I would have to look back at all of my blog posts to be sure, but I think Arizona wins for most stops in a state. We enjoyed our time here in the Grand Canyon State, but the length of stay and number of stops were primarily related to the time of year. We were heading north again, and it was still cold everywhere. Our next state after Arizona was intended to be Utah. They have a picture of a snow skier on their license plates. Their motto is “Life is elevated – greatest snow on earth”. I wasn’t in a huge hurry to get there at the beginning of March. The climate in southern Utah is pleasant during early spring, so our goal was to start the Beehive State in St. George, close to Arizona and Nevada.
That is how we got to Page. It was north of Cottonwood and about three hours from St. George. We could move toward our St. George goal by driving in one of two directions. We could take I-17 to Flagstaff and go west on I-40 through Las Vegas, and then up to St. George on I-15. Or we could keep heading north on Highway 89 when we left Flagstaff and go through Page before we turned west. There was a big lake on the map at Page, so we opted for the route that took us due north. Why not take the opportunity to hang out by water for one more week?
To be honest, Lake Powell had not been on our radar at all… but as with most beneficial discoveries on The Lower 48 in 48 Tour, we accidentally stumbled upon a real gem. Of course we had both heard of Lake Powell. It is, after all, the second largest man-made lake in the United States. But neither of us had been there. Now we plan to return when our Tour is over and we start taking normal vacations again. I’ve always wanted to rent a houseboat for a vacation, and I think we will do that some day on Lake Powell. (I researched options online, and I want one with a hot tub on the top deck).
We stayed at the Wahweap Campground which was part of Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas. This section of Wahweap Bay and Antelope Canyon is called “down-lake”. Almost all of Lake Powell is located in Utah, except for the southernmost section at the Glen Canyon Dam. The entire lake (all 254 square miles of it), and much of the surrounding land on the north side, is located in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. We had to use our National Parks Pass to get into the resort and campground. The land to the south of the lake shore is within the Navajo Nation. Depending on whether we walked right or left our of our campsite, we were under the jurisdiction of the Native Americans or the Federal Government. The campground had full hook-up and tent spots. There were two marinas, one for private boats and one for rental boats. There was also a lodge with hundreds of rooms, a couple of swimming pools and several restaurants (all of which were closed for the season except for one). We were there during the off-season, which was nice. It wasn’t too crowded. I had a feeling the place could get pretty crazy during the summer months. Most of the other tourists I encountered during our stay were Asian or European. All the Americans were still snow skiing in mountain resorts.
The weather was pleasant – warm during the day and chilly at night. Since we were not in a densely populated area, the sky was sparkly after dark. It was a quiet and peaceful setting. We had a nice view of the lake and the campground staff assigned us a roomy spot. There were lots of sticker burs on the ground, but there was a paved trail that connected different parts of the resort, so the dogs still got good walks each day. Mike got to fish. All of us were very satisfied during our stay. We only went into Page a couple of times – for groceries at Walmart and Sunday church with about two dozen other Methodists. I splurged one afternoon and spent $70 to go on a boat tour out of the resort. I wanted to see the lake from the water instead of just from the shore. The cruise took us for a 2.5-hour trip through the Antelope and Navajo Canyons. Mike wasn’t interested, so I went by myself. I’m glad I did. It was interesting and educational. We ate at the resort on our last night. The menu was very limited because of the slow season, but the service was friendly and the view was beautiful so it was a fun outing. The only thing on my list we didn’t get to do was make a trip to the Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The logistics just didn’t work out. Oh well, like I tell people all the time, “There is so much we HAVEN’T seen on this trip. We could do the whole thing in reverse and see a completely different set of highlights”! Now I have another reason to return for my house boat vacation!