VALARIE + JAKE’S ADVENTUROUS UTAH SLOT CANYON ENGAGEMENT SESSION | UTAH SLOT CANYON ELOPEMENT PHOTOGRAPHER | KANAB, UTAH
You know that scene in Frozen where Anna and Prince Hans are finishing each other’s sentences/sandwiches, in song form, of course? Well Valarie and Jake are the same way! (except they’re both amazing humans, unlike Hans…) These two are so in sync they often predict what the other is going to say before they say it. AND they crave the same types of food at the same times! In so many ways these two are almost the same person, but in other ways they’re completely different.
One way they’re the same though? They’re both real life super heroes! Though in different fields, Valarie and Jake are both on the front lines in healthcare every day. It was so fun hearing how their shared interest lead them to similar, but very different careers. I could’ve listened to stories of cute little old ladies with broken hips to backcountry ski rescue training all day. Legitimately, these two are saving the world, and doing it in the midst of a pandemic also… Dang, friends. Y’all are amazing.
To celebrate their engagement these two had an awesome idea to go explore a red rock slot canyon. They’d visited a canyon made of white rock near their home in New Mexico, but something about Antelope Canyon drew them in. If you’re unfamiliar with Antelope Canyon, it’s an extremely famous slot canyon near Page, Arizona. The years of wind and water erosion have carved the red-hued Navajo sandstone in the canyon into delicate patterns. The beauty of Antelope Canyon is world renowned; visitors flock from the four winds for a chance to tour this famous canyon.
Yet Antelope Canyon is just one of HUNDREDS of canyons in Northern Arizona/Southern Utah area! This geological wonderland is literally chocked full of epic-ness! So to give Valarie and Jake the intimate experience they wanted, we actually ended up in Utah! (We also wanted to respect the authority and COVID-19 closures of the Navajo Nation who operate Antelope Canyon.)
Peek-a-boo canyon, just outside of Kanab, was the perfect location for their Utah slot canyon engagement session. It had all the amazing red rocks just like Antelope Canyon and none of the crowds. In fact, this canyon is so off the beaten path, you need a high clearance, 4×4 vehicle to get there. For peace of mind, Jake and Valarie elected to have an experienced guide from TC Tours take us out to the canyon. (Btw, Ben from TC Tours was awesome! He pointed out the coolest fossils and Anasazi artifacts, showed us a secret hoodoo, and had the craziest stories about the area!)
Miles out on a backcountry road, in 29˚ F weather, Valarie and Jake got to explore their first red rock slot canyon. Insert multiple star-eyes emoji here! One of my favorite things is getting to show people the beauty of a special place for the first time. And as we celebrated these two’s beautiful-beyond-words love story, the wow factor of this stunning place could not be diminished. Walking around each new bend we all had stars in our eyes, but especially these two for each other.
For reasons having nothing to do with COVID, Jake and Valarie are at the beginning of a challenging season. The strength, love, and even joy these two have as they prepare for this time is incredibly awe inspiring and beautiful. So even though this adventure through the Utah slot canyon was a celebration of their engagement, these two actually eloped in Vegas a couple weeks earlier! Their bliss and joy was infectious. Seeing them together, laughing, joking, and loving on each other so tenderly, was like seeing the best versions of them. You guys are some of the funnest and strongest people I’ve ever met! It was truly an honor to hang out with you both!
Are you ready to explore a secret slot canyon off the beaten path too? Leave it to me! There are so many totally epic slot canyons in Southern Utah and Northern Arizona; here’s an epic anniversary session from a canyon an hour and a half down the road from Kanab! Anyways, one of the many canyons in the area might be the perfect place for your very own adventure session. Or maybe you’re dreaming of the elegant cathedrals of sandstone as the backdrop for your elopement. Either way, let’s chat and plan the ultimate slot canyon elopement/engagement session experience for you guys!