Day 8 – Orderville UT to Page AZ
Our drive was very short and easy, but wow was there a temperature difference. Orderville was beautiful during the day (75ºish) but could be cold; it got down to 38º one night. Page was hot. It was only 88º, but the sun was just beating since there are no trees or shade anywhere.
We found recycling. That’s always a little bit of a challenge on the road. I (L) did have to laugh at us (for missing some hidden signs and going down the wrong path). But, I also had to laugh at the attendant. He asked if we were from out of town. Not only was that pretty obvious by our behavior, we have Colorado plates. We had to weigh the Jeep going in, dump our stuff, and weigh again going out. The amount of recycling we had was so little, it was free! yay! Most of the stuff we bring into the rig is reusable at least one time. And some packaging isn’t recyclable at all, of course. It took us 8 days to fill one of our two bins. We could have gone another 8 days if we knew it would be single-stream recycling.
It is past time for RV designers to make a small “chute” for recycling soda/food cans. They are usually the largest volume. They are infinitely recyclable and are the easiest to recycle. But, when you are on the road, it’s not as simple as setting out your recycling for the staff to collect. We make the extra effort because it’s important.
Day 9 – Grand Canyon north rim
Sleeping in wasn’t the best idea for a day this big, but worked out in the end. What a day!
Horseshoe Bend – Page AZ
This is cool to see, and it’s cheap at only $10 per car. But it’s also kind of a scam. The walk to the viewpoint is unshaded (save for a few benches with covers), has no water stations, and is “moderately difficult” even on a paved path. They state it’s a 15-minute walk to the horseshoe. Nope, it’s more like 30-45 minutes. And because they are misleading about how far it is, many people don’t dress properly (luckily we did) or bring water (us, that would be us).
From their own site, “Should you prefer not to deal with the potential inconvenience and expense of the new arrangements at Horseshoe Bend, other ways of seeing this unique curve….”. By their own language, they know they are scammy. Also, horseshoe bend curves aren’t all that unique. There are several across the country; this isn’t even the first one we’ve seen.
And then, we got there and the water is low (it should be; it’s that time of year). But that made the water brown and murky…and that made for a boring view and pretty ugly pics. The river was so ugly at this time of year that people were taking pictures with the sign, instead.
This pedestrian bridge is both an overlook to the Colorado river and also a small market of handmade native items like jewelry. The top-down views of the river are amazing, even with it murky and brown. This is way better than the Horseshoe.
I had seen this place on a YouTube video and it was every bit as wonderful as T&C said. It’s cheap off-grid camping with outstanding views. It’s also near the river for fishing, swimming, and kayaking. It’s perfect for a night or two between campgrounds.
A little further down on our journey, we saw the rock houses. People made some of the large boulders into small homes, complete with fire places and kitchen “prep” areas.
Tower and Australian
On our way into the Grand Canyon area (but before the park), we saw a sign for a fire tower, so we had to pull in. We met an Australian who was traveling the US in a camper van. He had left Denver about 5 days before and had already seen Salt Lake City, Moab, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon. He also gave us some great info about Australia for our trip planning. E climbed the tower for the view; he said I didn’t miss much.
Grand Canyon north rim
At the gate for the Grand Canyon we met Larry. This man loves his job. He talked about how pretty the day was and how it wasn’t fall until a week ago and the colors just exploded overnight. And since we were arriving late, he told us where to go first and then second so we could maximize our time.
We followed Larry’s advice and bee-lined it for the Lodge and gift shop. We didn’t find the gift we needed, but the views from the lodge are amazing. This view at this time of day was a little hazy, but still pretty great. We walked down and out on to the observation “plank” for a better view.
Next on our list was Cape Royal, which is home to the cliff named Angel’s Window. This was another pretty long (but easy) hike and was a much better view than the one from the Lodge. We saw all the “plank” views and took too many pictures.
It was getting dark by the time we were leaving Cape Royal, but we wanted to try to see Imperial Point. We didn’t make it in time to see it, but what we did see was better.
As we were leaving Cape Royal, and as darkness was setting in, we got to see a Super Moon rise over the Grand Canyon. Moonrise at Sunset is one of my very favorite sky views. We had no idea this was the night for it; we certainly didn’t plan it. How lucky are we?
On our way out of Cape Royal, an owl flew across the road right in front of us.
We stopped at the Jacob Lake Inn for dinner. The place has a neat little history, and sells tons of beautiful Native art. By that time of the night, we were just grateful they were still open! We had already googled for stuff in Page and found a whopping one place that would be open on Thursday past 9pm.
After dinner and on our way back to Page, we saw another amazing sky feature: a shooting star.
I’ve said it a lot over the course of our marriage: we are the luckiest couple I know.
Day 10 – R&R&F
Day 9 included a lot of driving and a lot of hiking to viewpoints. We had another adventure planned for Day 11, so Day 10 was all about rest (and editing tiny videos of a flying owl and a shooting star.)
…and then we went out to the “best bars” (ahem only bars) in this tiny town and met the nicest people.
Day 11 – Antelope Canyon
WOW! What a great tour. Once again, I will not apologize for the amazing pics. This is absolutely worth the price and hassle. If you want the very best pics, go as close to 12noon as you can and on the longest day of the year you can with respect to the heat.
(The rules are you can take all you want, but you can not sell any. If you ever see images like these from Antelope Canyon for sale, please report them to the Diné peoples aka Navajo.)
Days 12 – dam, football (not to be confused with damn football)
We visited the dam viewpoint. I even “rescued” some broken glass from the area. (Punk-ass kids!)
We slept through most of the Broncos win over Chicago, but we got to see E’s team (the Cowboys) rack up a high score.