Friday, July 22, 2011

Lake Powell at Wahweap Campground

This is our favorite campground for just kicking back and relaxing!  Beautiful, big, concrete level sites with excellent fire pits, charcoal grills and picnic tables! The lake is the result of the Colorado River being dammed up and providing power for as far away as Las Vegas, Phoenix and Tucson. The waters that formed Lake Powell  covered up the beautiful area known as Glen Canyon. If you haven't yet read "Monkey Wrench Gang" by Edward Abbey, I suggest you do so! Great book about this area.

The entrance to the campground!

 We had a trio of ravens that visited our camp site daily, this is one of them. They "talked" constantly! :-)

This was our camp site at Lake Powell this year. That white unit at the back of The MotherShip is the new "swamp cooler" we had installed. Out west there is little to no humidity and air conditioners need humidty to work properly. Swamp coolers work out west because they are water cooled, they work where air conditioners won't! Our swamp cooler will drop the temperature 20 degrees.

The colors here are the muted pinks of the sandstone formations, the brilliant turquoise of the water and skies. The colors change constantly, shifting with the clouds and the rotation of the Earthmother.

There was rain predicted and we got some, but generally the skies were amazingly blue and decorated with a few clouds.

Seems there are several companies catering to European teens, touring them around the southwest in vans pulling trailers loaded with tents and supplies. We have seen them in almost every campground we visited! What a wonderful experience for them!

Lake Powell is always full of boats!

With more arriving daily! This is a huge houseboat!

This is the dam that creates Lake Powell.
Remember, you can click on to any photo to bring it to full size for better viewing!

House boat docked on the lake.

The colors and textures here are amazing!

This is only one area of the marina!
There are also other marinas around the lake.

At the north end of Wahweap are the Bluffs.
There are about 6 of these little shelters.
Great place to come meditate, read a book or
just sit back and enjoy the view!

This is the "swimming beach" across from the campground.

This was a visitor one night when it was almost too 
dark to get a good crisp image. But I was amazed
at how the dusky light picked up the pink and blue hues.

We were here during the full moon!

This is the orchid like flower of the mesquite tree. The flower is about as big as your thumb nail!

When we were here last year, we also visited Lee's Ferry!  This is about 45 minutes from Lake Powell and worth the visit! Here is a link to that blog in case you missed it!

Another really good book about Lake Powell is "Wet Desert" by Gary Hanson.  Both books I have suggested are fiction novels, but fun to read as well as informative!

I am behind with the blog again, we have visited Zion National Park last week and this week we are in Panguitch Utah. We leave here today to go back to Lake Powell for one last night then on down to Camp Verde AZ to visit our friend John from our Riverbend Hot Springs days!  We get to see John about once a year! Slowly we are heading back home to Truth or Consequences NM.
We hope you enjoyed this visit to Lake Powell and keep in touch, we love hearing from you!

Happy Trails to you from The MotherShip gang, Geri, Chuck and our furkids, Scotty, DoogieBowser and Radar!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Monument Valley Tour

On July 8th, Chuck and I took a wonderful tour of Monument Valley! We had already decided we didn't want to take one of the tours that crowded you into the back of a pick-up truck with bench seats that fit 3 across but were invariably packed 4 to 5 people across like sardines! These tours were usually people who arrived in big tour buses and poured out the door of the bus and onto the backs of these trucks.  We had asked our friend, whom we had met the year before, silversmith Emmanuel Gray to recommend someone! He told us about Monument Valley Safari, they give jeep tours!  We found Nate Holiday, owner of the tours and signed on immediately!
Monument Vallet Safari with Nate Holiday 298-209-1364

We had scheduled to go the next day on Thursday but Thursday came a huge windstorm that blew dust all day!
It was almost as bad as what you saw happening in Phoenix! After the storm, the air still hung heavy with dust, like looking through dirty glasses! So Nate agreed we should put it off until Friday so we agreed to meet at 9 am the next day.  Friday was the perfect day! Nate assigned Duffy Holiday as our guide. Duffy was also interested in photography and knew where to take us!
Meet Duffy Holiday, Tour Guide extraordinaire' !
The first few miles going down into the valley are rougher and tougher than you can imagine! Unless you are ready to install a new front end or new shocks, or maybe unless you are in a rental vehicle, I suggest you hire a Navajo/Dinah tour guide like Duffy! Last year after less than 5 miles we turned our truck around! Next day it rained, so we had to wait until this year to take our tour!

Monument Valley is amazing! No wonder the Dineh people love living here! This is their home and we are fortunate that they are willing to share this beauty with us!

Duffy was always willing to share information!

The Three Sisters formation

With beauty all around me....

 I walk in beauty...

The one thing to remember, you are touring somebody's neighborhood, their home. Be respectful!

Duffy brought us to this arch formation and took our picture, look real hard and you will see us near the middle. A reminder... you can click on any of my photos and take them to full size for better viewing!

The size of this rock was huge!

Duffy was always ready to share information with us about Monument Valley.

Sheltered under the rock were other unusual rocks!

Also sheltered under the rock formation were a few petrogyphs....

Even with 18mm wide angle lens and backed way back, I still could not get this whole rock formation in my frame!

 Then Duffy took us to a new arch. One of the nice things about taking a tour like this, Duffy was kind enough to take photos of Chuck and I together!  Under our feet here, is a very fine red sand!

I just thought the other arches were huge! Then Duffy brought us here! Above and below is the hole in the roof!

Those little, tiny figures below the hole are Chuck and Duffy! This pace was immense! It felt like a church, like maybe you should be speaking in whispers! Like you should be speaking to God with your heart! 
(remember, you can click on any of the images to bring to full size!)

As always, Duffy would help us understand by drawing pictures in the sand, or on the rocks. He really wanted us to understand the Dineh culture. We appreciate him so much!
This was my favorite arch! It just felt holy!
 (no pun intended!)

Right next to that cavernous arch was this one, above and below. Also a very nice arch, but just not as amazing as the previous one!

Suddenly 2 of the bigger tour trucks came pulling up loaded with people! The silence was shattered. We left.
 Duffy took us over a huge sand dune, good thing the jeep was four wheel drive!
We passed the Totem Pole formation.

This was taken at the last stop on the tour, 
Artists Vista.

We will always remember the beauty of this place

The Mittens!  This famous formation can be seen from the gift shop.  This is one of my very favorite places to visit! I must thank Colleen Cole who brought me here at least 30 years ago and introduced me to Monument Valley! John Wayne loved it here too and he shot several movies here.  This is definitely something to put on your bucket list. Here is the tour information on the tour we took: Monument Valley Safari 928-209-1364 or 435-727-3340.  It was a great day and we thank Nate Holiday and Duffy Holiday for making it so memorable.
We also want to thank Emmanuel Gray and his wife Marjorie for telling us about Monument Valley Safari!
And thank you Emmanuel for fixing my ring and 2 bracelets! Emmanuel is a wonderful Navajo/Dineh silversmith and I love the earrings I bought from him! Beautiful!

That's it from the MotherShip! We are now docked at Wahweep Marina Campground overlooking beautiful Lake Powell! We hope you enjoyed this tour of Monument Valley!  Happy Trails to you, until we meet again!
Geri, Chuck and the hound herd signing off!