28th March 2011
It's funny how a town can charm you without doing anything special. Kanab isn't big or beautiful though the setting is but it has a certain way about it which we liked.
The setting is of course amazing and this morning we explored it a little by climbing up the Squaw Trail to get views across the town and down over the Kanab Plateau.
The sun was strong but the air was cool, the sky deep blue, the rocks all shades of terracotta. We saw cacti, strange trees, lizards, a herd of mule deer high above us. Tom and I also expected to be ambushed by baddies in black hats any moment - it's that kind of landscape.
After a light lunch and some food shopping we headed south-east skirting the Vermillion cliffs and scraping the corner of the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It was an incredible drive.
We stopped at Big Water and went to the BLM Visitor Centre. GSENM is relative newcomer to the protected lands here and slightly different. It is managed by the Bureau of Land Management and is not going to be developed in the way the National Parks have been. No lodges or paved trails and roads. It also has a huge amount of scientific research going on there, partly because it is an extraordinary site, relatively unspoiled and containing geological, paleontological and archeological wonders. They find a new dinosaur every month round here, and over 100 different species have been found. We saw some bones, maps and a short film giving a taster of the area. Tom and I came away wishing we could investigate more. Also we both thought it was ironic and amusing that the Mormons have made their home in a state riddled with evidence of evolution and the immense age of the earth, when their own views on evolution are a touch hazy shall we say.
Sadly our RV just isn't up to dirt tracks. So we got back on the road and drove down to Lake Powell - a reservoir in the former Glen Canyon.
We're now parked in a vast but very quiet RV park in the desert above the lake. The stars are stunning and we saw a large rabbit hop by with very long black-tipped ears. The sunset changed the rocks of the lake and in the distance Navajo Mountain sits with snow on its slopes. It is like nowhere I have ever been but I could say that about anywhere on this trip.