon. It was 90 minutes tour with Adventurous Antelope Canyon Photo Tours. The military truck took us to the entrance of Upper Antelope Canyon. The ride was adventurous, lots of sand and dust in the air. Gib our tour guide narrated entire history of canyons and helped us taking photographs.
The sketching experience inside these canyons was different as it was flat ground and more crowd. Upper Antelope Canyon is a mix of warm colors - reds, oranges, yellows and browns. The entrance and exit is same here and hoards of people can be seen. The beam of light through the slots is worth seeing.

The Roller coaster ride of Military truck till the entrance of Upper Antelope.
Sandy, dusty and hot weather.
Layers of rocks and vegetation is still making its way.

It was the best time to visit those light beams. The light beams are the biggest perk of visiting Upper Antelope Canyon. It was completely different and incredible sketching experience! and Yeah! another tick on my bucket-list!!
It feels like a 'Glowing candle'!

  Sun light passing through cliffs!

              It was almost noon and perfect timing to see the beam of light.
           All photographers were in their positions to capture those sun rays.
     Truly magical!!


  1. Wow, these sketches are fantastic, Ujjwal, and your red ones are especially strong and evocative! What a great adventure! I'm so impressed by how much you were able to sketch while being part of tours.

    - Tina

  2. Wow...really beautifully described journey through ur sketches...very nice..

  3. You sketched on red tone sketchbook? Brilliant! And many Wows...a rewarding road trip that's for sure.

    1. Yeah! Red Field Notes. It was my first time to use it and I completely love working on it. Indeed! Suzanne, never sketched so much and truly enjoyed it.