We left the Grand Canyon South Rim and headed for Page, AZ on a very dreary day. Snow was forecasted for the South Rim and rain for Page so we got an early start. We arrived at the Wahweap Campground, right on Lake Powell, early in the afternoon. As soon as we parked the RV the rain started and it continued until around midnight. I was worried that with so much rain our pre-planned Antelope Canyon tours would be cancelled the next day.
The view from our campsite was very nice.
Below is a picture from a lookout above the campground.
The water level of the lake is very low in the winter, compared to summer. They expect the level to rise 40-50 feet over the next couple of months, once the snow in the mountains upstream begins to melt.
We awoke the next morning to beautiful blue skies and headed over to the Antelope Canyons. I was scheduled for a photography tour of the Upper Antelope Canyon, while Charlie was scheduled for a general tour. The photography tour allows you to carry a tripod, and the guide keeps people out of your photograph. We took the 10:30 am tour so that we would be in the Upper Canyon when the beam of light came through. We both enjoyed our tours, but the canyon was jam packed with people and that kind of takes away from its surreal beauty.
After visiting the Upper Antelope Canyon we grabbed lunch and then headed over to the Lower Antelope Canyon for a slightly different tour. There are no longer photography tours allowed in the Lower Antelope Canyons during this time of the year so we were both on the general tour. This meant that I could not use my tripod and therefore, could not get good detail throughout most of my photos without using a very high ISO. Regardless, I did manage to get a few good pictures. I found the Lower Antelope Canyon to be more visually spectacular than the Upper and I would definitely like to come back during the off-season, when the crowds are thinned out and I can take in my tripod.
The picture below is interesting in that you can see a lady exiting the canyon. The canyon is behind her and seen as a very narrow slit in the rock.
By the time we finished our Lower Antelope Canyon tour it was getting close to sunset. Horseshoe Bend was on my agenda for photographing at sunset. Horseshoe Bend is an iconic place, where the Colorado River meanders around a horseshoe-shaped bend in the canyon. It is a breathtaking view from the top of the ridge.
It can be quite windy and people tend to take extreme risk venturing out on the rocks, which hang precariously 1,000 ft above the river, for that perfect selfie shot. They have had a number of people fall to their death over the years. I did get right up to the edge, but on my hands and knees. It was far too windy for me to stand there. I returned to Horseshoe bend a couple days later for a cloud covered afternoon shot. It was even windier and there were even crazier people out there. Consider this woman in her high heals standing on a rock for a photoshoot.
Here is another shot, with a different perspective. Look closely on the highest peak and you can see people standing there.
And finally, my mid-afternoon shot of Horseshoe bend
On my way back to the car I spotted this bike and was impressed that the owner was pedaling across the country. The sign on the back says ‘Cross Country’. The funny thing is that a couple days later, when we were moving the RV from Page to Monument Valley, we passed this bike (with his owner riding it) on the road.
Charlie was starting to come down with a cold and was quite exhausted by the end of the day. It was our 1-year anniversary with the RV and last year when we picked it up (literally to the day) Charlie came down with an allergy-influenced cold, which stayed with him for 7 weeks, the entire time of our first RV trip. We were not looking forward to anything like that again.
In an effort to take it easy, we took a scenic drive from Page to Kanab, UT via Hwy 89 and then from Kanab back to Page via Hwy 89A. On the way to Kanab, just west of Big Water, we stopped in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument for a short hike to the Toadstools. These are balanced rock formations, which look like mushrooms.
We had hoped to be able to hike to the Wahweap Hoodoos as well. However, Charlie was feeling quite under the weather and it was a much longer hike so we decided to put that off for a later date.
Further down Hwy 89 we turned onto a dirt road to visit the historic Paria movie set. The movie set depicts a “western town”. It was built in 1963 for the film, “Sergeants Three” and later used for other movies, including Clint Eastwood’s “The Outlaw Josey Wales”. However, shortly after we turned onto the dirt road we found this bus blocking the road! Not sure what he was thinking.
While we didn’t make it to the movie set, we did get to take in the beautiful surrounding scenery.
We continued on our journey with a final stop in the Lee’s Ferry area, off Hwy 89A. This area brought back memories for Charlie, as he took off on a 2 week rafting trip out of Lee’s Ferry some years back. The surrounding area, of Marble Canyon, is very picturesque.
Below are pictures of the Navajo Bridge in Lee’s Ferry. The original bridge was completed in the 1920s. By the 1990s it was concluded that a wider bridge was needed, and that the original bridge did not meet modern day federal highway requirements. In order to resolve the issue they built a new bridge right next to the old one and made them look nearly the same. One is used for vehicle traffic while the other for foot traffic.
Under the foot traffic bridge I found a couple of California Condors hanging out.
While in Page, we enjoyed a tour of the Glen Canyon Dam. They had just opened up a brand new interpretive visitor’s center. They did a great job with it.
We spent a day taking a boat ride on Lake Powell, over to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. This bridge is one of the world’s largest known natural bridges. The bridge stands 234 ft tall. At the top it is 42 feet thick and 33 feet wide.
I found a little creature on my walk up to the bridge, as well as some pretty purple flowers blooming.
The rock formations seen along the boat ride were also very interesting.
These rocks were especially interesting. Look closely and you can see an owl and an elephant.
Can you see the Owl and Elephant?
During our stay in Page I found a few blooming cactus bushes.
Outside our RV we spotted lots of Jack Rabbits. This one refused to look at me. I loved his ears though.
On our final day in Page, just before our departure to Monument Valley, I spotted a couple of Osprey. This one was taking some branches back to his nest.
And lastly, one more picture of beautiful Lake Powell.
Charlie is still feeling under the weather, but it is time to move on to Monument Valley. More on that later…..
*** For more pictures, and higher quality, check out my photography site: http://www.schobelphotography.com