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3-19 thru 4-7-2014 / 100 Days in Arizona

Arizona  to  Zion

We are back on the road after spending 100 days in Arizona.  It's hard to  believe we were there that long, it was the most time we've spent in any one place since we started our travels.  Most of that time was in Mesa work camping and the last five days were spent touring Page, Arizona.

Greg. Mark, and Marty (and their groupies)
We finished working on Satuday, 3/28 - YAY! and left Good Life RV Resort on Tuesday, 3/31.  We enjoyed our time in Mesa but once the temps hit the 90's we were happy to start heading north.  The best part of every job we've worked has been meeting new friends and this job was no exception.  We had a "last" get together on the 22nd and then the resort had a luncheon for us on the 30th and then we had one more get together that night.  It's hard to say good-by, hopefully our paths will cross again (and we've added more FB friends so it's easy to make that happen).  The resort has invited all the work campers back for next year, we aren't ready to commit yet, we may want to go in a different direction next winter (southeast?).  Mesa is a pretty darn nice place to spend the winter - we'll see.

Please!  Send me back to Chicago!
Flat Stanly is back for his second visit.  Last year we showed him around Mesa and Southern California.  This year he spent a little time in Mesa and is travelling north with us until we send him back in a couple weeks.  He may even make it as far as Washington!  I love taking him on our adventures and sharing those adventures  with my favorite fourth graders at St. William School!  They were in 2nd grade when we left Chicago, I'm glad they still remember me.

On the edge at Horseshoe Bend
Staying away from the edge

We arrived in Page, AZ on Tuesday, 3/31 and Marty immediately began taking photos.  This area is beautiful and well worth the trip up Rt. 89.  Once we got settled in at Page Lake Powell RV Park we headed over to Horseshoe Bend for some sunset pictures.  This is a very popular spot for photos  (with good reason) and a very scary spot for people who don't like heights.  I brought a folding chair and stayed well away from the edges (didn't want Flat Stanley to get scared).
You can see why they call it Horseshoe Bend, what a beautiful spot!

On Wednesday we drove over to the Glen Canyon Dam and Visitors Center.  Here's some information from their brochure:

 "Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, established in 1972, provides a dramatic example of one of nature's most inspiring settings combined with an ambitious human project.  Impounded behind the Bureau of Reclamation's Glen Canyon Dam, waters of the Colorado River and tributaries are backed up about 185 miles forming Lake Powell.

Lake Powell was named for Major John Wesley Powell.  He led the first organized expedition down the Colorado River in 1869.  He mapped and kept detailed journals of his 1,000 mile journey - imagine that trip, not knowing what to expect around the next turn.  And he only had one arm, he lost the other fighting in the Civil War!   There is an old Disney movie, "Ten Who Dared", about their trip - haven't seen it yet but it's on our to-do list. 

Glen Canyon Dam Bridge

Flat Stanley is not afraid of heighs

Marty signed up for a photographers tour of Antelope Canyon and Rattlesnake Canyon.  You are not allowed into the canyons without a Navajo guide; they do quite a good business.  Marty really enjoyed the way the guides knew exactly where to go for the best shots and at what time the sun would be at just the right angle.  They also separated the photographers by what kind of equipment they were using.  He took some spectacular photos as you can tell below.
Above Rattlesnake Canyon, a "slot" canyon

Flowing sands within Antelope Canyon

Inside Rattlesnake Canyon

Beams of light shining into the canyon from above
Navajo Bridge separating the Glen and Grand Canyons
We weren't sure what to do on Friday so we drove over to the Powell Museum to learn the history of the area.  However, the museum also houses the Visitor's Center and we stopped there first.  Bob at the Center suggested we take a drive over to Lee's Ferry to see the Colorado River as it flows into the Grand Canyon.  It was well worth the trip and was my favorite part of our week.   We stopped at the Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River.  On one side of the bridge is Glen Canyon and the other side is the Grand Canyon - how cool is that?  There are two bridges because the original bridge wasn't built for today's traffic, it's now a pedestrian bridge and, believe it or not, I walked across the whole thing.  I did stay in the middle but I'm still pretty proud that I made it across (and back!). 

After the bridge we continued on our way to Lee's Ferry.  Lee's Ferry is the only place visitors can drive to the Colorado River in over 700 miles of Canyon Country, right to the first "rapid" in the Grand Canyon. Lee's Ferry is where river rafters start there trip down the Grand Canyon.  There's a sandy beach area and it was too tempting to resist so off came my shoes and into the Colorado River I waded.

The Colorado River as it enters the Grand Canyon

I'm a Libra - we're "well-balanced"
We could only stay in Page until Sunday because they were all booked up after that - those darn people on Spring Break.  We had a heck of a time finding a place to stay in Utah near Zion and ended up in Cedar City at the Best Western RV Park (which is a gravel parking lot behind the Best Western)  After three months of no camping fees we are having a little bit of sticker shock paying more than we'd like but having no choice because there's just not much available.  We just keep reminding ourselves that we had three free months in Mesa and we'll have four free months in Washington so we can afford to pay a little more while we're traveling - even for gravel parking lots.

Zion National Park was about an hour southeast of us and we were there by 10:30 Monday morning.  Zion doesn't allow cars in the park, there are shuttle buses running often that stop at all the trails.  We hopped on and rode to the end and then did a two mile easy hike to the "Narrows".  The Narrows are called the Narrows because at the end of the two mile easy hike you don your waterproof pants and shoes and hike in the river as the canyon walls narrow over you.  Since we didn't bring any waterproof clothes we will save that adventure for our next trip.  There is an outfitting company just outside the park that can rent you what you need, we just didn't realize how much fun it would have been to hike into the river.

Hiking along the Virgin River before it heads into the Narrows

We left Zion around 3:00 (too short a visit but we will definitely be back).  There was another park on our way back to Cedar City so we decided to check it out.  Kolob Canyon is part of Zion but you can't reach it through Zion.  There was a 5 mile scenic drive and we drove that to the top and back.  At Zion you are in the bottom of the canyon and at Kolob Canyon you are on top looking down.  They are both impressive. 
"Selfie" at Kolob Canyon
That's it for this post.  We've made it to Salt Lake City and will start exploring tomorrow (Wednesday) as long as the weather stays nice.  There is rain in the forecast so it may be a reading/movie day.  We plan on leaving here Friday and will be taking a side trip to Wells, Nevada - stay tuned!