Our last day dawns with Phoenix travelers urging Mike and Dave to take us to Utah, which is only a stone’s throw away. We can see Utah from our picture window so it seems only fair to plant our feet in another state while we are here. Our destination is Big Water Visitor Center where we see dinosaur fossils and footprints, how dinosaurs evolved, and marvel that the arid Utah that we experience used to be a tropical environment housing sharks, dinosaurs, and small mammals at one time long, long ago. Luckily we have their footprints and fossilized remains to tell the story.

We are on our way to Phoenix Airport to begin the last leg of our journey home. On the drive from Page to Phoenix we travel through sunshine, into rain, then hail, then snow, and back to sunshine. Our lunch stop is cut short when rain brings the cold, so we climb back into our van and head to Phoenix where it is much warmer.




On our way to Page on our first day, we drove past hillsides covered with Saguaro cacti which made us want to get a closer look. A stop at Sonoran Preserve allows us to walk among the cacti, meeting the great saguaros up close, and seeing other varieties.  Arlo identifies a fishhook cacti that the Navajo used for fishing, connecting Arlo to his pre-trip research. Noisy birds perch on tall cacti, yelling at us from above. Surely they are welcoming us to their territory instead of sending us on our way.







After a final dinner, and checking our bags, we gather together to write a goodbye to Glen Canyon and the Navajo Nation.

Gavin: My time in this land has been a series of highs, then one middle.  The sites, arduous yet satisfying hikes, and impossibly deep canyons made my experience. The feat of engineering the Glen Canyon Dam which is essential in the lives of thousands in surrounding states, providing water and electricity, must have taken some of our country’s great minds to accomplish. Native peoples who lived here centuries ago are ingrained in the land. It’s impressive how they hold onto traditional practices, while not limiting themselves. The arid desert and this school taught me how to: interact more fluently with strangers, how to navigate an airport, and other skills useful in the outside world. Farewell Arizona, with your glorious lands and millions of years of history.


Arlo: There is just so much to learn about any given place. The Everglades, St. John, and now Glen Canyon were all packed full of history, culture, and of course, wildlife. Going into the trip blind, without any knowledge of this area, I was pleasantly surprised with how wrong I was.  The history of Lees Ferry and Navajo sites, the geology of Horseshoe Bend and Glen Canyon, and the flora and fauna quite literally everywhere astounded me, to say the least. To sum everything up, no place is truly boring. You only have to dig a little deeper (or experience it) to realize it. Now, after this valuable lesson, I can proudly and confidently say that I have had the perfect end to my Phoenix travel adventures.

Paul:  Goodbye Glen Canyon and Navajo Nation, the place I dreamt, the land from heaven, the magnificent place of beauty and rocks. I have to leave now. You helped me be with nature, and connected me to the land.  My brain, my body, my mind has changed.  I love you for helping me, for making me less anxious, helping me to be closer and understanding.  That fiery gust is real, so is my dream.

Alfie: I will miss these days of outgoing activities. Time to say goodbye to many tribes that made us comfortable like the Navajo who showed us their ways. I will miss how the sun was just right and had a glossy reflection on the water. I will have to leave millions of years of history behind like the Antelope Canyon tour of winding very narrow turns that is never forgetful. Titanic Horseshoe Bend sits in shocking ways. Now I leave all of this behind.

Audrey: Although this adventure felt short, it will still be an experience that will never fully leave my mind. I expand my head with thoughts of the trip like hearing about the tragic past of the Navajo Nation and learning about a variety of new plants and animals. Many sights we have seen changed my attitude, but the sight of Horseshoe Bend will forever give me a positive lens on nature. Farewell Arizona, your culture, wildlife, and history are the foundation of my wonders.


Levi: Dear Arizona, I find the burden of 9 kids difficult. Thank you for allowing us to grace your soil with our journals’ touch. This land of beauty is unparalleled compared to any other state. From magnificent Horseshoe Bend to jaw-dropping Lees Ferry Antelope Canyon, though was my best experience by far. The geological were impeccable. From the bottom of my heart, I want to say thank you, goodbye, and good night.


Mira:  I remember standing where I sit now, awaiting the start of our trip. I had just gotten off the plane and everyone was groggy from the flight and jittery with excitement.  The very next night, I arrived at our Airbnb and was in awe over the gorgeous house. Over the week, we learned about native culture, the history of the canyon, and how to protect our parks. We saw extraordinary things including Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Glen Canyon Dam. Our week was full of adventure and surprises, and to put how I felt into words is almost impossible. All I’m really trying to say right now is, “Goodbye Arizona.”


Fiona: My mind is an interesting place. There are lush forests of intricate thoughts, seas of emotion, looming mountains of stress, and now, amber canyons barricading hungry shadows from reaching me, viridian waters weaving through each challenge and layers of processing. I stand upon the new part of me, a gentle breeze brushing against my cheek and soft sands against my soul. Winds are welcoming me to new changes and kissing me goodbye from the terrain, waters, and closeness.  I left a piece of me to forever stay in Glen Canyon and Glen Canyon etched itself into my brain with lasting memories and gentle reminders.

Sattva: Goodbye canyon walls that towered over us all. That cool breeze in my hair,  and looking at the amazing canyons that go on forever will stay in my mind. I will miss the comfortable warmth of the Navajo people, their friendly culture, and their pure smiles on all Navajo faces. I will miss walking on the canyon ground and the little pieces of rocks that get stuck in my shoes. Time flew by as every second seemed like a day and every day felt like a second. How wired time is. I will miss the comforting warmth of everything.