Lightning damaged something somewhere, and it’s going to take an estimated two hours to get it back online. Well, there’s no point hanging around here any longer.
Supplies for a day trip are rounded up and I hop into Bertha and point her nose toward Page on 89.
Today’s first destination is a piece of Grand Staircase – Escalante National Monument. I’m hoping to do a little hiking in the staircase before driving on to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, but the overcast skies at Zion that are promising thunderstorms in the afternoon clear up shortly after Kanab and by the time I make it there the sun is out and blazing and it’s 90. Hiking will wait.
I do stop at one of the visitor centers, which are managed by the BLM. It’s a different experience than at the National Parks, there’s only one ranger on duty at the little center and it’s nearly empty but he’s quite helpful.
Grand Staircase isn’t built up like other parks and monuments are. On this southern end there are no concessionaire operated stores or lodging. A lot of the large monument is a designated wilderness area, and you need an ATV or all wheel drive truck or SUV to see it. Registration for these activities and back country camping are available here, but my truck isn’t four wheel drive and that’s not my cup of tea anyway.
I do get a couple pictures of the dinosaur exhibit on display, the indoor ones which don’t turn out well due to the lighting. I also look at the map of the monument, and it looks like if I want to see more of it the north end is the better end for activities. I’ll head up there on another day off and do a more thorough report.
Continuing my trek along 89 I soon see the turn off for Wahweap Bay, the southwestern most bay in Lake Powell. There’s a fee collection area, I wave my year pass at them and continue through.
A concessionaire run marina dominates Wahweap Bay, around it have sprung up lodging, boat tours and rentals, a campground, and a couple restaurants. There is a picnic area and a public boat landing and beach as well. I see how crowded the picnic area is, and decide to turn back up the little road and drive back to one of the scenic overlooks to eat and read instead. There’s a stand over it to provide shade, and I enjoy the stiff breeze and distant sounds of boats on the water down below.
Later in the afternoon, the clouds I left behind in Kanab finally make an appearance, I was figuring they would sooner or later. I pack up my kindle and chair and drive back down to the beach. Now I can take a dip in the lake without worrying about frying to a crisp.
Near the water the temperature is much cooler than it is even just 10 yards off of it. I bet taking a boat ride is quite pleasant this time of year. Beyond the beach farther out in the water there are boats wet docked, and beyond them the far shore is decorated with interesting rock formations. What a picturesque place for a beach. The water itself is cool and refreshing as well. Ahhh, nice.
Maybe before I leave Utah I’ll try to visit one of the areas in Glen Canyon where the walls rise up from the water in a canyon, like you always see in the pictures. I have a feeling I’ll need to get on a boat for that but it’d probably be worth the cost. Glen Canyon also features the world’s largest natural bridge, located on the southern shore in the Navajo reservation which is also reachable by boat. Something to think about for next time.
For now it’s back to Cas after a relaxing day off. Going back to work tomorrow doesn’t seem so bad after a trip like this.
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