|We changed our mind in Jacob Lake about|
continuing on to Fredonia when we encountered
lots of snow again.
|But we warmed up nicely at the Jacob Lake|
Inn and Restaurant with our waitress Kinsey!
And at her advice returned to Page the same way.
Our first full day in Page we decided to head west on the Vermillion Scenic Highway to Jacob Lake, Fredonia, Kanub (Utah) and back on Rt 98 to Page. The Google time was 3 1/2 hours so it seemed doable. But first we stopped at Horseshoe Bend where the Colorado River created a 1,000 ft deep, 270 degree horseshoe-shaped bend in Glen Canyon. For once the reality was every bit as amazing as the professional shots. I assumed the colors in the brochures were enhanced - no need to. It's an easy 1.5 mile trail in to the viewing spot and back We're glad we started early because it was pretty crowded.
|Looking down from the path that winds around to the viewing spot. |
|A wide angle photo from the main viewing spot|
|Another shot of same|
|The rocks along the path down to the site|
|Scott and I next to the poster at the visitor's|
center just before I lost it!
Now here comes the Whoopsie Daisy. We went over to use the Port o Potties before departing and I had the big set of keys in my pants pocket. In the process of using the facility the keys fell out and worst luck, down the hole!!! My exclamation wasn't as cute as the one used here! The truck was locked and the set of keys included our RV ones. We didn't have a spare with us. To say the least I was distraught and so of course, was Scott. A very nice couple immediately went to us and ended up staying there until the problem was resolved. At first I couldn't imagine how - but not far away was a helpful truck and driver - a pump out for the toilets. He jumped into action and pumped out the toilet, recovered our keys, cleaned them thoroughly and presented them back to us,, A real hero!
Next we drove down the Vermillion Scenic Route (89A) which goes on to the North Rim of the Grand Canyon when it opens on May 1. Our first stop was the Lees Ferry Historic Site which put us right down at the river, the only place that the river was easily forded for hundreds of miles. The first Europeans to discover it were the members of the Dominguez-Escalante expedition, an attempt to find an overland route through the Southwest between Spanish settlements in present-day New Mexico and California in 1776. The history of that trip is amazing! During the 19th C it served as a gateway for the expansion of Mormons from Utah to new lands and one Mormon, John D Lee and his wife Emma (he had 19 wives at one time) built the first ferry there in 1870 which continued service until the bridge was built in 1928. Lee was a wanted murderer for his part in the Mountain Meadows Massacre and was caught and executed in 1877. We were delighted to tour the RV Camping Site there which had few campers and vowed to return next year and stay there.
|At the river where Lees Ferry used to be we found a group heading down the river through the Grand Canyon. Intrepid people at this time of year. Their food and belongings were all ready to be loaded up into the hand paddled rafts which you can see over on the left. They were small! In season this is a very busy place!|
|Looking up the river from the old bridge, which is now pedestrian only |
|This is the new bridge, built in 1995. Both are called the Navajo Bridge.|
Our next drive was through the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, a stunning multi colored line of cliffs stretching along Highway 89A. There were many historical markers and stops to take photos. We started out with beautiful weather as you can see from our photos but later in the day the wind picked enormously and showers followed by dust storms intermittently came down on us. Tumbleweeds raced ahead of us on the road. They are non-native (from Eurasia) and extremely invasive. For awhile we had a hard time closing our door (or holding on to it getting out).
|Vermillion Cliffs stretch for many miles along this scenic highway|
|There were many spots to pull over and marvel at the scenery - and of course, take photos.|
But soon the road started climbing and at first bits of snow, then a light dusting, and finally heavy snow showed up. But the road was dry so we had no problem. At Jacob Lake we stopped at the gas station/hotel/restaurant for some lunch. It is in the process of renovation as this is a very slow time. They are on the junction of the road to the North Rim, which doesn't open until May 1 and at around 8,000 feet. They made us a good sandwich and we had a nice chat with the waitress Kinsey. She recommended we go back the same way we came as there wasn't much more to see and more miles continuing ahead. We loved the name Fredonia as it reminded us of the Marx Brothers movie "Duck Soup" (Freedonia in the film). Scott really regretted not seeing Truth and Consequences too!
|One of the viewpoints on the road that climbed up to Jacob Lake - here looking back at the Vermillion Cliffs far away. |
It was an easy ride back to Page and we arrived back at 4 PM. We're staying at a private RV Park, Page Lake Powell Campground, right in town. We won't do that again. Some of the sites were nice but they put us over in Siberia with a view of the construction shed and rusty machinery. But Baby is nice and warm and I had a great meal planned: pork tenderloin with onions and ginger, with brown rice, spinach and cauliflower - enough to last us for 2 nights.
|Strange shaped rocks lined the |
bottom of the cliffs
|A few of them had rudimentary rooms built under|
them to create a shelter.
|A dust storm heads towards us.|
|Another shot from Horseshoe Bend but|
looking down the Colorado River.