Monday, July 12, 2010

Southwest Trip - Part 3

Next we were on our way to Page, AZ, where the next morning, we were scheduled for a half-day smooth water float trip on the Colorado River. But to get there we would drive through some spectacular scenery. Driving through the Navajo Indian reservation, we had many opportunities to shop at the roadside stands for jewelry and pottery, and my husband's favorite--Buffalo jerky.
We saw the western edge of the painted desert, and a lot of desolate, barren country of red sandstone.
Driving through Antelope Pass was a treat, and we would have liked to explore Antelope Canyon while in Page, but time did not allow for a lengthy side trip. Page was an interesting little town, built because of the Glen Canyon Dam, and it was a place where all of the churches of different denominations were on the same street, all one after the other. We treated ourselves to a real dinner that night, at the Dam Bar and Grill and we were ready early the next morning for our raft trip. We met at the Colorado River Discovery headquarters at 7am to board a bus down to the river. To get to the bottom of the canyon, the bus goes through a 2 mile long dark tunnel which emerges right at the base of the dam. We had to don hard hats, because apparently people up above on the bridge like to toss pebbles over the edge, perhaps aiming for the river, but more often hitting the parking area where the rafts are docked.

The raft trip itself was a nice relaxing trip on the river. Our guide pointed out various things of interest, and talked about the geology of the canyon. At the halfway point, they docked the rafts, and we were able to get out for a short hike up to the petroglyphs. You could wade in the river here, but the water was numbingly cold.

The raft trip ended at Lee's Ferry, the starting point for the longer raft trips into the Grand Canyon. We watched them loading up several of the large boats with supplies. I have heard that the trips are spectacular, and it would be a fun adventure to try sometime in the future.

After taking the bus back to Page, we drove on towards the Grand Canyon North Rim. On the way, we stopped to admire Marble Canyon and the views of the Vermillion Cliffs, as we headed toward the Kaibab plateau.