Washed up .. brushed up .. in the Casita by 7am .. we have an 8:30 tour scheduled for Upper Antelope Canyons .. They want us in parking lot an hour before our tour starts to get tickets . etc.. We signed up for 3 canyon tours today .. Owl .. Rattlesnake and Upper Canyon.. All different and unique in their own way .. Owl Canyon .. had a family of owls living in the walls .. Rattlesnake had alot of narrow… colorful walls and paths .. and Upper well known for light shafts. Enjoyed Owl and Rattlesnake because there were alot less folks .. our photo group had approx 6 people in it .. we were able to take our time shoot photos and explore canyon at our our pace.. Exact opposite scenario at Upper Canyon .. mass humanity at canyon .. people all over the place .. in front of you .. in back of you .. etc .. Navajo guides work at giving everyone time to shoot photos .. especially if you signed up for photo tour .. which we did .. photo tour gave us extra time in canyon as well as having our guide clear out sections of canyon for us .. Beautiful sights .. even if we’ve seen them before .. Owl and Rattlesnake were new to us .. turned out .. we liked them the best .. After 5 hours of touring .. we were hungry and went to a Marina restaurant that was suggested to us by our guide .. nice place ($$) right on Lake Powell .. Busy day .. only one thing left our to do list for tomorrow .. Horseshoe Bend !
Owl Canyon .. family of 4 (??) owls living/nesting in canyon walls
Rattlesnake Canyon… many different shapes and colors throughout narrow walled Canyon
Upper Canyon .. light shafts.. and more light shafts
Made a few stops today .. Navajo Bridge .. Marble Canyons .. Cliff Dwellings .. lunch at Cliff Dwellings Restaurant .. Vermillion Cliffs .. Lee’s Ferry .. It was a busy day ! Glossing over ALOT history regarding all stops we’ve made .. but .. it’s getting late … and we need to gear up for an early start tomorrow .. need to be at Upper Antelope Slot Canyon at 7:30 .. taking a 5 hour tour of 3 canyons.. and Internet is and has been sketchy since we’ve been in Page.
Navajo Bridge .. Bridge to the left is newer fortified bridge
Vermillion Cliffs .. Multi Colored layers of rock/stone
Cliff Dwellings … there is actually a town called Cliff Dwellings
Lee’s Ferry.. thats the Colorado River.. a few folks swimming and fishing
Cliff Dwellings Restaurant and Motel.. Stopped for lunch .. Place looked Western Authentic .. so authentic .. that a few large vans pulled in setting up some movie recording gear as we were eating .. weather was mid 80’s .. appreciated their mister’s keeping us a little cooler.
A local critter… alot of lizzards around .. also jack rabbits at campground and a roadrunner ..
Lower Antelope Slot Canyons on our list of things to do today. Arrived at canyons around 9am .. and of course cars were lined up to get into parking lot. Navajo charge $8 per person as ‘Tribal Fee’ BEFORE you pay a $20 per person entrance fee… These slot canyons are gold mines for Navajo .. Tour lassted approx 1 hour .. took alot of photos using Iphones and Sony’s.. Ironic that on Memorial Day weekend .. ratio seemed to be 80/20 .. 80 (Asians/German/French etc ..) It’s as if we were in a foreign country ..
People waiting in line to enter Canyons
After Slot Canyon we headed to ‘Big John’s’ … BBQ place in Page .. good BBQ ribs .. and it was nice to sit outside in the shade .. (mid 80’s today) ….
Moving on .. we headed to Glen Canyon Dam … took a tour for $2.50 (per person) .. interesting and informative on how dam was built.
Back to campsite .. cool showers .. heat making us wilt .. not used to it !
Get-a-way day .. Packed up .. dumped and out of Zion at 9am.. Heading to Page Az .. staying at Wahweap campground.. Approx 90 min drive today.
Stopped at info center in Kanab to get some local info .. It was suggested we take a short .. 1 1/2 mile trail on the way to Page… Mile marker 20 .. Toadstool Trail. Trail was winding through some colorful canyons and on soft sandy creek beds. Nice contrasting colored rocks along the way .. and .. yes .. there were some stone rocks that looked like toadstools .. Kanab looks like a nice place to visit .. in hindsight .. we should have explored it a little longer…
Kanab Info Center
Pulled into our campsite approx 1pm.. Full hookups .. decent view of Lake Powell… No major activities for today .. laundry .. showers ($2).. Reorg truck.. and grill some supper.
Will update blog later this afternoon with photos from Toadstool Trail and of our campsite.
80’s this afternoon.. hope it’s a bit cooler this evening 🙂
Last Day in Zion … and our last day on Utah 2016 Casita Tour. Two weeks went by very fast … !
