Trip Start Jul 26, 2010
27Trip End Aug 23, 2010
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Where I stayed
A paltry 74 degrees as we set off east. The road from Kanab to Page is very long and very straight, running alongside the Vermilion Cliffs. Our first impromptu stop-off was at a former film set in the Pariah Canyon area. Sadly, there was virtually nothing to see of the film set after 5 miles down a bumpy dirt track, except for the stunning scenery – classic Western rock formations chiselled out of the hills by rain, wind and heat. Across the plateau and down to the Glen Canyon dam, where we had our first rafting adventure with James, Cate and Tim 16 years ago! It is still an impressive sight, even if it is a concrete structure. Lake Powell, created by the dam's construction, has a wonderful blue colour and stretches way out to the horizon – a great contrast, concrete and blue
We had read and heard so much about slot canyons that we headed straight for the most famous ones in Page, Antelope Canyon, upper and lower. The recent storms had claimed the lives of a few adventurous tourists in a slot canyon and we heard that some tourists had to be rescued from the Antelope Canyon the day before as a flash flood tore through the canyon – a very common problem. The Upper Canyon seemed to be operating normally, but had long queues. The Lower one, more photogenic, was closed when we arrived and the Navajo people who own the land and rights were cleaning up the canyon of the debris that had been swept down. We could have waited to "maybe" have a glimpse of half of the lower end, but since we had a few days in Page we opted to view the Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado River. A very hot (90+) sandy walk down to the canyon edge to view the snaking river – another great sight.
We checked out our accommodation, a cheap Motel 6, the only place with spare capacity at short notice, and found we had to wait until 3 o’ clock to check in. A boat trip to Rainbow Arch seemed a good opportunity; at almost £80 a head for a 5 hours’ trip, however, it lost its appeal! The views over Lake Powell were memorable though, including Navajo Mountain in the distance shrouded in cloud, and the sad and amazing spectacle of the three-towered Navajo power station spewing out white clouds
We checked out the slot canyons again – closed fully now due to a weather warning – more black clouds looming on the horizon! To save time, we hoped, we booked in for the Upper Canyon tour the following morning and weather-permitting i.e. no more overnight rain, we should be experiencing our first slot canyon.
What do you do in the US to fill a little time? McDonald’s! A smoothie and ice cream. Great diet this! A final lakeside visit to Antelope Point led to the inevitable mid-afternoon fatigue, and checking in now became a priority. Another siesta.
A brief spin around the main streets of Page and supper in Denny’s where we selected the seniors’ menu without hesitation – and the portions are still huge!
Bed and blog!