Our next stop was on the shores of Lake Powell, a huge expanse of water formed by the damming of the Colorado River at Glen Canyon Dam. Much of it is in Utah – we stayed south of the border near Page in Arizona – below is the view from our window taken in the late evening with shadow on the water and the desert beyond still in sunlight. Quite an incongurous sight, especially with the large marina in view as well. Apparently several million people visit the lake area every year from all over the US and some from further afield too for aquatic activities and hiking.
A highlight for me of these few days, was our trip to the upper Antelope Canyon – which is a slot or crack canyon. It is east of Page and, as it is on Navajo lands, we were only able to visit by guided tour. It was extremely well organised, nothing allowed except a camera and 14 or so people in tight groups were taken through the 100 metre walk in single file by our navajo guides starting in the narrow opening (below left).
The narrow canyon is formed by water finding cracks on the surface and running down into the sandstone aided by flash flooding during rain periods making the narrow ‘corridor’ deeper and forming the beautiful graceful flowing shapes of the walls. As it is open at the top wind blows sand in and through it too. We went through on a windy day and ended up rather gritty from the sand coming through above us. The guide had his face very sensibly covered!
There has been some spectacular photography in this canyon – a few images have apparently sold for milliions!! We all had fun with our cameras and with the filtered light, graceful curves and the colours of the sandstone it was hard not to get some beautiful shots especially as our guide helped too. Here is a collage of some of mine (except lower right which the guide took for me! ).
We also took a memorable boat ride through the lower Antelope Canyon which has now been flooded by the the Lake. It was a windy, cold and dull day as you can see from below! Here the canyon is wider and there were many (most likely freezing) kayakers there too. Apparently it is wall to wall aquatic craft in the summer. The Lake is quite low now as can be seen from the “hanging” boat ramp which is too far above the lake to be currently used. Cherrie is coming back up the walkway from the marina where we caught the boat – the whole marina and the walk way are “moored” to the ground above highwater mark and rise and lower with the level of the lake. This year’s snow melt is just starting to impact on its level.
Lunch in a locals’ diner where we were probably the only tourists! It was the young chef’s birthday and he was embarrassed when the whole room sang Happy Birthday.
You might recognise the next photo.
It is Horseshoe Bend on the Colorado downstream from the dam wall. We were way high above it on a viewing area as you can see from the size of the boats on the river in the middle of the photo above. We could just make out campsites and people fishing too. Quite spectacular! It’s an incised meander for the geographic tragics like me.
Above is the walk to the Bend (with only a few others too!!!) and the trio at the overlook. There were the usual game or silly people climbing rocks without guards to get a better view!