Friday, May 2, 2014

Friday 2 May - Monument Valley

We left in good time and went past the Navajo generating plant. This uses coal from a mine 78 miles away on the Black Mesa and Lake Powell Railroad, the first to be electrified at 50,000 volts AC.
This is scrub country with cattle ranching. We were lucky to have good weather as it has been windy and unpleasant recently.
We went around Monument Valley on a converted four wheel drive pick up truck. It was driven by a Navajo who was born in the valley. The rock formations are magnificent and, once again, the pictures will give a better idea than my words. The ride was pretty rough but we saw some great sights. There were several stops for pictures and in a couple of places for jewelry.
The guide took us to an amphitheater and gave a short demonstration of the double flute.

Demonstration of a double flute

Lunch was at a restaurant with a wide panoramic view of the mesa scenery we have just visited. I had a burger made with Navajo fried bread while Mary had country fried steak with white gravy.
The ride to Flagstaff took three hours through fairly uninteresting country. We entered Flagstaff on Route 66.The Embassy hotel is the best yet with very comfortable rooms, friendly staff, free internet and a free happy hour with snacks.

Click below to see these pictures in slide show format

Thursday 1 May - Bryce and Antelope canyons

Today is another one where the pictures will give a much better idea than my words could.  We set out from Springdale through Zion National Park. This third pass through was good because the lighting was completely different and once again very impressive. It was a long run to Bryce Canyon gradually climbing through varying country.  We ran for some time through a wide flat valley which contained a wildly meandering creek. The meadows were green  but the hills were dry. Rabbits were playing in the meadow. There was a field of longhorn cattle as well as some ostriches.
Bryce Canyon is a series of amphitheaters with wild rock shapes called hoodoos. The colors of the rocks varied considerably to make a very impressive show.

Click here to see all pictures taken of Bryce Canyon 
Click below to see these pictures in slide show format 
Lunch was close by with the usual enormous helpings. The elk burger was nothing to write home about.
The run to Page took two and a half hours through mainly open country with the occasional rock outcrops, some of them highly colored. We stopped at the Glen Canyon dam visitor centre to see the dam and the road bridge over the canyon. We were taken into the Antelope Canyon in a four wheel drive van driven by a  Navajo lady who lived in Page with her husband and three children.  Once off the road we ran along a dry sandy river bed to the entrance of the  canyon entrance. She adjusted my  camera and then took us into the canyon. It is a very narrow slot which has been eroded through time into fantastic shapes. The sun shining through produces some amazing lighting effects and my pictures are surreal.

Click below to see these in slide show format