Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Page, AZ (3/14/2017)

There are so many things to do in or near Page, it can be tough deciding what to do in the time available.  On this day, we chose to visit several places that don't require a lot of hiking, thereby allowing time for more places.

An area I learned of last year is called White Rocks and is said to have three distinct sections.  Since I only visited one section last year, we decided to try another section.  Following the directions carefully, we came to a spot that seemed to be correct, so set out to find the colorful formations.  There were a few formations of interest, but walking uphill in sand became boring quickly and we couldn't see a big payoff ahead.  So, we took a few photos and left.  Not every swing is a home run.

Next up, by coincidence, was the White House Trailhead, unrelated to White Rocks and having nothing to do with Washington.  I don't know the origin of its name, but it's where backpackers start the hike through Paria Canyon, a 37 mile trek that ends at Lee's Ferry on the Colorado River.  No, I've never made that hike.  However, I do find the sandstone formations here to be very pretty and just a little different than most of the local rock.

And, speaking of different formations, I wanted to revisit Stud Horse Point, especially to be there for sunset.  My previous trip there involved poor directions and some wandering around, but this time we had better directions and found it with no trouble.  The "road" near the end was quite a challenge, but the LRJ did its thing and we drove right to the edge of the canyon.  A young couple we met there parked their pickup truck and walked the last nearly a mile, but didn't seem to mind.  Unfortunately, the sunset was a rare disappointment for this area, so we settled for strong golden light on the hoodoos.

 Our location also gave us a great view across Lake Powell to Navajo Mountain, as well as the nasty layer of greenish-brownish pollution that I suspect is the result of burning high sulfur content coal in the Navajo Generating Station.  (Take that with a grain of salt, as I really don't know much about it.)
Later, driving by Wahweap Marina, there were good views that included the Belt of Venus.  This is an atmospheric phenomenon that occurs in twilight due to backscattering of reddened sunlight and dust particles (straight from Wikipedia).  The pink band is often accompanied by a blue band from the earth's shadow.  Both bands were visible on this evening, as well as the local pollution, giving us some unusual lighting.

 In an earlier post, I mentioned an attempt to video our Lower Antelope Canyon tour.  Wearing the GoPro on my head proved to be problematic, since I was constantly looking around for compositions and bringing my still camera up to my face, interfering with the video.  Also, it was impossible to avoid the crowd we were part of.  Anyway, I gave up the video effort shortly into the tour, so it doesn't show much of the canyon.  The video is now available at Lower Antelope Canyon.

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