Within the canyon at Best Friends.
I woke to my cell phone alarm and started to get myself ready for the day. Then, putting on my watch, I noticed that the time did not agree with the phone. A quick google search revealed that I had forgotten completely about Daylight Savings Time. Not a real problem, though I had gotten an hour’s less sleep than I had planned. I didn’t really have any plans for the day other than getting to Page, Arizona and catching as much of the Grand Staircase Escalante as I could. A Cuban-American friend had noted that Escalante meant staircase, so the name was kind of redundant. I had noted that they wanted their American visitors, not all of whom spoke Spanish, to understand the name. Anyway, there was no drive through except the one to Bryce, and I wasn’t going that way. So I would have to hope I got a good view of something along the way. I wasn’t disappointed.
An escarpment in the Grand Staircase. I would love to wake up to this every day.
Another breakfast at Porter’s. They had a special this day, two pork chops on a breakfast platter with eggs and sourdough biscuit. Yum. After breakfast it was back up Hwy 9 and the High Road, headed for Mt. Carmel Junction. I had gone there on the last trip, turning north on US 89 to head to Bryce. This time I would be heading south. Unfortunately, it was raining this day, and most of my video features windshield wipers going back and forth. Couldn’t be helped, and I still got some good footage. I stopped off at the huge convenience store at the Junction to get a couple of sodas, and then headed off toward Kanab.
Rock formation in the Grand Staircase Escalante Monunment.
There were some great vistas of the National Monument to my left as I drove, and rolling hills desert leading to the Grand Canyon Escarpment to my right. I was able to get some video, but unfortunately there were not enough pulloffs, and I had to make creative use of the shoulder to get some stills. The problem was, the Akaso, while getting great shots to the front and near sides, missed the views into the canyons, the shots that were so spectacular. Still, I got a good view of some of it. Being a National Monument, there were no paved roads piercing the center, nor were there any plans for putting any in. They want to keep the area as primitive and natural as possible, and I can’t blame them. Next time I may come this way with a four wheel drive and go down some of the dirt roads that penetrate the monument. I had wanted to visit the North Rim of the Grand Canyon this trip, but it was closed until May. As I found out on this trip, there was still a lot of snow up in the higher altitudes, and the North Rim was much higher than the south.
Best Friend’s Animal Rescue visitor center.
North of Kanab I ran into a surprise. I had been told in Springdale that Good Friends Animal Rescue had a facility in Kanab, but I had figured they meant within the town. Now, miles from the city, I saw the sign. I pulled in to the visitor center and was disappointed to find out that they wouldn’t have a tour for another three hours. I didn’t have that kind of time, but took them up on the invitation to drive through the canyon myself. It was a huge property in a beautiful rocky canyon. They had horse pastures where they took care of the equines, including one I saw that was blind. There was a large animal graveyard, and cabins for dogs and cats. I was impressed. I donate to this organization, and it did my heart good to see the care they were giving to abused and abandoned animals. Kanab itself was not such a big deal, another small town, though much larger than most I had driven through on this trip.
Formations rising out of Lake Powell.
From Kanab I continued along US 89, and more miles of beautiful scenery, until I came to Lake Powell. Now I was in Arizona, which didn’t use Daylight Saving’s Time, so I regained my lost hour, for now. The large lake is formed by the back flow of the Colorado River from the Glen Canyon Dam. It’s a very large lake, and I only got to see a little of it. I went into the National Recreation Area and took some shots of the mesas that were sticking out of the water. Lake Powell is the first of the four lakes that have been formed by damming the Colorado River, and looks to be in good shape, with water up to the banks. There were many boats out on the lake, and many more in the storage buildings along its banks. From there I drove to the dam.
The Colorado River Gorge west of Lake Powell.
Bridge over the Colorado River Gorge.
A bridge spans the gorge a little bit out from the dam. To my left was the dam. I had seen on the way to the bridge that the water was about ten feet below the top of the dam. Now on the bridge I looked to the right, and felt my heart skip a beat. The narrow gorge seemed to plunge down a thousand feet to the river. I really had no way of telling the distance, but it was enough to evoke a feeling of vertigo. I continued on to a pull off and got a good look at the dam and the gorge, taking pictures. A little further up the road there was a sign pointing the way to the scenic overlook. I went that way and got an even better look at the gorge. Afterwards I went to McDonald’s for lunch, then a resupply run to Walmart. Then it was to La Quinta to check in. I took a nap, then went to Denny’s for dinner. I went to sleep that night, looking forward to the Grand Canyon National Park the next day, hoping for good weather.