After we left Holbrook, we headed over towards Flagstaff, Arizona to stock up on some supplies and do some housekeeping. One of the things we noticed while living on the road is that we do not spend nearly as much money at Target as we do otherwise. Maybe Target needs to allow RV overnight parking and they will make a lot more money from us.
As we were making the rounds, which basically means, diapers, wipes and the My Little Pony aisle, we ran into someone that followed us in here who reads our blog. She lives in Flagstaff and noticed our trailer in the parking lot and just happened to see us walking in. It is always nice to meet people randomly this way. Most of our blog readers who we meet on the road are usually hesitant at first to approach us in fear that they are intruding but we actually quite enjoy these meetings. I mean, how else are we suppose to know if they don’t tell us 🙂 In conversation Marlene learned that she is a wildlife biologist which is Marlene’s dream job.
In the parking lot, we noticed that the Northern Arizona University Women’s Water Polo Team was doing a car wash fund raiser. Well, we do need a wash. It couldn’t hurt to ask if they would be interested in washing the van and Airstream for us.
Marlene and the kids stayed inside as a bunch of college girls sprayed, scrubbed and rinsed off a couple of weeks of road grime. Anything to help a good cause.
In the couple of hours we spent in Flagstaff, we had to decide where we wanted to go next. Our last time here we made a last minute decision to visit Prescott which turned out to be a great experience. Since we were not quite ready to head west into California just yet, we made another audible call and started making our way north towards the town of Page, Arizona near the Utah border.
The drive to Page was very scenic but we kept seeing signs about a landslide road closure. We didn’t really know how it would effect us so we just kept driving north on Highway 89.
As we got within 20 miles of Page, this happened. Apparently the road closure is only a few miles from Page and there is no way to get there except for us to backtrack and take a new road that does not yet exist on our GPS. At this point we were racing against a setting sun. We wanted to make it to the world famous Horseshoe Bend lookout point before it got dark so we can get a photo of it.
The detour took about an extra hour from our drive and we finally made it to the parking lot of Horseshoe Bend shortly after the sunset.
I ran out of the car with camera in hand and started to make the 1 mile dash out to the edge of the river. I was probably the only person who was still making my way out as most are going the opposite direction.
It turned out that shortly after dusk is one of the best times to take photos here. The valley carved by the Colorado River is so deep that whenever there is direct sunlight, there are always shadows casting in some direction. As I stood on the edge, there are no guard rails of any kind and to get a photo like this will require you to pretty much lean over the edge of 4,000 ft drop off. I found a stable spot, laid down on my stomach and shimmied to the edge. If you are afraid of heights or have issues with vertigo, you might have problems with seeing this amazing sight.
Since Marlene and the kids didn’t make it out to see it the night before, we spent the night at the Page Walmart and came back the next morning.
This is what it looks like in the morning with a good part of the canyon shaded.
Maybe this gives you an idea of just how big and high from the river this valley is.
People are always offering to take our family photo at places like this. It’s a nice gesture and we usually oblige but know to not expect the best results. Here is a typical shot. Half of us are cropped off and a giant shadow of the person is right next to us.
Even though there is lots of open land around Page, Arizona, there really isn’t as much free camping as you would expect. One of the main reason is that Glen Canyon is controlled by the National Park System which doesn’t allow as much disperse camping. On top of that, much of the other land is Navajo country and unless you are a tribesman, you are not allowed on.
As if that wasn’t difficult enough to find a spot, the sequester-induced government shutdown is still going strong. But as we were headed up to Page, we learned that the state of Utah negotiated a deal with the federal government to pay for the parks in their state to reopen. We were thrilled to drive across the state line to southern Utah and find Lone Rock Beach to be open for business.
Lone Rock Beach is right on Lake Powell and you can camp anywhere along the beach. We did not dare go too close to the sand fearing that we would get stuck so we found a perfect spot right on top of the bluff with perfect view of Lone Rock.
For $10 a night, this place is awesome. It has a dump station, a water filling station, a standard restroom and various vault toilets throughout the area.
I think this place will do just fine.
From the driver side of the trailer we have awesome views of Lake Powell. There is also a small fire pit someone made and since we didn’t buy any firewood, all we had to burn was some bacon-grease infused paper towels.
The other side of the trailer is a giant sand pit for the kids to dig and play to their hearts’ content.
Luka was inspired and painted his first artwork ever. One day when he is famous this will be worth a lot of money. I just wish we didn’t throw it away.
Just down the bluff from our spot is the beach. The water level is really low right now as it can go nearly to the edge of the hill when it is full.
The water is pretty brisk but that didn’t bother the kids. They loved playing in it.
During summer, this place is suppose to be packed. Today we were pretty much the only ones here.
Between Lone Rock and Page is a little lookout spot called Wahweap Scenic Overlook. From here you can get a great view of Lake Powell, the Escalante Grand Staircase and Monument Valley. The photos really don’t do it justice.
Ava is really enjoying taking photos with both the phone and sometimes the DSLR camera.
Marlene got a great shot of her taking a picture of Luka during the golden hour. The light could not have been more perfect.
Say cheese, Luka!
These three littles really kill me, in a good way.
After a few nights at Lone Rock, we hitched up and headed out. There is so much more to explore here but we just didn’t get around to doing it all.
On the day we left, we got the news that the government shutdown has officially been lifted. That means all of the National Parks, Monuments and BLM locations are all opening back up today.
Coincidence or not, just as we were leaving the campground, a crew was there to replace the cattle guard at the gate. I suppose they have been waiting for the official word to come down before doing this job and it is our lucky day. We were directed to go around the side of the gate in the soft sand.
I hesitated for a moment but thought we didn’t really have much of a choice but to give it a shot. This is what happened.
The crew saw that I was stuck pretty good and offered to drag us out with their tractor. Well, there is no way to do that. We don’t really have any place to hook to in the front of the van or the back of the Airstream. I was in pretty deep and there is no unhitching either. The last thing I need is for them to rip me out of here via the steering linkage and have thousands in repairs later.
With a lot of help from the crew, we dug and placed discarded asphalt pieces from the side of the road and our lynx leveler blocks for traction, and we managed to free ourselves with no damage.
Now we are finally out of here. We will be making our way through southern Utah and towards Las Vegas.
over and out,