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Published: August 23rd 2010
Antelope Canyon on the Navajo Reserve
Most of our time in Lake Powell / Glen Canyon was spent having fun either by the pool or on the lake. We hired a speedboat for a few hours. Given that the lake is about 185 miles long, we didn’t get very far along it. This wasn’t helped by the fact that we spent all our time having endless fun going up and down the lake, pulling an inflatable behind us with one child or another desperately trying to hang on to it. It was great for those like us with no boating experience as, after a safety briefing and overview of the boat controls, we were allowed to go our own way.
Apparently all the boats had been booked solid for the rest of August, so we need to get there at 7.00am and see if any were available. Luckily we got there at 6.45am as there was quite a long queue by the time the doors opened. We were lucky as one was available for us. The paper work that needed to be complete was a nightmare and took ages. We also had a very long briefing on the boat and using it safely, although I certainly
wouldn’t criticise that. What I would criticise is all the hidden costs on top of the headline cost of the boat - tax, service fees, fuel, admin fees, insurance, deposit and the like. We felt like we’d been mugged. I would also criticise the time that we had to waste queuing to get the deposit back; waiting in the slowest moving queue we had ever had the misfortune to be stuck in. If it wasn’t for the fact that we were queuing to get our own money back, we would have been long gone.
Something worth checking out whilst in Lake Powell is the nearby Antelope Canyons. These are on an Indian Reserve, so you need to pay to go on the reserve and then the tour is run by the Navajo Indians. Obviously I was wrong in thinking that it was now politically correct to call them Native Americans or something along those lines, but that doesn’t seem to be the cases.
The Slot Canyons as they are otherwise known, are really narrow limestone canyons, which are so tall and narrow that very little light gets in. The Indian guide was pointing upwards to show us various
Navajo and Arizona flags
shapes and forms in the rocks, for example a heart, Abraham Lincoln and various other faces. These are very photogenic and, indeed, they actually run some photo tours, although by what I saw they are very crowded which made me think it would be very difficult to get pictures without the other photographers being in your way.
Despite the plans to visit the Hoover Dam, we did go to the Glen Canyon Dam Visitors’ Centre. There was some interesting material there about the construction of the dam and comparisons to other dams across the world. It was too late to go for a tour, so we had missed our chance anyway.
There was a magnificent thunder storm in the evening with some of the most spectacular lightening that we have seen for a long time. I tried to get some pictures, but it was way too unpredictable and was occurring in all directions.
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