Beauty and the Beast
Ultimate Utah, Day 13: Springdale, UT to Page, AZ
We packed up and left the hotel early in order to score a parking space in the Canyon Overlook lot just past the Zion-Mt. Carmel tunnel. Success at 8:15 when we pulled in to the next to last space. I thought I remembered that the trail had an elevation change of about 50 feet over the course of a mile. Oops! Misconception #3. But we did take our backpacks with plenty of water along as we eagerly set off up the stairs to the trail. Then the fun began.
|Setting out on the trail|
|Contemplating how to cross that wet shelf safely|
|I climbed all this way to see this?|
|Loved the few sections with handrails and this singular example of a footbridge|
|The trail did offer some nice views, but nothing we couldn't have observed from ground level.|
|Shelter Horses in Angel Canyon (photo from bestfriends.org)|
Other boxes in the city took us to a memorial park, a movie museum, and the city welcome sign. We also checked out the BLM Visitor Center for information about places to visit along US-89 between Kanab and Page, AZ, our destination for tonight. The ranger we talked to advocated a hike to the Toadstools, a group of rock formations that look like...yes, you get the idea. Having read about Old Pahreah (rhymes with Maria), a ghost town, I asked if it were possible to drive to it. "Yes," Ranger Lady replied dismissively, "but the town was on the other side of the river, and you won't see any of the ruins unless you wade across."
Intending to following her advice, I studied the brochure she had given us about the Toadstools as we drove east. When I realized that of seven photos on the publication, five were of the exact same rock from different angles, we became suspicious that the Toadstools were not as prolific as they were made out to be. Though that star toadstool was pretty cool, it paled in comparison to other stone features we've been seeing, so we decided to skip the two-mile hike to check it out.
And now we arrive at the Beauty part of this story. Since we had already made up our minds to ignore the advice we were given about the 'shrooms, we decided to visit Old Pahreah. As we made our way five miles out Old Paria Town Road, we were suddenly greeted with a vast expanse of colorful Chinle rock formations, a stratified sandstone featuring multi-colored layers like the area of Arizona known as the Painted Desert. The BLM agent never mentioned this treasure of beauty at Pahreah, and we wondered whether she had ever actually visited the sites she was advising tourists about.
The pictures of the area called Old Pahreah speak for themselves. We were so enthralled that we planted one of our "Hit the Brakes" series of letterboxes there to let other boxers know about this hidden treasure.
THURSDAY, 4 MAY 2017
• Ended in: Page, AZ
• Miles driven: 140 (total 3,462)
• Weather: 50° to 81°, clear
• Letterboxes: Found 5, Planted 1 (totals: F37, P7)
• Walked: 3.56 mi. (total 53.70)
• Colors in Chinle layers: 34
• Movies filmed in and around Kanab: >100
• Moments of panic on Overlook Trail: too many to count
Loved: We were gobsmacked with the beauty of the area around Old Pahreah.
Lacking: Adequate homework before setting out on the Canyon Overlook Trail.
Learned: The importance of doing the research. We failed to do so on the trail, so we made it a point to check for ourselves regardless of the ranger's recommendation for Highway 89. We're pretty sure our choice was better than her recommendation.
More Photos from Today
|A rare wide space on the trail|
|Magnificent natural amphitheater at Angel Canyon's Best Friends sanctuary|
|Part of the Best Friends Cemetery, which pays tribute to more than 4,000 animals.|
|The lovely park honoring Kanab's founder, Levi Stewart|
|Kanab's town/county visitor center|
|A few more pictures of Old Pahreah|