Not What I Expected
The 2018 RV Trip Continues
Tuesday, March 6
Today marks one month on the road so far!
A cozy morning snuggled up with Lil in bed, it felt good to sleep in a tad. We had a big day planned, so we pulled out and hit the road as soon as our coffee was ready. We took the RV around to places today, just in case Lil needed a rest (really, it was because I was too cold to tough it out on the scooter, and I wanted Lil to get some hikes in). Our first stop was Horseshoe Bend. It was just a few miles out of town. This was on my bucket list; hiking out in the desert to the edge of a canyon where in the peace of the day I could take my time getting just the right shot to capture such a magnificent view of the Colorado River cutting a perfect horseshoe deep into the sandstone, a serene scene in my mind. Let me keep it real for those of you that haven’t been there. My idea was shattered when we pulled into a parking lot holding several tour busses and many other cars, people streaming up and down a trail. The place was packed and the hike was just a stroll up over a knoll where just beyond fell the bend. People were speckled everywhere and scurried about jockeying for position at the rim to get their selfies. Some were even posing, getting pose direction from their photographer. All this activity going on around a rim without railing (yet), and the hard sandstone coated with microscopic marbles making parts of it quite slippery. I half expected someone to trip over the edge, echoing their scream as they fell. The canyon itself was massive in size making us all look tiny, and thankfully, the people everywhere really didn’t ruin my shot. Though it wasn’t peaceful, it did turn out to be entertaining to watch everyone. I wanted to come back later in the day when the shadows were not so overbearing, so we left. While it wasn't what I expected, I was still not disappointed and looked forward to coming back later in the day.
The Bend Click on photo to see Horseshoe Bend, see if you can spot the people on the edge.
We drove out to Antelope Canyon next, taking our chances on getting in on a tour of the lower canyon. This area is privately owned by the Navajo Indians, so we must get a permit and go with one of their tour groups. We got in on the 10:15 tour with a group of 8. People were streaming in masses down into the canyon with other groups, so I wasn’t expecting a very private excursion. Once again, my expectations were shattered. It was more impressive than I imagined. We climbed down extremely steep staircases like ants into their hill, disappearing into the wavy engulfing curves of the canyon walls. The trail at the bottom was so winding and narrow, seldom did others come into view, so it really did feel like a private tour, and I was snapping away. The shapes and curves of the walls were absolutely remarkable. The colors would change as the sunlight changed. It’s one of those places that make you feel so small and insignificant in the world, and must be experienced in person rather than through photos. It took about an hour to wind through it, and at the end, I was amused by how we all emerged from a small gap just a few feet wide in the crust of the earth. This time, I was blown away by what we just experienced.
Lower Antelope Guided Tour Click on photo to see all that is Antelope Canyon.
Next stop, lunch! We grabbed a quick bite of BBQ at a joint in town before moving on. It seemed like the right time of day to try Horseshoe Bend again, so out we went. There were more people there now, but I didn’t care, I knew the view was going to be great. Lil had a little more fun hiking it this time too, climbing up on rocks with Justin, really getting into the adventure spirit. I got what shots I could, and quite happy with that, we left again.
Still not tired out yet, we drove on to check out Lake Powell. We got out at the park area, letting Lil dip her paws in the water for a bit. Stunning views of Navajo Mountain painted the horizon. Along the shoreline, some of the sandstone were turning white from mineralization. It was a beautiful area to play around in. We drove up and over to the other side where we could get a view of the Glen Canyon Dam holding back the water of the Colorado River. The viewpoint we walked out on was a bit dizzying. The sandstone rolled and split in asymmetrical layered chunks. I crawled out as far as I felt safe on one ledge, imagining the flaky sandstone layers giving way beneath me. After a bit of playing around on the stones with Lil, we all were exhausted and decided to call it a day.
Lake Powell Click on the photo to see the Lake Powell and Glen Canyon Dam area.
A few hours to work on all my photos, have dinner and then get some good rest for the next big adventure.
Wednesday, March 7
We rolled out around 8:00 this morning after making sure we reserved one more night here. We wanted to get out to the Antelope Canyon Tribal Park Office this morning to inquire about getting a permit to hike a more secluded portion of the canyon on our own. They happily granted access and out we went. It started as an easy hike through sandy canyon trails, and got more challenging the deeper we got into the canyon. Eventually, it narrowed to barely a foot wide but towered over us. Sunlight was reflecting off the slot walls illuminating it in a beautiful golden color. Lighting dramatically affects the look and colors of the canyon. It was a significant difference between the two days we walked within its walls. Lil was doing great, in fact, she was having a blast. She stayed out in front of us climbing rock almost the whole way. The only obstacle we came across was a cobbled together ladder around 10 feet tall. Justin carried her up as she clutched on to him, and as soon as her toes hit the sandstone, she was off again. We hiked in as far as we were allowed, somewhere around 3 miles, then sat for a while to absorb the awesomeness of it all before we hiked back out.
A bit of an afternoon rest after grabbing some supplies at Walmart, then back to one last adventure for Page, catch a sunset over Lake Powell. We hiked up about 1000 feet, straight up a very steep mound, the tallest in the area. We had a grand view of the lake and surrounding area. Sunset was masked by clouds, but a sliver of pink burst through at the very last minute. We hiked back out in the slimming remnants of light, drove back to camp and had a quick dinner. I think we've all earned a relaxing evening.
Hiking Back From Sunset Over Lake Powell
I remember camping and boating on Lake Powell when I was a teenager. One night we took the boat and camped out on the shore miles away from anyone. I remember that the little beach we made camp on sounded hollow when thumped and there was a bird footprint as big as my stretched out hand. I was scared, thought we might be carried away while we slept. Was it a teradactyl? Not sure if that's the right spelling or word for those prehistoric birds. Spooky and 50 years ago still vivid in my memory.
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