Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Page/Lake Powell, AZ: Antelope Canyon & Horseshoe Bend

After months and months of planning for our 3,718-mile Summer 2014 Adventure Tour, the departure day finally arrived!  Packing an RV for a six-week trip is no easy task.  Here is the fridge/freezer -- not a square inch to spare!

Individually portioned/pre-marinated meats in the freezer make cooking easy.



Our first two days were spent in Page, AZ, 270 miles north of Phoenix, right on the Utah border, where the beauty of Lake Powell resides.  The huge Wahweap Marina RV Park overlooks the lake. We did not go far enough north, however, as it is still quite hot here, but you know what THAT means ... yay for daytime naps in the Lucky Charm!  



This time of year (or maybe always, I don't know), Page is full of boats, rental RV's, and foreigners.  English is spoken in Page by probably only 10% of the visitors -- everyone else seems to be from France, or Spain, or Japan, or wherever.  The campground store has U.S. coins taped to the countertop with their amounts labeled to help all the foreigners who are trying to figure out how to make change for their purchases.  



Many of them come to see Glen Canyon Dam, but to us, it seemed like Hoover Dam's bothersome little red-headed stepbrother ... bound to be a disappointment ... so we passed on the tour and opted for Mother Nature's grandeur instead.




Our first "must-see" was the oft-photographed beauty of Upper Antelope Canyon, a series of gorgeous slot canyons on the Navajo Indian Reservation.  These twisting tunnels of swirling sandstone benefit from the light above often spilling down into the canyons, which can be up to 130 feet deep, making for some unbelievable beauty.  The other unbelievable thing is how many people are jammed in there at any given time.  So much for serenity and spirituality in the face of God's handiwork ... hard to appreciate when you are being constantly elbowed by hordes of obnoxious Europeans!  But the sights were truly spectacular ... indescribably beautiful ... and (cheesy but true) our pictures do not do it justice!  Can you find the heart? (Of course it's our favorite!)












The company that took us into the slot canyons (for you are required to have an Indian tour guide, and take a bumpy 20-minute four-wheel drive ride through fine, deep sand to get there), had the added benefit of a Navajo dancer perform a traditional hoop dance.  It was deeply conflicting to try and enjoy the beauty and tradition of the dance, when the young man was wearing Adidas shorts and Air Jordans under his costume, and when it was performed under the cover an abandoned gas station.  But, it was crazy how he could get all those hoops going every which way and we were truly awestruck at his talent.




Our other "must-see" was Horseshoe Bend, where the Colorado river makes a sharp 180-degree turn, creating a huge protruding monolith in the middle of the curve.  We took a picnic dinner at sunset, hiked a sandy 3/4 mile trail, and were shocked that you could walk right up to the edge, with no guardrails, warning signs, security guards ... nothing!  How is it possible that lawyers and overreaching federal officials have not gotten involved in this yet?  We were more than 1000 feet above the river, just dangling our legs over the edge.  Crazy!  If you can spot a tiny blue tent on the shore in the picture below, that will give you some idea of the huge scale of Horseshoe Bend.





Everyone wants to see Horseshoe Bend ... even the "Sister Wives" of nearby polygamist Colorado City!




On the edge of Horseshoe Bend, Sprinkles "saw the light" but decided to return to us!



A few interesting footnotes on RV living.  One is that when we are in our 4 bedroom house, both Philip and I just get up and get whatever we need.  But for some reason, in 275 square feet, it is suddenly too far to go get something.  "Can you hand me my coffee?" -- which is 2 feet away.  "While you're up, would you turn on the light?" -- which could be done by literally standing straight up, raising an arm to the ceiling, and then sitting straight back down.  It is very curious, seriously funny, and will require some "spousal recalibration" ASAP.



We were sad to leave the red-sand beauty of Page, but excited for our next destination ... Zion National Park in Utah!