Day 13 - Utah to Arizona

Trip Start May 11, 2010
Trip End Jul 23, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 13

Bryce Canyon to Page

Left windy Bryce after missing the sunrise again and headed off to Page on the edge of Lake Powell created by a dam in 1966 and on the edge of Navajo land. Apparently famous for houseboats which, out of the water, look a bit like caravans with a couple of small outboard motors, ugly…

Anyway we headed off on a shortish route, a mere 2 hours 45. An easy going road, US89 pretty much all the way. But still windy. Tina had her first non UK wrong side of the road driving experience and apart from collecting a group of tail-gaters did well!

We were zooming along rabbiting about nothing in particular when a sign jumped out saying Coral Sand Dunes which we had read about so a jamming of the brakes and sharp right turn with the GPS grumbling 'recalculating' we head off to another of Utah’s parks. After 10 miles or so, lo and behold, were exactly as it said on the sign coral sand dunes. Very unusual and ultra fine coral sand in a canyon. We had a ramble up the dunes and back but decided not to go to the park which was $15, just pulled over near a trail head and wandered ourselves. It seems a beetle lives there and nowhere else in the world. Who’d have thought it.

Back in the car to the sound of ‘recalculating’ we headed off and took a small road back onto US89. All along this road were signs offering 100 acres but the signs looked pretty old so I guess there are not many takers. It turns out that white Zinfandel is in fact a red grape but the makers changed the process and the skins are left in for just a short time then removed giving it a reddish hint. Apparently it’s often drunk by people who don’t usually drink wine, ie heathens like Tina and me.

So back in the car we carry on passing through tiny villages on the road whose main claim to fame is having a rock shop it seems. After a while we turned off to another visitor centre to discover that the area we were in, the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Park is in fact a large area where they have discovered tons of dinosaur fossils, and not as we misunderstood, a giant staircase. Duh, no wonder we couldn’t find it…

Anyway, after a brief look around the centre and discovering more about schist and sediment and the way the canyons were carved millions of years ago we used the restroom and headed off.

After the tiny ‘villages’ we were surprised to come across Kanab which was a nice town and quite sizable with three petrol stations at least and motels everywhere. It turns out it is the setting for a few westerns, Outlaw Josey Wales, Lone Ranger, and Planet of the Apes – and is known as Little Hollywood (by the locals) which explains the names of some of the restaurants.

Leaving the unexpected Kanab in our rear view mirror we carried on towards Arizona. As we crossed the state line we lost another hour, the centre guy had told us to expect it, so that was weird. We had to re-do 2pm, but it wasn’t that much different to the previous 2pm in Utah – it still being US 89 and without much change in scenery the last 100 miles. We did wonder though how awkward it would be if you lived one side of the state line and worked or went to school the other. Would you be permanently late or early?

We stopped off at Lone Rock park on the edge of Lake Powell. Stunningly beautiful but barren. Another favourite for Tina on the RV/camping front. We walked along the beach but after a bit of sand blasting from the wind retreated to the car. Tina was a bit worried as it was our first ‘off-road’ experience but we were fine. We came across two groups of seagulls at the waters edge, one group of about 15 (coach tour) and one pair about 50 yards away (us) ;)    

We arrived in Page which is another size altogether and checked in at the hotel. We needed a room change as our first one was directly over some laundry air vent or something and exceptionally noisy. We could tell Page was large as it boasts a wal-mart (where we went later for tea).

After a little rest we headed off to Antelope Canyon in Navajo reservation. But got there at closing time :( Maybe we will make it for the 8 or 9am tours. So we turned tail and made for Horseshoe Bend. The car park was at the bottom of a small hill so we climbed up only to discover the ‘attraction’ was another hike. The wind was cutting red sand everywhere but after a bit of persuading Tina headed off with me to the rim of a 600-800 foot canyon with a river in the bottom. Quite spectacular but sadly too windy to enjoy. We are now covered in fine red sand and slightly smarting from the sting on the neck. Tina was convinced we’d blow off the edge or that we’d have our skin stripped from the sand. But we were fine. It was a long trek back though.

After a brief tour of wal-mart, a home prepared eat in the room tea we are settling down to see if my luck has changed at cards. I doubt it.

Safe, sound, and sand blasted

Tina & Mark

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Vic on

Forget all the rest the news is Mum is driving!! Go Mum xx

mum b on

sun at last seven tina is smiling you carnt say you have been overcrowded. heat wave here 80s too hot. everyone ok. xx

amanda on

whats the weather like it lloks nice xxx

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