Well, it happened!
When I started thinking about planning a Southern Utah, Northern Arizona trip for January I posted a question about the feasibility of it on one of our RV message boards. There were several naysayers but one guy, Bill strongly encouraged me to go for it. He suggested many places to go and many things to see but cautioned me to be constantly aware of the weather. When we told people we were going I always added the caveat that we were going where the weather and wind allowed us to go. Yesterday I received an e-mail from Bill asking how things were going so I replied that all was well, we were having a grand time and I hadn’t seen one flake of snow.
Oops – guess I need to update him. Last night just before bed Jerry exclaimed “Gale, did you know it was supposed to snow tonight?” Well no. I had been checking the weather for both Monument Valley (Oljato-Monument Valley, Utah) and Page, Arizona and temps were too high to snow plus the forecast was not showing snow. Well, that changed! We woke up this morning to a snow covered ground. There wasn’t much but just enough to keep us in Monument Valley later than we anticipated. Also, Page appeared to get even more than Monument Valley and roads were not looking good at 7:00 am.
Jerry checked everything out and felt that it was OK to leave so we pulled out separately a little after 9:00. The lanes in the campground were too sloped to hook the car up so he drove on down the partly icy road to the gas station and I followed slowly in the car. Hookup was done easily and quickly and we headed out at 9:23. The highway was fine but it was a little discouraging when we met a snow plow! At least it was going the other way! There was only one stretch that caused concern, at least concern for me. Jerry was listening to his audio book so I knew he felt good about it. For about 20 miles the only clear places on the highway were the car tracks. I just looked down, prayed and then read until suddenly everything was clear and there was no snow anywhere.
Check in at Page Lake Powell Campground was accomplished easily but I was disappointed when they told me that Lower Antelope Trail was closed for two weeks – no reason why.
We got set up quickly and then ate the picnic lunch we had prepared for yesterday. I had several things planned for the afternoon mostly centering around Glen Canyon National Recreational Area. Imagine our disappointment when we realized that it was closed due to the government shutdown. Of course, we could enter the area and ride around and luckily we found a park newspaper but since no one was working there was no one to answer our questions or give us recommendations.
We did get a look at the incredible Glen Canyon Dam and then rode on to get stunning views of Lake Powell. Although it was cold and incredibly windy we stopped a couple of times to take some pictures. The lake, one of the largest man-make lakes in North America only covers 13% of the National Recreation Area and it is absolutely stunning. Of course there were no boats on the water but we saw many that were in dry dock and boy were they big! No idea if they were corporate or private or perhaps both but they were huge. In fact one two story pontoon had a circular slide to the water.
We rode back into Page and just rode around the town where we saw poverty and a couple of blocks over beautiful homes right on the water, poverty and privilege only blocks apart. We wound around the corner where we saw church after church starting with a Baptist Church, a Church of God, a Methodist, a Lutheran, a Catholic and some others all side by side.
After riding around for a while we stopped at the car wash and got perhaps the first layer of dirt on what used to be my red car. It was almost unrecognizable when we had arrived as the front up to the windshield was covered, yes covered in ice! I’ve never seen anything like it. Jerry had taken a hose and rinsed it off but it did little good so to the car wash we went. The motor home is in dire need of being washed too but that won’t happen anytime soon.
Tomorrow we are hoping to hike Horseshoe Bend plus we are going on a tour of Upper Antelope Canyon. We had planned to be here four days but changed it to three and now in view of the shutdown continuing at least through tomorrow that may be too long. Unfortunately our next planned stop is another national park.
Back to the campground and a lazy day of reading with popcorn and caffeine!