Wednesday, May 10, 2017

On The Strip

The strip refers to northern AZ and southern Utah

 The Blue Bird Of Happiness?

Thursday, May 4
Dorothy made scrambled eggs and chocolate milk for breakie. The eggs had a dark appearance. I asked her what she put in them. She said “Onions.” I said “And what else, dirt?” She started laughing and continued laughing. Finally she said “I messed up and put chocolate in the eggs.”

We took the 27 mile loop from Sunset Crater NM to Wapatki AZ. The former is a huge lava field. It’s not unlike Craters Of The Moon in Idaho or Newberry in Oregon. We thought it was more photogenic than the former, but did not take a single picture. Geesh it’s lava. Enough for a zillion BBQ grills for a gazillion years.

We found Wapatki most interesting. Several pueblo Indian ruins. They were intact when the Mormons passed through as they did drawings of them. The Hopi built them, left them and the Navajo took up residence until the Blue Coats ran them off. During prohibition moonshiners were using them and tore down many of the walls down to combine rooms. The sheriff could not root out the moonshiners so the Feds were invited to make it a monument and enforce the laws. The feds were particularly nasty in running off the remaining Indians who had been given permission to live there until their death.

 Wapatki AZ.

What a difference a hour can make. We woke up in a quiet pine forest and parked just after lunch on the beach at Lake Powell. Tahoe is a splendid scenic lake, but we favor Powell. Totally different scenery this afternoon. Goodbye green things. Hello red rocks.

 The Beach At Lone Rock On Lake Powell

 Lone Rock

Friday, May 5
It appeared to us that Lake Powell was up considerably. We Googled and saw that it has been rising every year the last four years. Rocks ledges across from us where we beached the boats a few years ago are so far under water we could not see them - and the water is clear. We paddled into a canyon that has always been dry and plan to return and go farther. 

We noticed that Page seems to have more Indians. Small wonder, since one of the largest reservations in the country borders on the town. The younger ones are easy to spot, they are wearing hoodies in 90 degree temps.

Saturday, April 6
High winds today, gusts to 39, cancelled paddling plans. In the morning we checked out renting a runabout to sightsee the lake and take pictures. The rentals at the marinas are twice the rate for the ones not on the lake. Government concession limits competition. We were OK with the rate, but the Jeep is only rated to tow 2,000 pounds and the boat weighs 3,000. And so it goes. We found another place that also rents a truck to tow the boat, so we are good to go.

We drove a short way on a dirt road and thought we were in Moab. Then we saw a wide paved road with a sign that said only Amangiri. A paved side road in these parts is unheard of, so we turned in and drove a mile or so through rock formations that looked like the Courthouse cluster at Arches. We finally get to a key coded gate with another sign that says only Amangiri. There was also a wind sock and we decided the wide paved road was also an airstrip. We asked a local about it and found it was a resort for swell folks that can afford $1,500 plus a day. 

In afternoon, we went to a car show in town put on by the locals. There were two cars we had never heard of, some classic’s, a few rat rods, etc. We finished our town trip with some of the Best Margaritas In Town. They were only so-so.

Sunday, April 7
The wind is lower, but still kicking up some sand on the beach. Not so much so on the perch above the beach. We turned on the generator so we could vacuum the pink dirt. That took an hour of our morning. The wind had blown one of our kayaks in the water and another kayaker had chased it down for us. We are now known as the people with the boats. Since the wind was still too much for paddling, we did laundry.

Monday, April 8
There was a shower overnight. Probably only lasted a few minutes, but we woke up and saw water on the Jeep. First time we have seen rain reach the ground in southern Utah. The temp dropped to 48.

We paddled the yaks in the morning and read all afternoon.

Tuesday, April 9
It was overcast and the wind was calm when we woke up, per the forecast for today and Wednesday. By 10, the sun was out and a delightful breeze came up. Life was good. We were sitting outside enjoying the weather when the breeze piped up a little and Dorothy suggested we stow the awing. We did. A few minutes later she served stuffed pork chops and we felt the rig shake. I saw a sand storm out the back window. In seconds we were coated, again, with pink sand. We were fortunate that the back end of the KoKo was into the wind, escaping sand coming directly through the windows. An ample plenty came in the sides. We battened down the hatches.  Have to tell you, we had little after taste of the pork chops, just sand in our mouths. We spent 90 minutes vacuuming up the pink stuff. Twice in a week is enough. The temp dropped 20 degrees.

After two sand storms in a week, it makes it easier to understand how the rocks have been eroded. 

Wednesday, April 10
Overcast in the morning and a moderate breeze. We went to town for groceries. Tomorrow is supposed to be good weather for our boat ride. The forecast for the next ten days after that is more wind. That will cancel our planned overnight tent trip into the wilderness. We have digested enough pink sand.

Even with not so great weather we have enjoyed eight days here.

 Her Pick

My Pick

Up A Canyon

 Dorothy Coming To Shore

 The Not So Good, Pink Sand

More Pink Sand

The next edition will be about our boat trip on the lake.

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