On our way south, we stopped for a few days in Kanab, Utah. Beautiful red rock formations are everywhere, which is why this area was popular in filming lots of old westerns – TV and movies. It is a very small town, but picturesque.
We’ve been to the Grand Canyon several times over the years, but only on the South Rim. The North rim is only visited by about 10% of Grand Canyon visitors, and there’s a good reason. From the South Rim, where most people visit, to the North Rim, is over 200 miles, and 4 hours driving! But Kanab is a great jumping off spot to get to the North Rim. Then no more jumping off!
There are a lot of cabins pretty close to the rim, but they are all closed for winter. Fun Park Service architecture – huge logs, large stones, cool buildings.
Then there is the Canyon itself. The colors are amazing, and the size of this place almost unimaginable. Some places there are fun holes in the rock… the one below on the right has a path over the top to a lookout point on the end.
The North Rim is a fair bit higher than the South, at about 8,800 feet. The wind can be dramatic, and sculpts trees as well as the rock.
Here is the walkway to the point over the hole in the picture above. It makes one appreciate the railings.
Proof that it was windy!
The Grand Canyon Lodge is set right into the edge of the canyon, and has a tremendous view from huge windows in its large lounge. Or at least I think it does, because we couldn’t get in. Closed for the winter. But its location is perfect for a dynamite view. Adjacent to the Lodge is another walkway out to a viewpoint.
There was a partially enclosed patio under the Lodge that we could get into, and look out from. Whatever.
Another hole in the wall, but we couldn’t walk over this one.
This is a close-up of the exact center of the picture above. In the flat land inside the bend in the river are ruins of Indian buildings. If you have a good imagination, you might see outlines of walls or loose building blocks down there.
We stayed until sunset. The colors and shadows were not what I’d expected, but it was still spectacular.
As we were driving between locations on the North Rim, Cherryl said she’d seen a black and white squirrel. There was NO traffic, so we stopped quickly and found him. He was very good at keeping part of the tree between himself and us, which made him very hard to photograph. But it was worth the effort to find him… black body and very white tail. No white anywhere on his body, and no black on the tail. If you know what sort of squirrel he is, feel free to educate me!
Glen Canyon Dam / Lake Powell
From Kanab the road east and south is beautiful. Here’s one place we stopped to soak it all in.
Lake Powell is a magnificent destination, and we’ve had tons of fun on boats there long ago. This trip we just drove right past it. Well, almost. We stopped at the visitor center for the Glen Canyon Dam. This dam is what created Lake Powell.
We got to walk onto and drive our home over this cool bridge.
So that’s a bit of Lake Powell just upstream from the dam. If you haven’t been to Lake Powell, you need to schedule a trip. Over 180 twisty, gorgeous miles long, with 8,372 side canyons (I counted.) The pictures below are all we saw this time.
Outside the visitor’s center (Closed: covid or winter or budget cuts or whatever) sits a huge turbine runner. The sign says it was removed from the Crystal Dam Powerplant in Montrose, Colorado. It is here to show what the style of turbine is in this dam, but the turbines here are FIVE TIMES this size! Wow! This one is over 9 tons. I don’t have more info on the big guys in this dam.
What appears to be a lawn between the curve of the dam and the power plant, is… wait for it… really a lawn. 86,000 square feet of lawn, to be precise. When the dam was made in 1964, the penstocks (pipes) delivering water to the powerhouse were exposed, and they vibrated terribly. It was decided to bury them in dirt, to act as a buffer and dampen the potentially dangerous vibrations. Grass was planted on the dirt so it wouldn’t blow away, and they found the grass actually has a cooling effect and helps reduce the temperature in the power plant. I’m guessing it’s not hard to find enough water for the grass.
We finally ended up in Tucson. We are planning on hanging out here for the winter. We are planted in a very nice, civilized park, which is rather unusual for us. We’ll see how it goes. This place is HUGE, and there are activities of every imaginable type. We have our own palm tree. 🙂 Tucson is a fairly dark sky area, which makes for good star gazing. We also have seen some amazing sunsets through our windshield.