A Travellerspoint blog

Page -Grand Canyon -Pahrump

sunny 24 °C

Yesterday saw us start the day off with a visit to Antelope Canyon.

Antelope Canyon is a small slot canyon (a canyon that is more deep than wide - read ' n-a-r-r-ow' in places). Antelope Canyon was formed by water eroding sandstone and its claim to fame are the colours/shades/shadows that appear on its inner surfaces as the sun moves across the sky.

Naturally we snapped off a few photos (as did everyone who was there). A Navajo guide takes you through, pointing out the best spots to shoot, ours was excellent and he would occasionally play a flute which sounded awesome as the canyon adds depth and richness to the music. At one point he did a bit of a spontaneous 'jam' with another another guide who was there with a small group 'serious' photographers (serious photographers are easily identified by the fact that they have tripods!).

The next port-of-call, and resting place for the night, was the Grand Canyon. We arrived around 4pm and were able to grab a few shuttle bus rides (which is how you must get around as private vehicles have limited access to the main viewing areas ) and catch some of the many vantage points that are dotted around the place. We managed to be in a good spot to catch the sunset.

The next morning we were up at 5:00 in-order to catch the sunrise – that was a great experience, made even better by the fact that hardly anyone else was there. The skies were absolutely cloudless, however, at the risk of being called a heretic I/we would have to say the Grand Canyon was a bit of a let-down for us - sure it is wide and deep and long but you really can't experience the scale of it from the rim (to be fair, that is what the guide books say, you have to hike or take a mule ride down to the floor to get the real sense of its scale).

There was no internet where we stayed (hence no blog update should anyone have wondered why) there won't be any in a days time when we will be in Yosemite National Park for 2 nights.

Tonight we are staying in Pahrump, Nevada (60 miles from Las Vegas).

Prostitution is illegal in the city of Las Vegas but it is legal in Pahrump (an apt name really). Alida has forbid us from venturing out from our accommodation tonight. Party pooper!

We choose Pahrump as a place to stay as it is close to Death Valley through which we shall travel tomorrow....

Posted by robali 18:45 Comments (0)

Hutt Valley vs Monument Valley

Round 2

sunny

Because of its proximity (20 miles from where we were staying) and also because we had only taken 2,000 photos yesterday, we decided to revisit Monument Valley but this time we paid our $10 (Navajo fee) so that we could take the drive around the buttes and rock formations and get up close and personal with things. She was a bumpy ride at times - the road/track is unpaved and quite corrugated in places (lots-of-places). I had read that you should allow up to 2 hours if you stop for photos (30-40 minutes if you don't) - we spent close to 2 hours 45 minutes. Photo opportunities just kept leaping out at us.

A leisurely drive to Page/Lake Powell (where we are staying tonight) followed. Page is a town that owes it's existence to the Glen Canyon Dam and the resulting lake (Lake Powell) that it created. The town of Page was created from nothing in 1957. It kind of has that Twizel vibe in the sense that both towns were established from zip to house hydroelectric project workers and their families.

Our destination tomorrow is a real good one (we hope). More on that later.

Posted by robali 18:09 Comments (0)

Cortez to Kayenta

How to be in 4 states in less than 2 seconds

all seasons in one day

We started the day at Mesa Verde NP where it was cool, bordering on cold, partly due to a passing thunder storm, but also due to the fact that it is 8,500 feet above sea level at its highest point. Despite all of that we had a very enjoyable time, the park is a tad off the beaten track and didn't have anywhere near the number of people as some of the other parks we have visited, at times it felt like we had it all to ourselves.

If you want to know what Mesa Verde is all about then check this out:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesa_Verde_National_Park

There are a couple of the cave dwellings that you must visit with a park ranger and which also involve climbing up/down ladders to access them, unfortuantely, the better-looking one of we two has some back pain, so visiting those sites was not going to be an option for us.

Mesa Verde was followed by a brief visit to the Four Corners monument where the state lines of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado intersect. Hardly a bucket-list moment - but it was fun in a cheesy way.

Finally we drove through Monument Valley (with n-u-m-e-r-o-u-s photo stops) to Kayenta where we are staying at the Hampton Inn (which I can recommend should your travels take you this way).

The brakes go on tomorrow as our next port-of-call, Page/Lake Powell is only a few hours away so that will mean a leisurely start to the day with plenty of time to explore.

Posted by robali 17:19 Comments (0)

Is Moab,Utah, the 8th Wonder of the World?

I wonder...

semi-overcast 13 °C

Moab rocked our socks off. The 4X4 drive-off this morning was way cool with the added bonus that it happened only a couple of minutes walk from our motel. We didn't count the number of vehicles but suffice to say that there were lots, the main drag was closed for 20 minutes while it happened. When it was all over the town was still packed to the gunnels with off-roaders. If you want to see why they come here then check this out:

http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=moab+4x4&aq=0&oq=Moab+4x4

We spent the majority of today at Arches NP (and no, there are no McDonald's Golden Arches there). Arches is simply stunning - have posted some photos but, as per normal, they do not do justice.

Tonight we are staying in Cortez,CO (where it is 6,000 feet above sea level. Cortez is close to Mesa Verde, quote: 'Spanish for green table, which offers a spectacular look into the lives of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, from A.D. 600 to A.D. 1300. Today, the park protects over 4,000 known archeological sites, including 600 cliff dwellings. These sites are some of the most notable and best preserved in the United States'.

We are relatively close to The Four Corners - the only point where four US states intersect (Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah) we'll check that out tomorrow before heading through Monument Valley, the quintessential locale for filming western movies. Sounds like a bit of the good, bad and ugly.

Posted by robali 18:36 Comments (2)

More of Everything Please!

Too much is never enough.

semi-overcast

More photos, more rock formations, more dramatic scenery, more colours, more snow, more miles, more adventures. Managed to take in Canyonlands NP before reaching our accommodation in Moab - a cool little town that is aimed at tourist mugs like us. Moab (and it's surrounding area) is an off-roaders paradise. We had a devil of a job booking accommodation for here a few months ago and now we know why. From April 16 to 24 it is the 45th Annual Jeep Safari - this town is awash with 4x4's of every shape and size. Tomorrow is Big Saturday when up to 1,000 (one thousand) 4x4's will be leaving from the centre of town heading off in four directions. We'll be there to see them off.

Also tomorrow will be a visit to Arches NP which is a stone's (or rock's) throw from here.

Posted by robali 20:00 Comments (0)

(Entries 6 - 10 of 16) « Page 1 [2] 3 4 »