We finally made our way out to see Buddy in Page Arizona, where he looked after us royally for three nights. Buddy lives in the midst of some of the most stunning desert scenery on earth and the area is well worth a visit.
On the way to Buddy’s in our Ford SUV rental car, we visited Zion National Park. There we made use of the shuttle buses that take visitors around the park. The scenery is incredible and there is lots of wildlife including deer and wild turkey. On some of the sheer rock faces we spotted some rock-climbers way up.
At one point I had to drive through a tunnel some two kilometres long. This was a fun experience because in total darkness I was unable to find the headlight switch in the rental car. I could find the high beam, which I used ‘intermittently’, but nothing else. The approaching motorists, not realising our dilemma, found this annoying and flashed us constantly, whether or not we had the high beam on. Somehow we made it through the tunnel without incident.
Buddy took us to a local Autumn/Halloween Festival in Page with some interesting stalls and features. The next day we went off-road driving in his jeep. This was fun because with Buddy’s local knowledge we were able to check out lots of interesting places that a lot of regular tourists don’t find out about. We visited the Dinosaur Centre where the resident expert recently discovered traces of a previously unknown dinosaur! It is now of course named after him.
Buddy also showed us some hoodoos. These are rock formations shown in the photo.
The next day we checked out Antelope Canyon, which is famous world-wide among photographers. It is on Indian land, so the native people charge to visit, but this place is unique and well worth a visit. Our guide was happy enough to adjust settings on everyone’s camera and suggest exact angles for the best photographs. Since our visit we have seen a number of photographs of the canyon in galleries and exhibitions across America.
Later that day we took a boat tour of Lower Antelope Canyon, Lake Powell. This too was quite picturesque.
On our way back to Vegas to return the rental vehicle, we took a dirt road through Cottonwood Canyon. We saw more stunning scenery and stopped off at Grosvener’s Arch. Our next stop was Bryce Canyon National Park. Entry to the National Parks is $25 per vehicle but you can get an annual pass to all national parks for $80 and I think it’s only $20 for a lifetime pass for seniors 62 and over. In the words of our friend Teresa, “It sucks being young!”
Bryce Canyon National Park was amazing! There are lots of great scenic points and overlooks. The weather was cooold to say the least, but it was worth getting out of the car for all the views, if you were quick. As the day wore on we experienced a few flakes of snow, which came as a bit of a shock after the heat back in Page, where daytime shorts were necessary. There was also a very good visitor centre, with excellent photos and displays.
From there we took the recommended scenic route, over the mountains west to Cedar City. Imagine our surprise, as we travelled along Highway 14, when we found ourselves in a snow storm! We were descending from about 10 000 feet, so I guess it wasn’t all that surprising, but it certainly came as a shock to us! To add to the drama, snow soon covered the road and the driver’s side windscreen wiper stopped working! With my head over Jenny’s side of the vehicle as I drove, we tentatively made our way down the mountain. Luckily we came up behind a snow plough, which allowed us to emerge from the snow-covered areas without further incident.