Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Page Az

We arrived at Page on Saturday and spent the night at the Elk's Lodge. We took a drive out to where our friends Randy and Diana had set up camp and the next day we joined them in the middle of nowhere with beauty surrounding us. We took a hike up into the hills nearby and then did an 80 mile drive. All but 42 miles was 4 wheeling. We went down Smoke Hollow Rd for 16 miles and it was in a dry wash bed most of the way. We were both a little nervous as there were clouds in the area and we had heard about the danger of flash floods out in these canyons. We soon climbed to the top at 5500' elevation and sighed when the beauty of Lake Powell opened up and we then started down Smoky Mountain road. A little better road but might twisty on the down hill run.

Monday was the start of our chance for the "Wave" lottery. It is a 6 mile hike round trip to a fantastic sandstone formation. Only 10 people a day are allowed in by the Grand Staircase Esclante BLM. Around 20 people showed up and numbers are drawn until 10 people are chosen to hike the next day.We lost so we then went into Page for repairs on Donna's kayak. It was fixed very professionally in just a few hours. While we were there we toured a huge 3 story houseboat that has 8 bedrooms. The owner said they have had as many as 40 on board. The kitchen is huge with two sinks and two refrigerators. Back at the ranch two more Win's showed up in our little patch of land.

Tuesday found all 6 of us here hiking to the Horseshoe Bend overlook. It was very high up with straight down cliffs. It was beautiful. We hope to be able to kayak the river the first of next week. Bob and I then toured the Powell Museum. It has very interesting displays on John Wesley Powell's trip thru the Grand Canyon in 1869. He was the first. Now 20,000 a year do the trip. There was a slide show of a rafting trip. We are so looking forward to doing it again in a few weeks. Back at the ranch we sat a while then got an itch to 4 wheel behind the cliff's we are parked by. There was an interesting cave and some incredible views.

Wednesday and Thursday we went for the lottery at the wave and still not lucky. On Wednesday we first did a 1 1/2 mi hike to the Toad Stools then we drove up Cottonwood Rd stopping along the way for another hike called Cottonwood Narrows.
We then went onto Bryce for lunch. It was great being back up that way with all the beautiful hoodoos and colors. When we got back to camp we were having fierce winds with 50 mph gusts. Had to bring one of the slides in.

Thursday afternoon we took a 4 wheeling drive on the west side of the lake to an overlook. Got back in the car and the engine wouldn't start. Bob and George checked under the hood and found a loose battery cable. Back on the road and still 20 miles from home and we had a flat tire. The guys changed to the spare. Meantime our GPS system failed us. We think it is a bad power cord. We also got a call that a WIN friend had passed away.

Today was our lucky day at the Wave lottery. Someone came in and turned two passes in so they had a special lottery. We won that. We had 5 chances to win and during the regular lottery our numbers were called 4 more times for the next day. George, a friend was on our draw so he got it for the next day. We took him back to the rigs and quickly packed our packs and headed out. It was a overcast sky which made for cool hiking and considering the strenuousness of the hike we were glad for it. High temp was in the low 60's. The wave is 3 miles in and there are NO trails to follow. They gave us a picture type map to follow and GPS coordinates but we managed to get off course twice. Our total hike was 6.7 miles. The terrain was sand, slickrock and steep hills both in sand and slickrock. At times we felt like mountain goats. But it was worth it. Bob says he would like to do it again on a sunny day and I told him I would pack his lunch. On the way home we stopped at a BBQ restaurant and had a delicious meal. Since we had nothing prepared at home and were both too exhausted to go to Page for dinner or cook something at the MH we were doubly glad this place was open. Back at the rigs the group was starting to worry but they also were having a great social hour so we drove up and
joined them.

Here our some of the photos taken at the "Wave" an unbelievable place, well worth the hard hike to get there.

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