Grand Staircase-Escalante NM, Vermilion Cliffs NM, Wahweep Marina and Glen Canyon Dam (Glen Cyn NRA)

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”.

stair 01stair 02stair 03

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….


path 00

We had to take this path because the wash we generally followed was stopped by (see next photo):

path 01

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.”

toad 01toad 03

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.


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:

dam 01dam 02dam 03

These are the Helios boats that Nancy/Greg got to ride on from the dam to Horseshoe Bend yesterday.

dam 04

Helios boats below Glen Canyon Dam on River side.


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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