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Published: June 25th 2013
Here we wait to board the bus for our journey into Lower Glen Canyon, just below the dam.
Saturday morning began at 4:45 a.m. as the sun began to shine through the bedroom window. Not wanting to wake Cynde so early, I headed outside to read the Oklahoman and soak in the early morning sunlight! It was beautiful, looking over Lake Powell and it’s still blue waters. Not much activity that early. By 5:45 a.m., I was making sufficient noise so as to wake Cynde. Since we had the alarms set for 6 a.m., I didn’t feel too bad. I thought that we could hit town to scope out a breakfast place before we hit the river for our float trip.
Cynde hopped out of bed rather uncharacteristically. She was ready for the day’s adventure, so off to Page we headed. We made the round of town once, and not finding the perfect breakfast place, settled on Safeway. Yes, Safeway still exists in the west. I even have a Safeway preferred customer card! Here in Page, Safeway has a cafe (we didn’t find it) and a Starbucks. We hit the bakery and had some really good coffee. Breakfast completed, we headed to our float trip headquarters. Oddly enough, we were not the first to arrive. A
Since the dam is not releasing a great deal of water to Lake Mead, the flow is slow and smooth.
really grumpy old geezer and his wife and family were there before us. This geezer was totally grumpy - he did not want to be here preparing to float the Colorado. He was dressed in slacks, a polo shirt, and a sweater appropriately draped over his shoulders! Bitching and moaning about everything, we were determined to not be on the same boat as him!
After checking in and, of course, signing the appropriate waivers of liability, we boarded a large bus for the four mile ride to the base of the Glen Canyon Dam. The last two miles of the trip were through the service tunnel leading through solid rock to the dam. What a trip!
Once at the bottom of the dam, we donned hard hats (in case someone threw something over the bridge) and headed to our boats. We chose a boat with a female captain and what appeared to be a lively group. We were right. Our Captain, Megan, was great. She was a student at NSU, but was a native of Page.
The float trip turned out to be really fun and really relaxing, no white water
A Dam Site
This is a view of Glen Canyon Dam from the river side. This Dam is only 16 feet shorter than it's sister dam, Hoover Dam near Las Vegas.
rafting here. The cliffs rose up about 700 feet above us on both sides as we floated along. We stopped about 7 miles into the trip ( the total trip being about 8 miles down the river and 8 miles back) and disembarked to walk a trail to view some really great petroglyphs (rock art) between 700 and 3000 years old. Great drawings of what appeared to be Big Horn Sheep, human like beings, etc. We actually saw two herds of Big Horn Sheep on the river. This was quite lucky as the sheep only come to the river 1 month of the year.
When we completed our trip and took the bus trip back through the two mile tunnel to the tour headquarters, we had a quick bag lunch provided and readied ourselves for the next leg of our adventure- a Hummer ride through the desert and a tour through one of the many Slot Canyons in area. Slot Canyons are narrow, tall canyons that are created by rushing water on sandstone.
Again, we had a female tour guide who turned out to be really competent- Thank Goodness. We drove out of Page
The water is released from the base of the dam, so it is from the bottom of the lake. It stays a cool 41-43 degrees year round.
into the desert and the Navajo Indian reservation. The fellow who owned the tour company had been great friends with the Navajo family that lived on the land and was even more proficient with the Navajo language and culture than his Navajo friends and was able to get permission to bring tour groups on to the land. Also, he and his close Navajo friend had actually discovered this slot canyon, they named Secret Canyon.
Our guide explained that Navajo people were probably aware of the slot canyons in the long ago past but had stayed away from them because of their snake-like shape feeling that evil spirits resided there.
We knew Hummers were capable but we had a new found respect for them after this trip. The Hummer took us over 13 miles of unimproved washboard like roads and closer to the canyons, up sand and sandstone hills! It even took us up some 45 degree slopes, and back down!
At one point, we got stuck in the sand. Our guide tried to back down to get a faster running start and actually had the rear tire next to Kenny off
If you look closely, you can see the mountain sheep just above the shore line.
the side of the hill. At that point, Kenny declared “ It’s time for us to get out and call someone to come help us”. To his dismay, the driver kept trying and eventually got us out of the mess and up the hill! Kudos for women drivers!
When we arrived at the path to the canyon, we walked about 1/4 of a mile through the desert, our tour guide pointing out various plants and their uses among the Navajo and answering any questions we had. Of course, Kenny asked how often they see rattlesnacks along the path and was told only once had our tour guide seen one. He was able to relax a little better after that.
Finally arriving at Secret Canyon, we hurried inside to the shade and cooler temperatures. The Canyon was narrow with stunning colors and designs. After spending about an hour in the cool respite of the Canyon, we had to venture out in the hot sun again and make the trek back to the Hummer.
After resting, we grilled out pork chops and rode our bikes along Lake Powell and viewed the gorgeous Super
Getting Your Feet Wet
Cynde waded in to her knees, but Kenny dove in head first!
Moon! Wonderful day.
Sunday morning began early ( ok, Very early) as Kenny was up and ready to roll toward Santa Fe at 3:30 am. I slept in while he was driving until about 6 am when he woke me up with a breakfast sandwich and a suggestion of a sidetrip to Monument Valley in Monument, Utah.
We had both heard of Monument Valley and decided being only about 25 miles off the road to Santa Fe, we could not pass it up. We unhooked the FJ and took off for Utah! When the huge mesas and buttes of Monument Valley appeared, it was surreal. Absolutely huge and absolutely breathtaking. We stopped at the visitor’s center and read about how scientists said they were formed ( old ocean floor, upheaval of the earth) and the Navajo stories of the people that came from within the earth and set the mountains/ monuments on top of the earth.
So glad we took the time to see this amazing place. Back on the road, we drove for several hours intending to spend the night at an RV camp along the way to Santa Fe,
Ancient Rock Art
Look closely and you will see the art of the ancients, left over 700 years ago. Some of the drawings are estimated to be over 3000 years old.
perhaps in Farmington. We were unable to find any place we wanted to stay so Kenny called the Trailer Ranch RV Resort in Santa Fe where we were scheduled to stay Monday and Tuesday nights and asked if we could come a day early. They agreed and we arrived about 5 pm. That night we ate good local mexican food and went to see the new Brad Pitt flick, World War Z. So glad to be in Santa Fe !
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