John Wesley Powell Museum and Antelope Canyon – Canyon X

10/10/17 Tuesday in Page, AZ

John Wesley Powell Museum

Not only is this a Museum about John Wesley Powell, it includes artifacts and information on the geology of the area, the Navajo and their ancestors, dinosaurs and more. Plus it’s a great Visitor Center where we learned many tips. We recommend you visit here if you are in Page.

John Wesley Powell was a Civil War hero (he lost his right arm in this war), a scientist (eventually he suggested the creation of and became the first head of the US Geological Society) and an explorer. He was the first through the gorges of the Green and Colorado Rivers, 1,100 miles by rowboat. This was from May 24 to August 30 of 1869. Here I’m whining about my trigger thumb while he managed all this with one arm.

Navajo weaving – when the Spanish came they introduced horses and domestic animals like goats and sheep, from which the Navajo made clothes. Before then they wove yucca and sumac leaves to form baskets.

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(The yellow color is from the lighting-it’s actually white) Basket – The center represents “sipapu” – the belly button, the center from which “The People” came. The white beyond that represents “The People”. The black triangles (bottom) represent darkness, struggle/clouds. The red is for marriage/rainbow, the mixing of the blood of husband and wife, the creation of family. The top black triangles represent the mountains. Note the pathway to light, from center to outer rim.

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Weaving – I was amazed at the complexity of this dress.

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Dinosaur tracks. A fascinating fact – 26% of the known dinosaurs weighed less than 220 lbs. Only 14% were gigantic. Most tracks found in this area are one inch to over 20 inches.

Here we got our tickets for a guided tour of Antelope Canyon, Canyon X, paying $3/person at Powell Museum, then $35/person in cash at the site. The name “X” comes from what you see when you fly over this slot canyon – an X.  I recommend this one because you really get more individual attention. We understand at Upper and Lower Antelope Canyons there are large crowds of people that get herded through, so you don’t have nearly as many chances for photographs. Luckily, John could take photos with our big camera while I took them with my phone. Unfortunately I can’t download my phone pics because I don’t have the right cord. It was a great experience, from the fun sand trip to the canyon, to the “dune buggy” trip down into the canyon, to our sweet, informative, very helpful guide. Besides showing us better settings for our cameras, she showed us favorite views of the Navajo Sandstone that form these slot/narrow canyons. By the way, a huge flash flood 3 years ago stripped sand from the lower 3 feet of these sandstone columns/towers, even revealing an arch.

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About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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