Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Arizona Road Trip (10): Glen Canyon Dam and Horseshoe Bend

The first thing I did after arriving at Page was obviously checking into the motel I had booked. Being a small town which was originally founded for the workers who built Glen Canyon Dam, it's not really hard to find your motel and go around. Lu Lu's is the motel's name and when I entered there was a Hispanic lady whom I talked to in order to get my key (My review about the motel is available in Google Maps). She barely spoke English but was being supported by a guy from the same background so there was not much of problem. I asked her if there was any tourist information office and she said no. I guess that was also the answer the guy gave me. Nevertheless I checked the information I had and went to Powell Museum, a small museum in the town which was about to close! There were two old ladies who helped me a lot and gave me hand-outs and after that I went to Carl Hayden Visitor Center. This is a huge building by Glen Canyon Dam. There was a very nice gentleman there whom helped me with my plan for an Utah hike which I had planned briefly but he gave me much detailed information and explained things on their huge model on the floor. I spent a few minutes around the dam and took a few photos. There are tours available in the dam area but again I'm not a kind of guy who would be able to spend that much money. It would have been great though. 
I decided to go to Horseshoe Bend after that. I looked at the map given to me by the old ladies at the museum and almost got where I had to go but in order to be certain I went to a local McDonald's, apparently the only one in the town, and checked that with the Native girls. 
This is the best I could capture from Horseshoe Bend. I arrived there late and there was a crowed. I decided to go around the cliff clockwise to get a good shot and this is the result. You either need a wide-angle lens or access the scene from the top. I had neither and didn't want to fall 300 meter down in Colorado River. However if I go to page again, I will take a river tour and go down there to explorer and enjoy. 
There were two of them in the restaurant talking and I approached and told them that I was on my way to Flagstaff but would have liked to check this place called Horseshoe Bend! If you tell them you are there simply to see the place, you would not most likely receive a good answer but what I told them made one to give me a good direction. Horseshoe Bend is not too far from the town and its overlook or viewpoint is not far away from the parking lot. So it's easy to get crowded even during the week. The best time to see this place in early morning, which is not crowded or at noon when you have sunlight directly over the river. I decided to go around the place, clockwise and find a spot to both avoid the crowd and also be able to get a good shot. I almost achieved the first goal but there was not much opportunities for photography. I reached a barbed-wire fence after a few minutes and realized by crossing that I might get myself into trouble with the local Natives but then said Screw 'em! and continued. The cliff structure was very interesting in the area but I was closing to the sunset without getting a better photo opportunity. I decided to take a few photos and go back to the car. By the time I arrived at the parking it was completely dark and there was only one or maybe two cars left. On the way back to the motel I checked a Wal-Mart. It was huge and they sell everything that you might find in the local stores. The customers and staff were mostly Native people but unlike Chinle and Tuba City you could also see Caucasians. 
Apart from my experience with Wal-Mart, if I really had wanted to enjoy Horseshoe Bend, I would have gone there the next day, early morning or at noon but I had other plans which you will see.
(Photo: Glen Canyon Dam near Page. Those small light blue things are boats for the people who are interested in Colorado River tours, something I might consider next time I'm in the area)

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