Retreat to Lake Powell

We were very tired after our first week of work, adjusting to the new environment and routine.  It was hard to scrape up the energy to go very far on our first weekend off.

But with so many beautiful places practically in our back yard, fortunately it doesn’t require epic travel to see something amazing.  We decided to investigate Lake Powell, which we had traversed on our journey here a week before.

Lake Powell

Taking off on Route 95, we passed through the ghost town of Fry Canyon, a uranium boom town during the 1950s.  But when mining caused some of the groundwater to become radioactively contaminated, Fry Canyon dried up and blew away in less than a decade.

Continuing on, we came to another “town”,  a place called Hite.  The actual town is underwater, becoming submerged after the Colorado River was dammed to make the reservoir of Lake Powell.   There is still a ranger station, gas station, and boat ramp there, but that’s about it.   Exhausted, we lay on the rocks watching waves lapping red rocks, wondering if this is what Mars once looked like.

We saw a lovely black and white water fowl, and an unidentified fish jumping.   Soaking up the sun, it was a tranquil experience.

Me at Lake Powell
Walk Softly and Carry a Big Stick

Summoning our last reserves of energy, we made it to the car and drove further in to Glen Canyon, the great gorge carved by the river.  A tributary  joins the Colorado there, the eerily named Dirty Devil River. Parking the car on a dusty turnoff, we walked out on to a towering bridge, taking photos of the 2,000 foot deep canyon below.  This canyon is isolated and apparently seldom visited, which inspires us to go back at some point.

Dirty Devil River Canyon
Dirty Devil River Bridge

The other thing we want to do in that area is to take a ferry across Lake Powell, at one of its few crossing points.  To us eastern folk, it was a strange and mysterious lake, looking more like a Norwegian fiord or perhaps Loch Ness, then an American lake.   We had never heard of it before coming here, which is strange, because it is astoundingly lovely and will surely serve as the backdrop of future adventures for us.  What will you do this weekend to get outdoors?

The Road to Natural Bridges

We left Capital Reef National park and drove north of route 12 and came to a strange land of dusty hills that reminded Jonathan of the land of Mordor. We came eventually to the dreary town of Hanskville where I built some horrible diet soda and Jonathan had pizza.

We were only about 100 miles from Natural Bridges but there was still much beauty to see.  We crossed along prairie dotted with grazing cattle, the snow covered Henry mountains to our right.  The sun bright and soothing above our heads.

Escalante Cows
Henry Mountains

The land changed yet again and soon we were ascending into dark brown foreboding hills, an area known as Glen Canyon.

Glen Canyon

We stopped at an overlook and got our first glimpse of Lake Powell, a strange aqua marine sea stretching between the narrow gorge of the Colorado River.  A wild and  desolate area it was.

Jonathan at Lake Powell
Lake Powell

The road looped and curved and crossed strange bridges.  Cresting upwards only to plummet dramatically downwards again.   It amazed us to think we would be living in such an area.  We couldn’t wait to get to Natural Bridges. 

Glen Canyon