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We spent part of the morning touring Glen Canyon Dam. On the way out of town we stopped at Upper Antelope Canyon but the wait for a tour was too long so we headed for the days destination Goulding’s Lodge at Monument Valley. On the trip we noticed a sign for Navajo National Monument so we decided to drive over to take a look. We hiked several of the trails at the top of the mesa. At the end of the trail we had a view of the cliff dwellings. Unfortunately they were some distance away but we were able to view them through the camera. Tours are offered to the dwellings but we were too early in the season.

 

We hiked along the rim and had some spectacular views of the canyon below.

This was the first ranger station in the monument.

Back at the park entrance there were replicas of a hogan and a sweat lodge.

There were a few flowers out along the trails.

One day in Page we signed up for the Canyon Adventure Boat TourĀ  out of Wahweap Marina. The tour lasted several hours and covered Glen Canyon Dam, Antelope Canyon, and Navajo Canyon. It had been years since we had been on Lake Powell so the leisurely tour was a nice way to spend part of a day. The first shot is from the Wahweap Marina Overlook.

A spectacular setting for boating.

Glen Canyon Dam from the Back.

It was a beautiful spring day and it was spring break many places. Antelope Canyon was filled with paddle boarders.

We headed back through Navajo Canyon.

We stopped at Glen Canyon Dam and signed up for a tour the next day. Unfortunately the Dam elevator was broken so we were unable to go down to the base of the dam.

This is one of the buckets that was used to pour concrete to build the Dam.

The bridge over Glen Canyon.

Lake Powell from the Dam.

Lower Antelope Canyon is one of the most spiritually moving places I’ve ever visited. It’s too bad that social media has found it. When I first visited it about 15 years ago it was a place known mainly to photographers. It is only about a half mile long and 120 feet deep. In those days you could pay $10 and spend the entire day wandering through the canyon. As the light changes the views in the Canyon change. It is a photographers paradise. One one of my visits I met a couple. She was blind but the one doing the photography. Another time there was a Native American playing a flute at the mouth of the Canyon. The haunting music filled the Canyon. Social media has changed things dramatically. The cost to enter the Canyon is now about $40 for about an hour in the Canyon. You can only go in as part of a tour. Tours of people leave every 20 minutes so it is difficult to contemplate the meaning on life while in the canyon. Still it is one of the most spectacular places you will ever visit. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves.

More photos from Lower Antelope Canyon can be found on my website.

 

 

We were up early and decided to drive out to Horseshoe Bend and look around. When I first visited this location I drove out to photograph the sunset. I was the only person visiting except for a ranger who was out looking for Peregrine Falcons. We spent an hour together and didn’t see another sole. My how things have changed thanks to social media. When we first arrived in page I suggested that we drive out to Horseshoe Bend to take some sunset photos. As we neared the parking lot we noticed cars parked along the road. The parking lot was full. We decided to come back another time. When we arrived in the morning we were able to get the last parking slot. Those following us were parking along the road. Apparently this location is on the bucket list for every foreign visitor. As you can see the place is a zoo.

A few shots from several visits to the Duluth Rose Garden.

 

After leaving the Toadstool we drove back toward Page and caught the Cottonwood Canyon road which would take us to Lower Hackberry Canyon. I had also been on this trail a number of years ago but had long since forgotten the name of the canyon. The road on the first visit was like a washboard and I thought I would shake my car apart. I had also forgotten that the best way to hike this trail is in sandals. If you can walk in the water it is just a matter of walking up the stream. On the other hand if you are wearing your hiking boots you will spend a lot of time looking for places to cross the stream since it meanders through the canyon. We both felt this was the best hike of the trip and I would highly recommend it particularly if you have younger kids along. They will have a blast splashing through the water on a hot day.

More photos from Lower Hackberry Canyon can be found on my website.

It seems you can’t avoid nut cases even in the middle of nowhere. Some jerk was driving these cattle along the road and refused to slow down and wait for them to leave the road.

The canyon is way off in the distance in this photo. There were some beautiful bushes blooming along the road.

There were some beautiful bushes blooming along the road.

 

The road to the Canyon was really if fairly good shape. There were only a few places where it was like a washboard. The ranger had mentioned that it had rained about a week earlier and she hadn’t been down the road since. It appears that some people were in the canyon when it rained and it also looked like they had a difficult time getting out. There were a number of places where the road was deeply rutted.

After leaving Red Canyon and Moccasin Mountain Tracksite we drove to Page, Arizona. The next morning we retraced our route back toward Knab, Utah. We were looking for a ranger station to get updated information. The first one we stopped at was closed but were able to find someone at the Paria Contact Station. She was a retired volunteer who spends her summers working in national parks and was very knowledgeable about the area and current conditions. We then headed for the Toadstools which were just down the road from the Contact Station. I had been there an number of years ago and thought it would be a nice short hike.

In addition to the Toadstools we found a few early spring flowers blooming.

There was also a little wildlife to be found.

 

A variety of flowers are blooming along the Red Cedar State Trail. The most common flowers are the Touch-me-nots which are blooming all along the trail.

Pale Touch-me-not

Spotted-touch-me-not

Spiderwort

Motherwort

Chickweed

Blue Verian

Blooming Grass

Last week we made a visit to the Vince Shute Wildlife Sanctuary. Vince was a lumberman in the area and loved to make pancakes. His loggers loved them, unfortunately, so did the local black bears. The bearsĀ  kept breaking into his cabins looking for food. The first solution was to shoot them but he found he couldn’t shoot enough of them. He then tried feeding them. That seemed to work. They quit breaking into his cabins. However, what started out as a few bears turned into many bears. When Vince could no longer feed them The American Bear Association took over the project. The bears are wild but there is a small area where they feed the bears. This year we were a little early and there were only a couple dozen bears around. At the peak feeding time, mid August to the end of August, there can be up to fifty bears in the area. If you want to see bears this is the place to do it.