Arizona

“Kéyah”

“The Navajo word kéyah means “land” in English.

Diné Bizaad, or the Navajo language, is considered to be closely tied to the land. When it comes to nature, balance is important.”

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That was definitely what Arizona was. A gorgeous land of of the most beautiful rock formations created by mother nature’s powerful forces. We recently took a 4 day and 3 night road trip to Page, Arizona to hash off my bucket list destinations of seeing Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend during this past Thanksgiving. It was a total of 22 hour road trip (because of usual traffic). Like any adventure, I always do my due diligence and research before going.

Of course I wanted to make sure that there were pit stops where we can grab food and some proper rest so that our legs and glutes didn’t go numb from the long drive (especially the boyfriend). A great pit stop place to grab food and some rest is Las Vegas. We made this place our mid stop on our way to and back from Page to get proper rest before heading out again and it’s great that the route (15 fwy) passes Sin City and is on the way to Page. I’d also recommend downloading offline maps as there are a plethora of canyon roads that you’ll be taking that doesn’t have any service.

Page, Arizona– definitely a small town located on Navajo land, but they’re pretty big on tourism now due to social media expanding their local destinations into viral locations to visit and see. Although I’d definitely say that there would be much more to do during the spring and summer as opposed to the winter. The weather was pretty cold and the water is also cold enough that not that many (if any) people were swimming/canoeing/kayaking in it (the latter two had about 1-2 that I saw). Not to mention many parts/lake businesses of Lake Powell is closed off during the winter. We managed to do some small hikes as opposed to bigger ones like Rainbow Bridge that I wanted to do because it really was just too cold (average during the day is 40-50°F/4-10°C) without needing to bundle up when making break stops (wind is pretty chilly, you really don’t want to get sick on your trip).

For our stay, as usual, I booked a place via Airbnb (I always find this option cheaper than hotels, especially in small towns). I made arrangements at a great little apartment space with a superhost (def recommend title when looking for a place to stay on Airbnb) Mike. He was a stupendous host, he was friendly and super easy to talk to. Best of all, the place is located really close to restaurants, supermarkets, as well as all our tour meetups (literally down the street from the apartment). The apartment was also amazingly stocked, cozy, inviting and most important: really clean! Mike also provided a lot of restaurant and activity recommendations as well as informative tidbits like how Verizon phone service is the only big company that has permission with the Navajo tribe so Verizon carriers are the only ones with decent phone service in the area. All the other ones available are local services only. It was definitely nice to know. Here’s the link to his apartment space: Cozy Studio Apartment

Now, because it was winter and Page is a small town, mid way through our trip we started to realize that there actually weren’t that many places to go within 10-15 miles of town after our explorations (this took up about a day) and tours, so definitely plan accordingly if come later in the year. Now you can definitely drive our farther if you have the time and visit places like the Grand Canyon or Flagstaff. There were also very limited amount of cuisines and eateries in town, mostly only American, Mexican and Italian. Surprisingly also only one kiosk Starbucks, located in Safeway. LOL.

Since we’re talking about eateries, there was one thing I found very perplexing about Page: Their taxing system. We went grocery shopping at bigger chains like Safeway (Albertsons) and Walmart and we were only charged about 6.25% in taxes. But later into our trip we made a trip to a local eatery in town called “Ranch House Grille” that seemed rather popular via Yelp (will write about this place later) for brunch after we came back from our trip to Horseshoe Bend. Our meal and drinks came out to be only $28.00, but after tax– it was $31.01 ($3.01 more when 6%ish would usually only yield $1.75). I thought it seemed higher than usual. After calculating, our bill’s tax came out to be close to 11% in sales tax, not to mention their minimum in tipping is 18% (tip is added at front counter so it’s hard to just want to give them 10% when there’s also a tipping chart taped to the table -_-). Tax and tip alone was close to 30% which I thought was ridiculous. That’s FIVE times more than what we were charged at the grocery stores/Starbucks. I’m not sure if it was because we’re on Navajo land and local places owned and ran by a tribe member (perhaps) has their own taxing system? I’m really unsure. I tried researching but nothing suggesting the theory I had. :/ If anyone knows how their taxing system works, please let me know! For now, I’d either stick to buying groceries on your own or I suppose you can ask restaurants about their taxes.

I thought California tax was high. O_O

Lastly! Time zones! Page runs on mountain time which is an hour ahead of California’s during DST off time (basically days after September until March). Remember everything runs on mountain time, you can disregard that Navajo Nation runs on DST if planning on tours (just follow your phone’s auto time switch if you have auto time switch on). Most if not all tours run on MST as does Page as well as the rest of Arizona. I was lowkey panicking about that point since I didn’t want to be late to our tour meetups. It was because our tour destinations were on Navajo land did that mean the tour is on DST time or was it on MST time? I attempted to look for answers but I didn’t find any concrete ones, most just said to call them and ask or just go early and wait. Although our confirmation emails did state that tours were on MST, but we went 45 minutes early to our first tour just to make sure. Everything worked out just fine abiding to MST! 🙂

So that was a few of my take aways from Arizona, I hope it’s helped you answer some questions if you plan on visiting Page soon! If you still have any questions, please leave me a comment and I’ll try to answer them to the best of my abilities!~

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