USA Road Trip Part 5 – Page
CRASH COURSE ON ADVANCED ROAD TRIPPING!
Leaving Telluride around lunchtime, we were faced with our longest drive of the holiday. It was a journey of about 480km but the roads here are good and you are relatively safe from traffic jams, so don’t be put off. We were soon back in the desert, enjoying a beautiful sunset whilst listening to the local native American radio station playing a unique version of the song “Happy Birthday”, that bore little resemblance to the conventional version let’s say!
Time seemed to fly by and just in time for dinner we pulled up at our motel in the small town of Page in Northern Arizona. Martha had insisted we stayed in a traditional road trip style motel at least once during our trip in order to be guaranteed the complete ‘road trip experience’, but when the female receptionist, who was tattooed from head to toe, offered us an icy welcome and we discovered that a bachelor party was in full swing by the pool, we asked ourselves for a brief moment whether this had been a wise move. On entering the dark room, we felt a slight hint of fear in the pits of our stomachs, but once the lights were on everything felt far less threatening!
The following morning was spent visiting Horseshoe Bend, about ten minutes away. It is a spectacular bend in the Colorado River, a true Mecca for photographers and best of all – unlike most things in America – it’s free! There is a car park off the main road and from there it is about a 20 to 30-minute walk to the river. It’s difficult for us to say exactly how long it takes because the scenery somehow lured us into a full-on photo shoot on the way down.
There are large beaches close to town along the shores of beautiful Lake Powell. Unfortunately, as with an increasing number of beaches and other recreation areas in the US, a parking fee is now required. Constantly having to pay parking fees can really eat into your budget and America is not very pedestrian-friendly so it’s difficult to park elsewhere and walk to the beach etc. In our case it wasn’t worth it, as we were just wanting to stop for a few minutes to take some photographs, but if you were planning to spend the entire day there then it would be different perhaps. Lake Powell is visually stunning though and covers a huge area of what is actually flooded land following the building of the Glen Canyon Dam in 1966.
The biggest tourist attraction in the area is probably Antelope Canyon. If you are Martha’s age, you will probably remember Britney declare not being a girl but not yet being a woman in one of her music videos, shot here and at Lake Powell. The scenery is breathtaking in both places. A number of companies in Page offer tours to it. Be aware! They involve a high speed dusty jeep ride along a dry river bed with the tour guides racing each other, followed by a walk through the Canyon with a Navajo guide who shows you the various rock formations and gives you the opportunity for photographs. Prices depend on the time of the tour and because it can become rather ‘cosy’ in the canyon, the cheaper, less popular tours are definitely a good solution. Antelope Canyon is a very surreal spectacle, formed by the erosion of the sandstone by flash floods. It is very touristy and probably costs more than it should, but it is unique so we don’t regret seeing it.