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Antelope Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Quartzsite, and Yuma, Arizona

The little exciting moments in my life now are so different. Having my heated blanket last all night (on medium setting) and taking only half of my power station battery is a sweet success!

I am taking my time driving out of Canyonland NP (The Needle District) and enjoying the beauty around me. If I didn't have a reservation for touring Antelope Canyon in two days, I would stay longer.

My next destination is Page, Arizona. I make sure I will travel through Monument Valley and stop at Forrest Gump Point. After all, it is one of my favorite movies.

I can say for sure that was the craziest drive of my life! In less than four hours, I drove through several extreme weather patterns. First, a heavy snowstorm. The fact that the view in front of me was so stunning (a pure winter wonderland) was helpful in calming my nerves.

As I drive slowly, wondering how long I have to fight this storm, I see on the horizon the skies are blue and bright. It feels like I am in an out-of-space movie. I am in the middle of a ring, and I can see clearly ahead of me very far out, my escape route. That was such a unique experience!

Now my day is in the sunshine, the temperature is nice and comfortable. Unfortunately, that didn't last long. As the wind picked up, I had to ensure to keep both hands on the wheel so the wind wouldn't blow me off the road. I am back in the ring, and snow is falling from the gloomy skies again, but not for long since I am going down in elevation. Now, it's a rainy day on my journey. As we all love happy endings, by the time I get to Horseshoe Bend, it is a gorgeous sunny day!

It is my second visit to Horseshoe Bend, and this time I take my time to appreciate this wonder at my own pace.

I am glad I constantly research ahead of time and learn about the places I want to visit. It was a total surprise for me that I needed to make a reservation to be able to see Antelope Canyon. I am so glad I didn't miss out on this amazing place! My only disappointment was that they rush you through the Canyon trying to fit as many people as possible. This natural phenomenon is magnificent; especially when light shines through and a play of colors, shapes, and movement takes over.

It is another day of travel with no reservation. I want to find a place to boondock for the night, but the weather calls for heavy rain, so I need to change my plans.

It is already 5:30 p.m. and I am still driving, trying to decide where I am staying for the night. I am not comfortable being on the road that late without knowing where I am going. At this point, I am heading to Cottonwood. A sign on the side of the road reminds me of a recommendation from another woman from a Facebook group (Thank you, Donna). I found my place for the night and will be camping at Dead Horse Ranch State Park. At least here I am parking on a paved road, so I don't risk getting stuck in the mud.

Today I am heading to Quartzsite to see what it is all about. Every winter Quartzsite becomes a gathering place for many snowbirds and nomadic people. I will join one of my solo women's Facebook groups for a few days of boondocking.

What a fantastic learning experience it was! Most of it is thanks to Jenn and Teri, who organize the event. What a rich experience it is to be sitting around the fire with such inspiring women. Each has her own story and her own style of travel. I love how Susan is following music festivals. It was indeed a pleasure getting to know Joyce, Karla, Vanna, Jill, Jenn, Mary, Raelyn, Teri, Linda, Sue, Pam, and Cindy.

Before I leave Quartzsite, I have one more stop to make. If you remember when I was camping in Smoky National Park, I enjoyed an evening around the fire with Sue and Greg. Well, we kept in touch and I had a delightful time catching up with them in person. I do hope to cross paths with them again.

Remember when I met Ramona for the first time in Padre Island, Texas, back in November? Unfortunately, Ramona could not come to Quartzsite since she was still stuck in Yuma waiting for a part for her van, so I decided to go and visit her in Yuma and stay for a few nights.

When you meet extraordinary people and create beautiful friendships, every opportunity to spend time with them is precious. I am so happy I will see Ramona again when visiting Vancouver Island later in June.

It is time to regroup, as I still have a lot of research to do for my next destinations. It is exciting to do this while visiting an old friend of 23 years. Gina, here I come!



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