Page and Kanab

In the morning I checked out Glen Canyon Dam and Lake Powell. Unfortunately the lift was broken so I couldn’t go down into the power plant, but it was still amazing to see and learn about. Such an engineering feat considering it was built in the 1950’s. I will also be hitting up Hoover Dam so hopefully I can go down into the power plant then.

Glen Canyon Dam

Lake Powell
Lake Powell

The next stop I planned on hiking into The Wave just out of Kanab in Utah after about an hour of driving on red, wash-boarded dirt roads I arrived at the trail-head. There wasn’t allot of information about the wave trail and it was later in the day so I went and asked a couple who had just come out of the trail. They informed me that you had to enter a ballot to hike to the wave, at this point the Ranger turned up. I had a chat to her for a bit, and apparently only 20 people a day can do the wave hike, 10 passes are allocated online months in advance and the other 10 are drawn the day before at 9am bingo ball style. Oops my research, which involved seeing a photo of the wave and its location and thinking that looks cool ill do that, didn’t tell me this, so I headed into Kanab.

On the road to The Wave
View on the Way back out
This little Coyote ran across the road in front of me

As I had a Skype interview in a couple of days and being the biggest town in the area I stayed two nights, it was also the location of the Wave ticket office, so each morning I put my name down but was unlucky :-(.

On the second day I visited Best Friends Animal Society a massive animal sanctuary just outside of Kanab where they rescue animals, mostly dogs and cats. I was hoping to get a bit of a Dog fix, but on the tour you only got to spend time with one dog. The tour was interesting though and inspiring to see what they were doing. They are working with shelters all over the country to try to help reduce the amount of animals going into shelters, as well as leading a no-kill initiative. After that I headed to the Coral pink sand dunes which were these amazing orange-red dunes, I wandered around there for a while before heading back to kanab.

While I waited for my tour at Best Friends I managed to finally snap a hummingbird in action



After my interview the next day I headed to the Grand canyon.

Moab to Page AZ

What a day, in the morning I got up and headed to the Mill Canyon Dinosaur trails. A short drive out of town on 191 you turn off onto Mill Canyon Rd and follow the signs. It was only a short walk from the Car Park to the viewing area where they’ve installed some boardwalks and information boards that highlight some of the prints and what they belonged to. I was surprised at just how many prints there were, it was amazing and pretty surreal to see footprints from Dinosaurs perfectly preserved in what used to be the bed of a spring, it really felt like I was walking with giants.

Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail

Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail

Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail

Mill Canyon Dinosaur Trail

Next up was Monument Valley, I didn’t actually go into Monument Valley National Park but stopped off for lunch. Driving in was pretty amazing seeing the massive sandstone buttes rising up from the desert floor.

Monument Valley

Monument Valley

Finally before heading into Page for the night I visited Horseshoe Bend. Wow, what an amazing sight; you take a short hike from the car park over a hill until you come to the outside rim of a massive canyon where the Colorado river wraps around on its self some 300m below making this massive horseshoe, it was an awesome sight to see.

Horseshoe Bend

Me Horseshoe Bend

I then headed into Page to get some stuff and stayed the night on some Bureau of Land Management (BLM) land just outside of Page. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it yet, but you can camp on BLM land for free, there’s a few rules which you can look up and no facilities, but I’ve stayed on it a few times now and it works well. I’ve been using this website to find most of my camping freecampsites.net.

Drive to Moab – Arches National Park

The drive from Mesa Verde was pretty short only about 2h, I’ve done pretty well this whole trip I think the longest I’ve had to drive in a day is only about 4h.

The landscape was now alot more like I was expecting from a desert and the West haha, red sand with with these amazing red sandstone formations and cliffs rising up out of the ground, cut by water over millions of years. On the way in to town you drive past Wilson’s Arch which is a short stroll from the road so I stopped to have a look, the Arches are pretty amazing.

Wilson's Arch

The campsite I was heading to was just on the other side of Moab. As you’re heading out of Moab towards the arches national park, you turn right down 128 (There is a gondola on the corner) which follows the Rio Grande River through the canyon. Along this road there are a number of self-register first in best dressed campgrounds. The first couple, which are definitely the nicer ones were already full but a bit further down there were some spots free.


Location: Oak Grove Campground, Moab, Utah
Address: UT-128, Moab, Utah 84532
GPS: 38.6436249,-109.4786776
Cost: $15.0
Facilities: Waterless restroom, picnic tables, camp BBQ’s.


Oak Grove Campsite
Oak Grove Campsite

These camp grounds were allot more exposed, but you get some shade from the sun in the evenings from the canyon walls. I was still an awesome spot on the river bank with canyon walls soaring above you, was pretty amazing. I set up camp and had some dinner. While I was cooking dinner I could see a few people swimming in the river from the rocks a little downstream. After dinner since it was still pretty damn hot, I decided it might be nice to go for a swim to cool off. So i wandered down and joined them, it was two couples one probably late 40’s the other about my age.We chatted while we swam; Well stood on rocks in the water, the current was quite strong in this section so you couldn’t really swim, but it was still really nice to cool off. We stayed till the light was pretty much gone then headed back out camps while we could still see the way.

The next day I got up and hit Arches national park, again I got in for free, not sure why maybe because they were doing works so a couple of places were shut (usually $25 i think). The only thing I will write about this is I headed straight for the far end of the Park for two reasons; one allot of the people coming in were stopping at the earlier stops and second most of the hiking is at the far end of the park so I wanted to get it out of the way while it was cooler in the morning. Now I’m going to let the pictures do the talking.

Landscape Arch
Landscape Arch
Partition Arch
Partition Arch

Partition Arch
Partition Arch
Navajo Arch
Navajo Arch

Most of the arches are made from sandstone fins that have eroded over millions of years.
Double O arch
Double O arch

 

Longnose Leopard Lizard
Skyline Arch
Skyline Arch
Sandstone Arch
Sandstone Arch
Broken Arch
Broken Arch
Fiery Furnace
Fiery Furnace
Delicate Arch
Delicate Arch

After a long hot day in the Park I felt like a refreshing beverage… so I stopped in at the Moab Brewery and had a Beer at the Bar. While I was sitting at the bar a local man came and Sat between myself and another guy, who turned out to be a Kiwi, the Jeff the local guy was amazed that he had sat down between the two of us. So we all got chatting, the Kiwi had shipped his motorbike over from NZ to a place in south america and has been travelling around on it for a few months,  Jeff is civil engineer working for KOA campgrounds planning the remodeling and infrastructure of their campgrounds around the stated and in his spare time he goes rock crawling in his modified Jeep. As the night went on and we got chatting more, Jeff offered to take me out 4x4ing in his Jeep if I was around the next day, I was meant to be leaving in the morning but decided to stay as I didn’t want to pass up this great opportunity. That night I actually ended up staying at a Backpackers in town as it was cheaper than camping ($12).