this was meant to finish up this series which i meant to do from the beaches of Hawaii where we were vacationing last month but there are so many distractions in paradise that i never had the time. no we didn’t take many pictures chased the elusive Green Turtles but the water was rough and full of sharks. did manage to get some surfers but they are a dime a dozen out there.
last post ended with the grand canyon with our next destination being Page Az. home to the slot canyons. one of the things we learned there besides how poor the Navajo’s who live on the reservation are kept. there is a huge power plant powered by Lake Powell dam on the reservation with not one watt going to the Navajo but sent out into the white world keeping the Navajo in the dark which maybe why they are up before dawn.
the internet has changed the economy for some of these people especially the slots. they now have a steady stream of visitors 11 months out of the year with december being the slow month. yes it does get cold out there so be prepared if you go. we booked a photographic tour of the upper antelope valley with a Navajo company called Chief Tsosie, there are two tours by different companies the lower canyon and upper we chose the upper. dumb luck maybe if we go back we can do both.
Antelope valley slot canyon
we were lucky to have only one other couple on our tour and our guide was very helpful moving us around to get the best possible pictures. but we had to shoot above other peoples heads mostly. we went in the afternoon which i am sure is different than the morning.
wall of Arizona slot canyon
no matter what time of day it’s pretty specutular just being there.
Slot canyon floor to ceiling
the other photographer couple with us were very fussy brushing off their lenses, yes dusty for sure. we only had a two hour time slot with about half that in the canyon. we were fighting people time and light. i shot as fast and as wide open as i could sometimes just going 2.8. the other tog said his auto focus wasn’t working, where do you focus?
wall of upper slot canyon
detail of rock
it’s all so sensual in the earth really cool. take a tripod for sure but know that there is a lot you won’t get, don’t forget to just enjoy the experience while you’re there, who knows when you’ll be back.
Arizona upper slot canyons
we were lucky to find lodging in a motel 6 at $156 per night in a smoking room, but could open the window giving us a nice view of this sunset.
Page arizona sunset
G 12 sunset
beware the national parks are full of bus tour people so our end of season camping ideas were squashed. heading north to Zion and Bryce canyons there were no rooms in the inns nor campgrounds. but i found a state campground called Coral Pink Sand Dunes in the south of Utah close enough to drive to Zion National park and Bryce.
Coral Pink Sand dunes
Coral Pink Sand dunes park
know what they do there? drive dune buggy’s day and night.
dune buggies at night
coral pink sands, dune buggies
Stars, Utah night sky
Milky way, Utah
our camp site was pretty cool, no creepy crawly critters nor rain though going across the sands to bathroom i did see some trails, kept to the road after that.
yes this is how we planned to travel not having to check into motels to shower but this state park had very nice hot water showers.
picnic table with rain cover
if one can’t find national parks to stay in look for state parks as sometimes they are just as good if not better.
So here we are entering Utah where i’ve never been but have heard so much about with Zion national park as our first destination.
Checkerboard mesa, Zion National Park
wow talk about something different here it is. when you enter from the east this is your first amazing sites.
Checkerboard Mesa, Zion national park, Utah
this is a non drive through park with parking and shuttle buses into the canyons. lots of hiking trails streams and pools hidden somewhere.
lonely tree, Zion nat’l park utah
Zion National park, Utah
Zion national park,Utah
rock face waterfalls, zion nat’l park
this is on our hike to see the Emerald pools of the stream coming from the Emerald pools.
Emerald pool, zion nat’l park
well we were traveling during dry season, oh well.
plant life, zion nat’l park
Mountain goat, zion national park, Utah
yes a pretty cool place to be and not too crowded but not empty. bus loads of tourists come into these parks from as far away as Los Angeles and Las Vegas along with other major cities. that’s why if one is traveling to our parks one must have advance reservations or will fine no room at the Inns. people come from all over the world to see our amazing country.
we did two days at Zion before moving on up the road to Bryce National park. we didn’t expect to stay in the park although we tried looking on line but found nothing. we found a place just outside the park called Ruby’s Inn a huge RV camping site with tent camping. but they did have something different, 8 authentic Teepees along side the road. of course we had to try them.
Ruby’s Inn teepees
we did have a wonderful dinner at the Bryce canyon lodge inside the park another well managed dinning room with excellent food and service.
mary in teepee
as life happens it did rain one night and teepees aren’t waterproof, leaking in the center, the floor was covered with canvas so no fires inside but lots of water around us.
mary under the covers
what we had to do in order to keep dry was to erect our tent in the middle of the teepee and put our sleeping bag in the tent. this is were life threw us a curve ball. our air mattress wouldn’t inflate. something happened to the battery case and nothing i did seemed to fix it and a slow leak in the mattress didn’t make for a comfortable nights sleep.ugh
we did manage to hold out but soon wanted to continue on and get a good nights sleep. mary did try to keep a diary at night by the light of our coleman lantern.
the weather wasn’t ideal for pictures going from overcast to partly cloudy but we were there so we made the best of it. we were tired of being on the road by now but continued anyways.
Bryce national park,utah
bryce national park
hoodoos, bryce national park
natural bridge, bryce national park, utah
then the foggy clouds moved in
cloudy day,bryce nat’l park, utah
living amongst clouds
three pine trees, bryce nat’l park
hoodoo, bryce nat’l park,utah
one may walk a few mile trail amongst the Hoodoos, as the ancients called them but i wasn’t feeling up to it then which i now regret. we were chasing something different but probably should have stayed another day of so just the be able to walk around these formations.
next was going to be a big jump for us to wyoming and Yellowstone National park being our next destination but on check out i asked about the Aspens turning and was told to go down this road over a mountain which was in full bloom. ah but that’s another post. tune in again for the conclusion of our incredible journey.