Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Lower Antelope Canyon | Page |Arizona

I have been looking forward to this hike for a long time because I have been told it is amazing.  Of course, the photos that the tourist places put out are absolutely beautiful.

This photo and the one below will give you an idea of how deep into the canyon we had to go.  There were multiple levels of steel stair steps going down into the canyon.

Since we were on a crowded tour with groups ahead of us as well as behind us, it was hard to take pictures of just the rock formations without people in them.  Sometimes the pathways were wide enough to include everyone in the group and other times they were so narrow that you almost couldn't get your whole foot on the sand.

Below are more of the shots I took during the tour.  Some are aimed directly above so you can see the light coming in.  Others are views of multiple layers of this amazing slot canyon. This canyon was formed by erosion caused by water as well as wind. Sandstone is relatively soft but it still took many, many centuries to form this canyon.

The hike is not a very long one but there is stunning scenery every time you look around or take a few steps.

I hope you enjoy the photos.

And this concludes our tour for today.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Page | Arizona

This was my view from my campsite at Lone Rock near Lake Powell. This is the Lone Rock, and it's gigantic, boats look like dots next to it.

The Glen Canyon Dam provides not only hydroelectric power, but also boating is a major draw in this area.  The lake is over a hundred and eighty miles long and goes from Arizona to Utah, much of it is inaccessible by roads.

The city of Page is relatively new and was founded in the middle of the last century for the purpose of building a dam.  Since the dam was far away from any type of civilized area, this town provided housing and facilities for the workers and their families.

This is the Glen Canyon Dam from the Scenic View near town. This dam is only 16 feet shorter than the Hoover Dam.  Water from this area is shared with surrounding states as well as Mexico.  Below is the bridge that goes over the canyon where the dam is.

Very dramatic scenery.

The bridge has a walkway on both sides, with little cutouts in the fence for cameras.  When big trucks go by on the bridge (speed limit 25), you can feel the vibration.

On another day, I found a way to get behind the dam.

Another shot from the scenic view area.

This trail leads to the Hanging Garden.  Most of it was this type of rock, but some of it was sand of the same color.

This is the Hanging Garden, a little alcove with water seeping through the rocks.  It makes for a very lush area.

I'm not sure what the plants are, but they sure are pretty.

When I was leaving the Gardens, this was my view.

Another day, another hike.  Luckily, I went early morning but it was still hot.  There was a hill to climb to get there, and then down the hill on the other side.   That means a long hill going back to the parking lot!  This is Horseshoe Bend, where the Colorado River makes a big turn.

I was not going to get close to the edge, so I didn't get the entire river going around this bit formation.  I have seen those photos, and I think they used an airplane.  I did see some people sitting on the edge of the rocks with their feet dangling, and other people just standing right on the edge.  I can't get that close and I cringe when I see people doing that - it's a LONG way down!

Another gem in this area is the Antelope Canyon.  I will be visiting that shortly.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Lee's Ferry | Glen Canyon Recreation Area | Arizona

Lee's Ferry is quite well known and has an interesting history. The Colorado River runs for miles here both in Arizona and Utah. While exploring this area, I found a sign that told me I was entering the Grand Canyon , I was just wandering around by the Colorado River.


Back in the 1870s there was a man named John Lee who ran the ferry so that the settlers could cross the river with supplies. They chose this area since it's about the only place that didn't have high canyon walls. The crossings were not always safe, since the river ran quite briskly at times. The ferry ran for 55 years but by the time the railroads and autos were available, the final trip was in 1928. Unfortunately, that fateful trip was the end of the ferry, since it capsized and men were killed.

These photos show how gorgeous it is here, I love the photos with rocks that look bluish.


The area also has some strangely balanced rocks, as you can see below. These two rocks have been standing for a long time. They fell from the cliff in the background and then the sloped ground they landed on eroded away, leaving these strange toadstool-like formations. To show how large these are, I went to the one in the second photo and stood under it (very carefully). When I raised my hand, I still could not touch the large rock on top, which means it was well over 7 feet tall.

This is an area that has raft trips going down the rivers, through the rapids and dodging rocks. This is one of the larger ones, some of the trips are 7 days, with them providing gear and good - for only $3,000! The short half-day trips are "only" $100. The water is about 50 degrees during August.

Nearby is Navajo Bridge, which spans the Colorado River at this point. It is 834 feet all and is 467 feet above the river. It was finished in 1928, but it certainly does not look that old.

In this photo, you can see the actual bridge on the left and the pedestrial walkway on the right. There was no information on when that was built, but I imagine it's newer. It sure was a long way down!

The view from the bridge......
I had some little friends at my campsite, and they sat still a few times so I could get photos. The second one shows this little guy laying flat on his belly, since he was in the shade and the rocks were cooler there. 

They were so cute, one of them decided to climb up my chair. And then another one jumped up on my shoe. Obviously, they are used to humans and have most likely been fed (but not by me!). They are so skittish that they scrambled away as soon as I moved.

There was a small ranch that has been refurbished, which shows life as it would have been when the ferry was running.

This is called a dugout and was most likely used for food storage, since it would have been cool.