Astonishing Beauty

Chris @ Lake Powell

Chris @ Lake Powell

Sparkling, clear, blue water laps against towering, sheer, red-rock canyon walls and sandy beaches. Power boats and wave runners zip about while houseboats slowly wend their way deep into side canyons.  Chris & I just made it to Lake Powell, a 186 miles long reservoir on the Colorado river, straddling between Utah & Arizona.  Lake Powell has 1960 miles of shoreline and was created by the flooding of Glenn Canyon by the controversial Glen Canyon Dam.   It was already late when we arrived so we stayed the night in the small town of Page where we had a few drinks & met some local people such as Josie, a 44 yr old woman who worked as a bartender at night & had her own boat company with her husband in Lake Powell by day.  She also made some delivieries for the Navajo’s all over the State and gave us some useful road tips & shortcuts.

Horseshoe Bend - Page, Arizona

Horseshoe Bend – Page, Arizona

In the morning, we drove to ‘Horseshoe Bend’, right outside the town on Highway 89.   After a short 10 min. walk up & down a hill of sandy & rocky surfaces, we arrived at this amazing viewpoint where the Colorado river winds it way through the Canyon in a very unique way.  Afterwards we took the Lakeshore drive to Wahweap and enjoyed a 360′ view of the bay & the desert at the Wahweap Overlook.  We needed to freshen up with such high, dry temperatures so we drove to Lone Rock beach, down the road and had a swim in the beautiful blue lake.

Before we continued our roadtrip to Monument Valley, we wanted to explore Antelope Canyon with slot canyons being magical crevasses in the rock, split and polished by water & time.  Unfortunately it was closed due to flood danger.  So sadly enough we had to continue and drove to Monument Valley.

West & East Mitten &  Merrick Butte

West & East Mitten & Merrick Butte

Snow fed rivers drain from the western slope of the Rocky Mountains to carve the canyons of the Colorado Basin… polished works of geological art.  When we drove from Kayenta, a small town right outside the National Park, we gradually saw the landscape changing and realized from that moment on that we entered an empire of astonishing cliffs & canyons, mountains & mesas.  On top of that we were extremely lucky with the weather, not like in Antelope Canyon.  The sky was filled with freaky shaped clouds throwing a perfect blend of sun & shadow on the scenery.  This Navajo piece of heaven with the perfect game of light invited us to wander & wonder and just sit to absorb the timeless beauty.

The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters

Sitting quietly on a smooth sandstone ledge staring at this centuries old site and absorbing the afternoon sun, I understood how the Navajo people felt a thousand years ago… completely at peace.  Personally this was the highlight of my journey through all the National Parks.

The sun prepared to set, so we took the car and drove the Valley Road along the monoliths & buttes.  The Valley drive is a bumpy dirt road that you can do by yourself or by booking a tour with local Navajo guides in a 4×4 shuttle.

Riding the 'Valley Drive'

Riding the ‘Valley Drive’

We took our own car and had a great time riding the bumps & holes to amazing rock formations  such as ‘The Three Sisters’, ‘The Thumb’, ‘Yei Bi Chei’ and of course the incredible buttes ‘Merrick’ & The Buttens’.

We could spent hours here… just staring and absorbing the beauty but time wasn’t on our side.  The whole site was covered in darkness once the sun had disappeared on the horizon.   Astonished what we just had seen, we continued our journey to a new chapter in our journey…

2 Responses to “Astonishing Beauty”
  1. mv71 says:

    these are amazing photos! totally jealous and enjoyed reading this post.

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