Finally the next day (25th, X-mas day) the shooting really begins, various roads around Page, driving a few miles into Utah, and taking in Lake Powell, which is one very strange sight. It’s a completely still expanse of blue water, surrounded by severe desert rocks. It feels totally surreal.
There is no shortage of excursions/ and ‘play land’ going on here. I think flooding the canyon is/was a horrible thing. Done for lawns in Las Vegas, and LA., and nice excursions on the lake.
Yuk, permit me my opinion, but what a miserable trade off.
I’ve read some things about how beautiful the canyon was before is was flooded, many historic sites were lost, ancient Anazasi ruins for one. In doing a bit of post trip research, google served up 2 sites w/ conflicting opinions:
This one would have you believe too much was lost:
“Historic sites have disappeared including the Crossing of the Fathers, used by Escalante and Dominquez in 1776; the fording place on the Hole-in-the-Rock Trail created by the Mormons in 1880; gold mining sites of the 1880s, 1890s, and early 1900s; and rock art panels and homes of the Anasazi. Even the glen in which John Wesley Powell stood in awe and for which the canyon and dam took its name, is covered beneath 500 feet of water.”
The Google entry for this one started by calling Lake Powell ‘a man-made wonder’:
And touted that much remained:
“Other surprises await the patient explorer, including ancient Native American petroglyphs and ruins. Even the names inspire adventure: Hidden Passage, Anteater Arch, Whirlwind Mine, Lost Eden Canyon and hundreds more.”
You figure out which is closer to the truth.
The landscape is amazing. Here’s the famous ‘Horseshoe overlook’
Yes, I have a severe fear of heights, this is as close as i want to get!
Whenever ‘life’ gets a chance, it will make a home, and thrive, like this hardy collection of plants, below.
I do road trips… wherein i *stop*, very often. And since I am in Navajo country, i get checked out by the Navajo police at regular intervals…. like anytime they pass by my ‘pulled off to the side even when there’s no turnout’ car.
Haven’t landed in Navajo jail yet. One mo’ thing about this part of the world/ Navajo nation?…. if you want to have a few drinks in the motel when the day is done, better bring it with you, they don’t sell any alcoholic beverages anywhere here.
And if you are stuck with watching a B-grade movie you would normally never watch on cable? ..you’ll want to have a drink or two.
A few relevant & interesting links:
The LA Times continues to do good travel/roadtrip articles and photo essays, here’s one that has mostly western things, w/ a bit of Mexico and few far flung spots thrown in for good measure:
Next time round, it’ll be Monument Valley on a rather dreary day, & Canyon De Chelly, it’s definitely a ‘do not miss it’ destination.