Woke up this morning at 5am to catch 6:10 sunrise on one of many mountains surrounding us. Perfect day for sunrise .. mostly sunny and not too breezy. Sun did it’s job and lit up mountains in just a few minutes..
While at History Museum for sunrise .. we checked out condors nest .. able to put scope on nest .. but saw no activity .. abit too early for condors .. they like to fly in warm air thermals .. so .. decided to head to town for Springdale for breakfast.. Then back to campsite.. showers in Casita .. cleaning and reorganizing for our next stop. Walked on river bed behind Casita .. took a few more photos ..
Next on our list of things to do on our last day was to check out the condor ! Tried to take Zion shuttle bus(s) to History Museum .. but .. lines were way to long.. so we walked .. After setting up spotting scope and watching for an hour we packed up and headed to Museum building … watchful waiting payed off .. finally saw condor leave it’s nest. Ranger said there are only approx 400 condors in USA .. recent birth in Zion makes total 401.. needless to say .. Zion is very proud to have condors in their park. Able to take some photos with scope but we were quite a distance ..
Black ‘hole’ is condor nest … it’s supposed to be 6ft wide … from our vantage point (without scope) it looked like a small dot.
Condor about to leave nest to get food for it’s baby (??)
Glad we got to see condor fly .. even if it was for a short amount of time.
Decided to take shuttle but into Springdale (just outside Zion gates) .. long line for shuttle .. had dinner in town .. then walked backed to campsite. Zion will be extremely busy Memorial weekend .. waiting lines for bus(s) were zig-zaging around bus entry/exit points.. reminded us of Disney Land ..
Last 7pm group campfire tonite .. Don ‘Trail Boss’ & Betsy were presented a gift from group as a means of thanking them for organizing/leading Tour .. Don’s been doing this tour for many years …. Goodbyes were said .. hopefully we will meet up with tour members at other rally’s ..
Tomorrow we head to Page Arizona !
Some photos of yesterdays Casita Caravan to Zion
After breakfast we checked out river behind our Casita .. took some river/mountain photos and some photos of some hummingbirds that were flying above water.. hard to catch them .. they were constant motion.
Decided to hit the Zion shuttles today .. leaving truck parked at campsite. Shuttle buses run every 15 min and are free. Took a trail called .. ‘Riverside Walk’ .. along the trail we saw numerous flowers growing out of walls that were ‘weeping’ water … trail led to ‘The Narrows’ .. hike that you have to walk through water to get through some slot canyons. With water temps in low 50’s .. wet suits, water shoes and hiking stick required. All gear can be rented for approx $50. Water level can be knee/waist/chest high .. depending on rainfall.
Guys that we met .. getting ready to walk the ‘Narrows’ .. wetsuits .. sticks .. etc
After our river walk we stopped at Zion Lodge for some lunch .. 1/2 sandwich .. cup of soup and cup of tea .. then back on shuttle to Zion Human History Museum to check on Condor activity .. seems as though 2 condors have nested in cliffs and hatched a baby yesterday .. they had a scope set up and we were able to see where nest was located .. we’ll take our scope to check it out again tomorrow .. hopefully we will have a condor sighting … !
What a difference a few hours can make .. woke up to 28 degrees this morning .. a few hours later we were in 81 degree temps in Zion. Approx 80 miles covered today from Red Canyon to Zion. It was an impressive sight to see Casita Caravan work their way down the switchbacks to get to Zion campgrounds .. I hope dashcam captured how amazing scenery is .. I’ll have to do some serious video editing to get videos online for viewing .. have to condense dashcam clips into small clips then convert to UTUBE .. If I can stay awake tonight I might try a small clip ..
We have a very scenic campsite ..close to mountains .. and a river behind us .. Expecting crowds next few days .. especially with Memorial Day getting close .. we were able to get a site because we reserved site in Nov of last year. Utah National Parks are way overcrowded due to State advertising blitz both in USA and Europe/Asia. Drove around today .. very few parking spaces available .. people were parking outside Park gates and were walking in. We will utilize Zion shuttle buses as much as we can… problem will be .. overcrowding of shuttles.
Did local local grocery shopping .. and took a drive to St George to check out a quilt store that was high on TG’s list .. nice place … alot of bolts of fabric .. One of the best quilt stores we’ve seen. Approx an hour drive from campsite .. but mostly on Interstate 15 .. speed limits 75-80 mph … Fired up Coleman grill when we got back .. grilled small steak and had a salad for supper .. quick .. easy .. tasty ..
We have cell service ! Using Verizon Mifi for or internet access .. Having problems loading Sony photos .. so .. I’ll add some Iphoto photos .. I guess I can forget trying to add video clips. Campsite also has electric hookups … First time in quite a few days !