The Continued Adventures of Mama Lana and Co.

17 August 2012 in Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling

 

We always have to pack things in when Lindsay has a couple of days off. So while Monument Valley was a wonderfully fulfilling experience and the drive took it’s toll on us all we had to pack in a boat tour to Rainbow Bridge today. Like Monument Valley, Rainbow Bridge was an adventure we had yet to have. Lindsay and I had saved a few of these places specifically for my Mom’s visit.

So we booked a tour and boarded our vessel. The large double decker boat had an exposed, open air deck on top that while extremely hot—especially the fiberglass seats—provided a view that was too much to pass up. So we suffered through the midday sun. The ride up was beautiful. While I have plenty of internal conflicts regarding the mere existence of this lake I’ve strived hard to routinely acknowledge that these conflicts will do little to change the way things are and much to ruin my time spent here. So I try to accept it as it is and probably how it always will be (at least for my lifecycle).

On Our Way to Rainbow BridgeWith all that said it is an manmade oddity of wonder. Set in the middle of a vast stretch of unforgiving desert lies Lake Powell. Like an oasis in the staggering heat filled with house boats and excess. The cool blue water in direct juxtaposition to the hot red sandstone. If I didn’t long to see what is buried beneath this lake I’d be in a paradise of sorts. But the rock formations above the water are so striking I can’t help but imagine what was lost.

Rainbow Bridge National MonumentAfter a two hour boat ride up lake we entered a narrow channel and wove our way back amongst towering buttes of rounded, red stone and docked on a pier. Just around the corner, after a short walk the top of Rainbow Bridge appeared. As we walked back the whole of this natural wonder was revealed. Towering roughly 290 feet it is nearly the height of the Statue of Liberty. It spans 275 feet across the river and the arch is 42 feet thick and 33 feet wide. Much like all else we describe and photograph in this blog it’s scale and magnificence is only obtainable through first hand observance. The inconceivable amount of time and the near perfect, yet completely random circumstances required to create this wonder is also beyond comprehension. Standing next to this testament to time and erosion one can’t help but be humbled.

Biking on Johnson Canyon RoadThe following day Lindsay had to go back to work so my Mom and I were again left on our own. So I took her over to Johnson Canyon and we did a drive through. This area is surprisingly lush with pastures and trees. There are several ranches with cattle and more importantly for my Mom, horses. These features are walled in on both sides by sheer canyon walls of red sandstone and then white as you travel farther north. If I had to live within fifty miles of where we currently reside this would be where I’d stay.

Road to BeautyAs we left the plan was to visit Paria Townsite and then House Rock Valley, but both traverse rough roads of gravel, sand and clay and there was a storm approaching and smatterings of rain along the way. I decided to test the road to Paria Townsite first and see if we could make it back. Thankfully we made it in as well as out and my Mom was able to see the beauty of the wonderfully painted hills of Paria Townsite. I decided not to venture down House Rock Valley because there is more clay (a problem when water is added) and it’s a much longer drive back.

With plenty of daylight left we decided to take a dam tour. After one failed attempt Lindsay and I had yet to take the tour and so it was another great, first time experience for both me and my Mom. We both found it to be very informative. The Glen Canyon Dam is only slightly smaller than the Hoover Dam and it shares the same concave design. It took ten years to build and there is enough concrete in the dam to build a four lane highway from Phoenix to Chicago. It was certainly an amazing feat for man, but a more than questionable one in regards to the environment.

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17 August 2012 Memories, Trails/Hiking, Traveling

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