A short drive from Kanab brought us through the amazing scenery of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, which received official park designation during the Clinton administration. This huge park has little pavement, but we hope to give it a 4-wheel visit while we're here in Page.
Page is an odd town which was empty desert until 1957, when the decision was made to build another dam across the Colorado River here. Construction workers came for the project and some never left. We have never seen a town with so many churches and so few bars. The dam created Lake Powell which is surrounded by Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. The name of the game here is to rent a houseboat. HIgh season is in the summer when folks flee the desert heat to plunge their bodies into the always cold lake, since the dam releases the water from the bottom. Now most of the houseboats which can sleep from 6 - 50, are out of the water. We have never seen so many in one spot. Water levels have suffered in recent years due to drought. But the lake has come up fifty feet since we were here last.
We've already done the houseboat thing in 2005, but at that time we didn't realize that the photographically famous Antelope Slot Canyon is here. We've seen a million photos of it, but never knew where is was. Now we have a million of our own photos and will visit two more slot spots tomorrow.
The slot canyons are on Navajo property and they are a real gold mine for these native Americans. Some require permits secured ahead of time and entrance is pricey. Upper Antelope, which we will visit tomorrow, is the one on everyone's radar and tour buses spew forth countless tourists there, making photographs without random people in them hard to take. We're glad that we're here before high season.
But Lower Antelope is less well known and we walked the canyon with four other tourists who did not linger nearly as long as we did and it felt like we pretty much had the place to ourselves. The guides brought flutes and guitars along, and we could hear the peaceful notes weaving their way through the undulating rock formations.
The slot canyons are difficult to see from above and we needed some ladders to work our way through the twists and turns rushing water had worn through the rocks. I know that I am attaching too many photographs to this post. I just can't stop. Sorry!