Page, Arizona: Hot in 2 Ways

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The Glen Canyon Institute is a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the Colorado River through Glen Canyon.  The Southwest is facing a water crisis and the Institute claims it’s unnecessary to maintain two half-empty reservoirs — Lake Powell and Lake Mead.  Its suggested alternative is to consolidate most of the water from both reservoirs in Lake Mead and turn drained Glen Canyon into a National Park.  I would propose that, should the Glen Canyon Dam be dismantled and Lake Powell drained, that the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument be expanded to become a National Park with its major visitor center near Page, Arizona.

Ruth and I were in Page in late March, 2015 and it’s buzzing.  Page, present population about 7,200, was created to provide housing and workers’ facilities while the dam was being built.  Construction of the controversial Glen Canyon Dam occurred between 1956 and 1966.  Remote and hot with blowing sand, the dam’s site meant extreme hardship and 26 workers died. In 1962 the biblical epic The Greatest Story Ever Told was filmed in Page and residents became extras.  A town “created by necessity” according to its Visitor Information Center, Page was a totally planned community.  Some workers’ quarters are now unique motels like Lulu’s Sleep Ezze on the Historic Avenue of Hotels.  Huge, new resort-type hotels are under construction in anticipation of growth and change.

For now, the biggest visitor attractions are “Navajo Owned and Operated” Antelope Canyon tours.  Two slot canyons with colorful, swirling red sandstone walls can be visited only with licensed guides.  Access to the lower one requires, for now, a climb down ladders bolted to the canyon walls according to the AAA.  These tours are very, very popular.  The adult rate when we were there was $37 for a 3.5 mile drive to the canyons for an hour and a half tour.  There were about 7 tours each day, depending on light, and the 11:30 one, year-round, cost $48.  The Photographers’ 2 hour 40 minute tour was $82.  Reservations (928-645-9102 or 866 645-9102) were highly recommended.

Also popular is the Horseshoe Bend Overlook.  Be warned that it’s a long, hot walk from the parking area to this circular bend in the Colorado River, and you don’t get to see much of it after considerable effort.  In my opinion, it would be better to do a fly over or arrange for a float trip.  I walked it in late afternoon with seemingly hundreds of other people including large groups of Asians in Arizona to both sightsee and buy property.

The Visitor Information Center included a John Wesley Powell Memorial Museum.  The Museum was mostly closed for renovations while I was there, but the parts I saw were interesting.   More about Page and Powell coming up.

Hank

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About roadsrus

Since the beginning, I've had to avoid writing about the downside of travel in order to sell more than 100 articles. Just because something negative happened doesn't mean your trip was ruined. But tell that to publishers who are into 5-star cruise and tropical beach fantasies. I want to tell what happened on my way to the beach, and it may not have been all that pleasant. My number one rule of the road is...today's disaster is tomorrow's great story. My travel experiences have appeared in about twenty magazines and newspapers. I've been in all 50 states more than once and more than 50 countries. Ruth and I love to travel internationally--Japan, Canada, China, Argentina, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, etc. Within the next 2 years we will have visited all of the European countries. But our favorite destination is Australia. Ruth and I have been there 9 times. I've written a book about Australia's Outback, ALONE NEAR ALICE, which is available through both Amazon & Barnes & Noble. My first fictional work, MOVING FORWARD, GETTING NOWHERE, has recently been posted on Amazon. It's a contemporary, hopefully funny re-telling of The Odyssey. View all posts by roadsrus

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