300+ Miles from Home


Backside view of Glen Canyon Dam, Page, AZ

It was nearly 11 a.m. when I pulled out of my drive. By then, of course, traffic was not a problem as I easily made my way up I-17 to Flagstaff.

Upon reaching Flag, the heavens parted and down came the rain, quite a torrent at times. As I headed up US-89 toward Page, AZ, I thought I'd top off the ¾ of fuel used. But, as I pulled into the first gas station, I could see they had no lights, so no power for the pumps either. With hardly a change in speed I wheeled my truck back onto the road and continued Northward. However, I could see that the last stations as I left the Flagstaff area were also in the dark. Not knowing if a ¼ tank of gas would get me to Page, the next available (operational) station was at the Cameron Trading Post, 50 miles from Flagstaff. Knowing that few gas stations exist between Flag and Page, it was prudent to fill up when possible. Traffic was slowed by construction on 89 until past Tuba City and intermittent rain, showers and drizzle accompanied me the rest of the day. 


Near to 3:30 I arrived in Page and stopped before crossing the Glen Canyon Dam bridge so that I could take some photos. There were a lot of people venturing back into the area and were headed to the “beaches” to have fun in Lake Powell, which in this case is at the very end of the lake before it meets the dam. Being more interested in the views from higher ground, I hiked up on the red rocks and took in the great views. The  photo at the top of this page shows the backside of the dam and with the very noticeable “bath tub ring” on the gorge’s rocks. This shows just how much our drought has affected the water levels.                        

Keep in mind, what you see translates to a much more significant drop in the water level further and further back into the lake, where once submerged ridges and lower parts of mountains are now exposed again. Still, the marina is functioning and people were out enjoying the water.

From Page, which is on the border with Utah, the drive to Kanab is 73 miles. With one more stop at a scenic overlook on the other side of the lake, I could imagine that large portions of what is now visible, were also under water several years ago. 

With no time to dilly dally and getting tired I continued on through more of the red rock country, which felt like visiting an old friend as I have traveled this road several times before. It is a great place, natural beauty abounds and unusual rock formations are back in those cliffs and mountains, some of which I have ventured in to see. Though I felt beckoned to “come in and visit”, it was getting too late to allow myself time to explore. And, the rain, again hit and miss was my companion on the drive to Kanab.

In Kanab, I have a favorite motel where I always stay, The Redrock Country Inn. It is quaint, a bit dated, but has a charm and comfort that I enjoy. Having talked extensively with the owner on my last visit in this area 2 years ago, he, David, remembered me, as he greeting me at the desk. We talked for some time about the motel, his cave exploring, hiking and the last of my trip 2 years ago near Kanab. So that familiarity, as with seeing an old friend, exists not only in the landscape around these parts. 

Tomorrow I will continue my drive on US-89, until Spanish Fork, UT where I will merge onto Interstate 15 and pass through Salt Lake City with an overnight stop in Ogden. That will be about another 350 miles.

kdonald940@cox.net © Donald E. Kline 2012                                         Disqus Comments