Thursday, May 5, 2016

An aMayzing Day

May 1, 2016
Page, AZ

Although the weather shows no sign of improving on Sunday, we head out for the Vermillion Cliffs National Monument, south of Page.

Going back down the side of the Echo Cliffs, the views of the cliffs and the river-carved canyons below begin a day full of OMGs!

Hwy 89 drops into the valley below through this narrow cut,
and looks out across this inspiring vista. Later we will be around the other side of those clifs
Hwy 89A takes us across the Colorado Plateau, where the Echo Cliffs curve south and the Vermillion Cliffs continue for miles.

West end of the Echo Cliffs
North end of the Vermillion Cliffs
We cross the Colorado River at the Navajo Bridge. There is an interpretive center here, and a foot bridge over the water. We continue on, planning to stop on the way back if there's time.

Not far from the river canyon stand these natural centinels
While vermillion is the dominate color, there are rich blues as well
Having gotten a later start we're ready for lunch when we find the Lees Ferry Lodge in the little burg of Vermillion Cliffs. A very rustic and quaint eatery and local gathering place, the food is good and the staff very friendly. They're hiring, and include housing and utilities :-)

Lees Ferry Lodge, Hwy 89A
A very sweet location
Wind-proof door mat
The only other "civilization" is Cliff Dwellers, where there are approximately a dozen homes, a small store with gas station, a garage and a four-star restaurant and lodge.  Just before the little community is the site of rock houses - in the rocks, with rock walls. Unfortunately there is no information on these interesting ruins. 

Vermillion Cliffs ruins
Didn't see it until I uploaded the photos.....
What came first....the house or the rock....
Natural landscaping
with balancing rocks and beautiful views
Turning a rock into a home with rocks
Information plaque written in disappearing ink
The vast plateau is as beautiful as the colorful cliffs. Sage green carpet goes on for miles. Although it's Sunday, there are almost no other people here. Each time we stop to take photos or read about the area or watch for condors, we have the place to ourselves. The overcast skies and the perfect quiet make for a most enchanting day. 

The viewpoint is laid out like a medicine wheel
Condor Viewing Area
While I only capture evidence in the camera, Bill sees a Condor in flight with the binoculars 
Not a Condor
The sun comes out as we turn around to head back
We make a quick stop to play among more balancing rocks.

As if the cliffs haven't been enough this first day of May, we take the short drive out to Lees Ferry and enjoy even more amazingness!! The small campground will accommodate a few bigger RVs, has flush toilets, no hook ups, dump station. 

An outfitters group is setting up for an early morning launch - 13 days to Lake Mead in large rafts. What a great trip. Fortunately the weather is supposed to be perfect for the next two weeks.

Lees Ferry
They're going to have so much fun!
The sinking sun turns the red to orange
and the blue to purple
Favorite view of the day
Still more balancing rocks
Two-headed dinosaur robot
Where the brown Paria River joins the dark blue Colorado
It's after 5:00 when we get back to the visitors center at Navajo Bridge so we keep going. I'm so glad we took a chance on a cloudy day to see this wondrous place. 

We had hoped to see Antelope Canyon and Horseshoe Bend on Monday before making our way into Utah on Tuesday. However, none of that happens.

Everything is fine, and we're grateful that our home is mobile and our plans are written in Jello.


  1. You did a great job capturing such beautiful country in your photos. Hard to believe there was no one there but I guess it is still early before tourist season.

    1. Thanks Steve :-) We so appreciated the lack of people!

  2. I love those photos! I'd have so much fun with a drone there!!

    1. Being able to see that plateau from above would be incredible!

  3. The cliffs are for sure OMG. I think the rock came first - LOL. Love your "not a condor". We saw them frequently at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. What a day you had. Gorgeous pictures. I"d love to do a ride down the Colorado. Hope some day it can be its free wheeling self again. So sorry you missed Antelope Canyon. The pictures I've seen are even more than OMG. I haven't been there either and hope it is in my future.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the pics, I took sooooo many :-) We will definitely go back and see all we missed - hope you guys get to enjoy it as well!!

  4. Beautiful photos...I have to get to Page!

  5. What a great day! I love the yellow flower pic. I can't believe Tessa isn't pink after being around all that red dirt!

    1. It's funny that she doesn't seem to pick up the red of the dirt, but asphalt turns her paws and belly gray!

  6. That was quite a day of exploring! The colors of the rock are just amazing, with every hue of the rainbow. Great windproof doormat -- we need one. :-) And WHO did that hand in the window belong to??

    1. Hehe - creepy huh? There was a young couple in that part of the house :-) I agree we all need that doormat in the southwest!!

  7. The colors of the cliffs are just amazing, aren't they. It is a breathtaking drive. It would be very neat to see the Condors released from the site. We drove by the Rock Houses on our way to meet friends for our White Pocket adventure. I wanted to go back and see them but I learned they were built in the 1930's so I was as interested. Here is a little info on the Rock Houses:

    1. Thanks!! I had seen posts that said they were native and knew that couldn't be right, too new and too much carpentry. Some of the wrap-around builds using the large boulders were very cool. Stop next time :-)) Still bummed we missed Paria!

  8. Excellent post. We were there last summer but didn't take the time to see all of what you did. Great pictures!

    1. Thanks Randy, I was surprised at how much there was to see - and it wasn't too far from Page for a nice day trip.

  9. Came over from Interstellar. This post was spectacular! I've been to a few places like this and hope I get back out there soon.

    1. Glad you checked us out - a different lifestyle than Becky, but we too love our life on the road :-) Page is a place you have to see to believe!

  10. You've captured so much beauty! My favorite are the four corners.. Well maybe the lone bird on the wire. Lol...

    1. LOL, those are some of my favorites from the day as well.