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    Three unforgettable days in Page: Cathedral Rock, Lake Powell and Antelope Canyon

    Who I am
    Lluis Enric Mayans
    @lluisenricmayans
    SOURCES CONSULTED:

    wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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    Hi, we are “il Poggia” and “la Patty” two 60-year-olds happily married and retired with the hobby of photography, travel, and lately, logbooks. Today we offer you some notes on Page. Stay tuned ...

    Index

    • Monday June 13
    • Tuesday June 14
    • Wednesday June 15

    Monday June 13

    Shower, suitcases, breakfast, punctual as the Italian commuter trains leave Sedona for Page. The very nice girl at the reception recommends the US 89A and it's good. We will travel for a good hour among pine trees, cobalt sky and red rocks. At the end of the next sixty miles on the highway, the road that will take us to Page is a billiard cue, moved by some rare and slight ups and downs. Warm, barren landscape and a few kiosks along the way to Navajo costume jewelry of dubious quality.



    At a certain point in the middle of the absolute void, a pedestrian crossing and a yellow sign with the school symbol appear. We deduce, given the total absence of anything else, that the shack next to it is the school. Every now and then a few wooden mobile homes, old polished aluminum caravans and nothing around that denotes farming or cultivation; only big cars and vans. They are the American gypsies, the Roma of the reserves, small groups of isolated and rootless people, or rather rooted in the faith of non-integration. Once in a while you see exceptional transportation with these over-the-top mobile homes on board. Page looks like a village born around the Lake Powell dam construction site. Natural beauty and mass tourism added motel e resort, but it remains what it is.

    Page: absolutely nothing special ... yes and no, or better; it is one of the many villages heavily based on tourism, the perfect base for discovering the very close surroundings. Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell and so on, without neglecting Cathedral Rock, less famous but perhaps more interesting than Antelope, not to be confused with the best known of sedona.



    We saw an authentic town, proud of its traditions, with Cheerleader students who rehearsed in the afternoon sun, with characteristic shops, with neighborhood houses where you live an ordinary but dignified life, open from a social and friendly point of view. We dined at Big John BBQ, a former service station converted into a typical restaurant where you cook on huge bbqs, you all have dinner together at the table chatting amicably with the other diners, to the sound of a country band. It is certainly not the last paradise, but an honest town where life is on a human scale.

    Horseshoe Bend

    The beauty of the landscape is quite another thing: aware of being monotonous, I go back to talking about breathtaking beauty. We quickly saw the dam, the lake, the canyon and a unique corner, HorseShoe Bend. We found it by looking for it because we knew it was there. It is located south on hwy 89, turning left from the south Lake Powell blvd out of Page. Continue for 6 km and on your right you will find a small parking area at the end of a side street. Walk a scant 1 mile across sandy, stony ground with no shade, but the scenery is unforgettable… even the water! Never, and I repeat never turn without at least one liter with it.

    Consiglio: Want to know more about this natural wonder? Read our guide to visiting Horseshoe Bend

    Tomorrow we will visit Antelope, a long 2 and a half hour tour. For today we are tired.


    Tuesday June 14

    Wake up, breakfast, the usual things, let's go and stock up on water and ice that we put in the polystyrene box; easy, simple, effective.

    Cathedral Rock

    At noon we are ready to leave, destination Cathedral Canyon. There are two Finns, two Italians and three Americans, but that's not a joke. Only seven of us plus the guide, a very nice and friendly Navajo woman (rarity) in her fifties who proudly and safely drives a very tall 4 × 4. As soon as the dirt road has begun, we climb between soft and very fine sand like talcum - extremely treacherous - and crumbly and slippery slab rock.


    She leads the huge off-road vehicle without apparent difficulty or uncertainty. We move in stages by car, to make even long stretches on foot, albeit easy, and we appreciate the advice to bring at least two liters of water per person (obligatory double supply, all will be needed). We learn that what looks like rock actually is sand rock, solidified sand, and the wave-like veins indicate the different concentrations of the various metals of which the area is very rich. But there is always sand, and it crumbles at the slightest pressure, and this makes the paths and ridges even more treacherous.

    Moreover it is no entry without a local guide, and after 2 or 3 detours you understand why. The paths are a maze, and the landscape is monotonous, beautiful, but inexorably the same. Even with the compass on the dashboard and following the sun it is difficult to get out. The last stretch is the most interesting. You go through a slightly less wide bottleneck than me, which forces me to a test of transversal skill, they follow low passages on all fours, I am always the last in the line to avoid judgments on my presumable agility; ascent with an iron staircase, to arrive at a cave with perfect acoustics. Returning we see a wild hare in the shade of shrubs. Desert hot as an oven, but the lucky hare lacked olives and rosemary.


    The temperature is very high, but without humidity, the moderate but constant wind dries everything up. You don't sweat, you go directly to dehydration. The desert, even with some shrubs, does not make discounts. Let's resume the visit of with another guide Upper Antelope Canyon, knowing that the time is not the best for photos, but better than nothing. There are no words to describe this canyon and I think even the photos struggle to make the idea realistically.


    Consiglio: Want to know more about this natural wonder? Read our guide to visiting Antelope Canyon. Do you want to know how to combine the visit to the Antelope canyon with that of Horseshoe bend? We have written a special guide!

    For dinner we go to Big John's BBQ, it fits perfectly. Band country, excellent and very tender grilled and smoked meat. Table formula close to whoever happens to be, they are all nice and chatty, they are beautiful people who love to live in a simple and peaceful way. We reconfirm that the Spaniard is highly respected and this gives us great pleasure. Tomorrow a road tour of the lake and navigation at sunset. Good night, we're so tired, and we stink of smoke and bbq sauce, but that's okay.

    Wednesday June 15

    Beard toothpaste shower, no later, soon it's late, we have to see all of America there.

    Lake Powell

    But no, sweet wake up call, quiet breakfast by the pool, a chat with the owner, like a former flower child, who in the desert are beautiful but not very many. Long white blond hair up to the waist gathered in a ponytail, a youthful expression and a constant smile… and he is also thin. Always greet with a "Hi guys, another beautiful day".

    Road 22B and we go to Antelope Island view point, a panoramic open space in front of theAntelope Island, which becomes a peninsula in times of drought when the diga at Glen releases water and the level of the basin drops. The real beautiful trip is from five to seven in the afternoon: with a boat we navigate a very small portion of this colossal lake. At the edges of the rocks, or rather the Sandstone - the solidified sand - has two colors, red at the top and white above the surface of the water, but its true color is neither. The light part, in contact with the water, is almost white due to the limestone deposits, while the red part, the emerged one, owes its color to the rust of the iron of which these "rocks" are very rich.

    Consiglio: Want to know more about this natural wonder? Read our Lake Powell guide.

    Nice dinner of fish and beer - unapproachable wine - in a Mexican restaurant that helps me to make peace with our slow waiters. You know how it is, it is said that the Mexicans… in the meantime we enjoy the beer and the cool of the evening, after a day at 96 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Monument Valley tomorrow. Great expectations, Morricone's music on the ball and our jeep-stagecoach loaded like a postillion, because we added a mega polystyrene box for ice and drinks to the luggage. Everyone has it, we skeptics, but after 24 hours there was still ice in the bag. I got a full tank of $ 2,14 tonight and I understand why no one has diesel. The car is fine and our relationship even better. We feel less and less nostalgia for San Francisco, which is obviously not in our hearts.

    Consiglio: Want to find out more about everything Page and its surroundings have to offer? Read our guide on what to see in Page.

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