Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Page Arizona and the Glen Canyon

November 18 - 20, 2013:

We left Zion heading for Page, Arizona at 9 AM.  As we couldn't go through the Zion Mt-Carmel tunnel, we had to take the long route to Page.  That would be route 9 west to Hurricane UT, then route 59 south to Fredonia AZ, then Route Alt 89 north to Kanab UT and finally route 89 east to Page AZ.  It was all good RV road, light traffic and very scenic.  We arrived in Page about 1 PM and set up at the Page-Lake Powell Campground which is a full hookup site.  This is to be a short stay, 3 nights before heading towards the Sedona, Arizona area.

View of the Campground from rocks above

We headed to the Horseshoe Bend overlook where the Colorado River makes a very scenic tight 180 degree turn.  It seemed like a tour bus arrived just after us, hordes of foreign speaking tourists converged on the overlook.  We also stopped at a Glen Canyon Dam overlook nearby that was pretty incredible.
View of Glen Canyon from overlook

Horseshoe Bend 

On Tuesday, we visited the excellent John Wesley Powell museum and the Glen Canyon Dam.  By chance we have been reading a book, "Down the Great Unknown", on Powell's historic journey in 1869 through the Grand Canyon.  The museum has really well done exhibits on John Wesley Powell and his exploration of the Colorado River, history of the native people, geology of the area, other notable early river boat guides, the building of the town of Page and the Powell Dam.  After filling our heads to bursting with all this information, we went to the actual Dam.  It is a mind boggling sight !  The Visitors center at the Dam also has excellent exhibits on the need for the Dam, the building of the Dam and the operation of the Dam for flood control, water storage and electricity.  We also took a fascinating 45 minute tour of the Dam along the top of the Dam and then down to the generator area.  The Glen Canyon Dam was built between 1956 and 1966 and is the second highest Dam in the country and the vehicle bridge over the Canyon is the second highest Steel Arch Bridge in the world.

Museum model of the Powell party on the river

Boat of noted early river guide, Norman Nevills

Manifest Destiny guiding the early settlers west

View of the Glen Canyon Dam

View of the Glen Canyon Bridge

The Generator Room in the process of being upgraded

The town of Page and the Glen Canyon Dam are making me feel like an old timer !  When I was born this was a wild river Canyon and a mesa, miles from civilization, there was no town of Page, no Bridge or Dam.  It always amazes me how recent our history in the west really is, like yesterday in geological time and how man has so altered the landscape in the past 300 years.  

Wednesday we took a Navajo Indian tour of the Upper Antelope Canyon, it was a cloudy day which they said would improve the lighting inside the narrow Canyon.  It was as spectacular as advertised, however it did get a little congested with everyone in each others way, trying to get that great photo.  The tour guide did a good job of pointing out the best photo positions and keeping everyone moving.  They have had 14 flash floods in the Canyon this year which was raised the level of the sand floor many feet.  During a flash flood the water can rise to  near the top of the rocks, it's an amazing Canyon.

Amazing shapes, colors and contours !

Another view

And another

And another

Twinkles in the light

Twinkles iphoto might be the best 

This Page-Lake Powell Campground has turned out to be a winner, great WiFi, cable TV, heated indoor swimming Pool, nice shower room, exercise room, in a scenic setting on the edge of Page, AZ within a mile of all the services, stores and restaurants needed.

Solidified layers of drifting sand behind campground

Nice sunset over Campground

The Red Rock Tour moves on Thursday, November 21st with a trip to Cottonwood, Arizona, near Sedona, where we have reservations at the Dead Horse Ranch State Park.  There is rain in the forecast just to make the trip more interesting. 

More to follow,
Twinkles & Slick

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