Friday, March 23, 2007

Switch backs and the mighty minnie

Glen Canyon Dam is just outside Lake Powell Recreation Area (why can't they just call it a park??). We decided to stop on the way to Zion as we'd heard they run tours. We missed one tour by 10 minutes and the next tour wasn't due to leave for another two hours. If only Abi had got ready a little earlier we might have been able to see the inside of the Dam. [Abi here: I think you'll find what actually happened was this - I got up early & made breakfast, whilst I was showering etc Rob washed up & went for a shower (at the shower block) when he returned from the shower I (as instructed) was ready to go & walked over to the dump with our rubbish - on returning to the RV Rob wanted another coffee and then another cigarette and THAT is why we didn't make the tour that HE wanted to do - so there!!!!! He lost out and it was all his own fault]. We had a look round an exhibition on the Dam and watched a short film on the environmental impact.

Some quick facts - The Dam holds 9 Trillion gallons of water and provides hydro electric power to seven states (Arizona, New Mexico, Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California). It cost $240 Million to construct and took 13 years to fill to capacity. At the moment the water level is 150 feet below the top and they've generated $2.5 Billion from the sale of Hydro Electric power. Now what about the environmental impact - Well they've lost some beautiful canyons, screwed up the flow of water through the lower states, damaged the environment beyond repair (the hump nosed Trout is now an endangered species!!) and reduced the amount of water flowing out of the US (still it's only Mexico that suffers). On the plus side it's a great place to water ski. It was interesting to note that rafts launch just below the dam for the trip into the Grand Canyon (Lake Powell is fed by the Colorado River). The trip last s12 days!!!

The drive to Zion was filled with some wonderful scenery and the photo's don't do it justice. Apparently we're on the Colorado Plateau, 6000 feet above sea level. Walking around can be an effort at times but Abi's told me it the fags and not the altitude!!!!! We stopped at a place called Kanab for lunch at a wonderful little diner. I had one of the BEST cheeseburgers I've ever eaten and the thickest chocolate milk shake. Sensible Abi had a Caesar Salad followed by.......wait for it.......a chocolate fudge brownie!!!! (note: she shared it!!)

We were staying at a place called Springdale which is just outside Zion, in fact it's so close the town starts next to the entrance. To get to the RV Park (it's actually called an RV Resort which in my humble opinion is wishful thinking) we had to drive through the park. What we didn't realise is that it involved driving along a VERY narrow road, with switch backs at every corner and a tunnel that was so narrow the oncoming traffic had to be stopped as we (and another RV) were escorted through it. Our truck driving skills were put to the test but we managed to get through without incident.

We've met so many lovely people on this trip, RV'ers are a very warm and welcoming bunch. Some can be bores but on the whole they are really likable people always ready to offer advice. Some of the people we've spoken to have been on the road for several months. Most of them appear to have come down from the north to avoid the bad weather. We've met people from Wyoming, Oregon, Washington State, British Columbia, Ohio, Illinois & Australia!!!! Sadly it doesn't appear as if all the people running the parks are from the same breed, some have been lovely but others are almost rude..Wandering into the camp office yesterday I greeted the owner with a cheery. 'good morning, how are you?' .. 'alright' was the reply ... well, we're not all morning people love, but make the effort!

As we're out of season lots of things are shut, the restaurants, the pools, the bars - we had to walk into town tonight for dinner as the restaurant Mrs Moody-Pants RV Park Owner had recommended was indeed shut! Very cold tonight, we'vejust pinged the heating & got fleeces on (thought they wouldn't see the light of day when we arrived!) - but now to bed.

We've uploaded some more photo/s to Flickr. More tomorrow after we've explored Zion.


Rags said...

Hi guys - glad to see you are seeing some great sights - can't wait to hear your tales and see your photos when you get back. Been very cold here but it's going to warm up next week - we can't wait. Rags and Pammie xxx

Dad & Mum said...

Thanks for the update. The height above sea level might have some contribution to the drop in temperature at night? Glad to hear you didn't carry the fleeces unnecessarily, or there might have been another moan in the blog! Keep up the humour, lovely to read.