Tuesday, 5/11/21: Toadstools

These cute little guys are everywhere.

And so are these.

What a spectacular day. Kind of like yesterday, and the day before, and the day before...... We were pretty lazy this morning. After chores, it was about 10:40 am before we bounced down our washboard road towards the Paria Contact Station Visitors Center, 8 miles down Highway 89. The Visitors Center has potable water and toilets. They also had a very bubbly young Ranger lady that loved giving out valuable info on what to see and do at Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. What is with these names?

Armed with about 20 maps, we struck out for the Toadstool Trail. This is a short 1-mile trail up a canyon through yet another alien planet. Utah really should be renamed to something like Excelsior UT275 of the Goblin Nebula.

The bright red sandstone formations juxtaposed with the white volcanic ash formations with a little chocolate trim thrown in was not of this world. The toadstools were really hoodoos. They could be all red. They could be all white. They could by white with a chocolate hat. There were all sorts of fascinating combinations.

Once we reached the area of toadstools, Wanda and I walked for over a mile inspecting each one. Overall, we invested 2 1/2 hours on this short trail.

A fair amount of the RVers bring dogs along on their trips. A few bring a whole pack of dogs. That’s way too much responsibility for me. However, at the Toadstools, two ladies brought a giant tabby cat. The kittie just followed them around like a dog would do. He was big enough, with big enough legs to easily keep up. I got a kick out of that.

The other day I noticed that we had already put 5,000 miles on our last oil change. We drove into Page and found Walmart’s service center. They had a drive up lane for a quick lube and got that accomplished. While in Page, we visited the dam and then Glen Canyon National Recreational Area, which guarded the local access to Lake Powell. I wanted to find out if we could access the lake with our kayaks.

There are a few boat landings, but when I talked to a young Park Ranger about it, he laughed. He said that, “sure we could put in at any of the landings, but be careful of the winds. The park has to rescue kayaks and stand up boarders all the time as they get blown off and can’t return. Yesterday, they rescued over 50 of them all blown into a canyon.” Well, maybe we can find a more protected spot to launch.

The lake reservoir was quite low. One local guy exclaimed that it was only 37% full and that was worrying. He blamed agriculture. Lake Powell is actually the Colorado River, which is highly overused.

We drove up to the beach parking lot only to find a sign that pointed to a trail, and informed us that the beach was now 1/2 mile hike away.

The Colorado River below the dam at Page, AZ, just before the border to Utah.

With the reservoir only 37% full, you can see that much of the land showing should be underwater.

Glossary of terms used for newcomers: 1) V-Jer. The name of our camper. 2) Saturn. The name of our Van. 3) Duende. Our mischievous gremlin that breaks things. 4) Tata. The good gremlin that helps us fix Duende’s dirty work. 5) The Black Hole. This is what we call Walmart because every time we go in for just a couple of items, we come out spending way more than we figured. 6) QT. Quaint Town.

Dave and Wanda

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