Wednesday, June 21, 2006
Through the Desert
We had a fun day yesterday that was totally unplanned. We did go to Bryce Canyon but getting there was the best part. On our way from Page to Bryce we stopped at the BLM Visitors Center for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. We had a great talk with the resident paleontologist and he showed us some of their latest discoveries. Evidently the area was the last part of the U.S. to be mapped and the first dinosaur bones weren't dicovered until 1999 or so but since then hundreds have been uncovered. Anyhow, he told us we should go directly across the monument instead of circle it to get to Bryce. Taking the unimproved road through the monument saves nearly a hundred miles and he said it was really the best way to see the monument.
We took the 55 miles of dirt road and it was truly impressive we only passed a couple of others on the way and it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. The picture is just one of a hundred I took on the trip. I can highly recommend taking Cottonwood Road from U.S. 89 west of Page to Hwy 12. The rental is an Chevy Equinox with some ground clearance and all wheel drive but I think you could make it easily in a regular one if you were careful.
Bryce is worth the visit as well. Not as grand as the Grand Canyon but cool in its own way.
Off to Monument Valley this morning and Goulding's Lodge which is supposed to be the best place to stay in the area. Tomorrow we have a day long archealogical tour scheduled with a Navaho guide that will get us behind the scenes...as it were.