10/13/17 Friday in Page, AZ
Today we ventured into the Grand Staircase-Escalante NM. It’s Escalante name refers to the Dominquez-Escalante (two Catholic priests) expedition to find an overland route from Sante Fe, NM to their mission in Montery, CA. It’s Grand Staircase name refers to the 5 different geologic layers (staircase) descending from Bryce Canyon to the Grand Canyon. Pink Cliffs (Bryce Canyon), to Gray Cliffs, to White Cliffs (Zion), to Vermillion Cliffs, to Chocolate Cliffs and then on to the landing or rim of the Grand Canyon. “The alternating configuration of cliffs, terraces, and slopes is due to varied erosion rates of different rock types.” We also learned that every since 1996, under President Bill Clinton, when a president signs land into a National Monument, it is then administered by the BLM, not the NPS. Both of which are under the Interior Dept. These new monuments are to be preserved; no roads paved, no buildings put on them, largely left primitive.
Below are photos of Cliffs seen on our trek to the “Toadstools”.
On this trek we had quite an adventure keeping on the path. We didn’t see the marker for the final turn to get to the Toadstools, so it was a hard scramble. John got way ahead of me, where I couldn’t see him, but we managed to find one another eventually. Then we didn’t see the turn to get back to our car, but we managed there too. Primitive must mean VERY little trail markings….
We had to take this path because the wash we generally followed was stopped by (see next photo):
This layer of rock that meant a very large leap/step for us hikers.
Toadstools – “a spine like feature with a boulder perched atop a pedestal rock, like a mushroom. It forms when softer rock erodes away leaving a column sheltered from wind and water.”
Pahreah – a town first settled in 1865, followed by more arrivals. “Considerable progress was made in farming and stock raising until repeated floods (of the Paria (Pah REE ah) River) destroyed property, forcing the inhabitants to leave.” Same story as that at Fruita.
Cliffs seen on our drive to Pahreah Town (now gone). There even an old movie set there, but that was burned down by vandals. The only building there at this point was an outhouse/pit toilet for us tourists. Lovely views of the Cliffs though.
BACK IN ARIZONA:
On our way back we stopped for some views around the Wahweep Marina, where Nancy/Greg are staying.
Nearby, Glen Canyon Dam. Here are some statistics:
These are the Helios boats that Nancy/Greg got to ride on from the dam to Horseshoe Bend yesterday.
Helios boats below Glen Canyon Dam on River side.