June 3, 2016, Chinle, AZ- After leaving Nevada behind, I decided that the drive through the expanse of heaven that is southern Utah would have to be somewhat less than just. I have the Golden Circle on my radar screen for a full month of exploration- but not until next summer, at the very earliest, and maybe not until 2020. The pines, cedars and unparalleled canyons of southern Utah are treasures to be taken one inch at a time.
One caveat I share with most other drivers is: Don’t make a nuisance of yourself, by constantly and abruptly pulling to the side of the narrow road, to get that great photo. So, the scenes presented herein are few in number- focusing on two places: Navajo Lake/Duck Creek and Orderville Canyon. These two very different environments give a snippet of the variety in a relatively small area of Kane County.
I spent a few minutes in the commercial hub of Cedar City, just refueling and resting my Nissan. The traffic was already gearing up for a crowded weekend, hereabouts, so on up through Kolob Canyon it was. Navajo Lake lies in the rim country, above Zion National Park. There were about a dozen people at the overlook, so we took turns with photographs.
The dike was built by members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, during the New Deal, to maintain constant water flow.
Navajo Lake, and nearby Duck Creek, were created by lava flow, which altered the course of the Virgin River, which created Zion Canyon. Below, are some scenes of the lava beds, around Duck Creek Visitor Center.
Orderville is one of the small farming towns that are a delight to visit, in the midst of southern Utah’s canyon country. It is also a jumping off point for those headed east, towards Capitol Reef and Canyonlands National Park. Orderville has a gorgeous canyon of its own, though, and can easily enchant the visitor for 2-3 days.
With the day growing short, I headed on east and south, through Page, AZ, on the southern shore of Lake Powell, across the Navajo Nation, to Kayenta and Chinle. At Tsegi, just west of Kayenta, I cam across a couple whose vehicle and trailer had overturned. The Indian Health Service worker who had stopped to help was having a hard time getting through to emergency services. I was able to call and get help en route. Good thing that neither person,nor their two dogs, were injured. Past Kayenta, a brush fire had broken out, south of Chilchinbeto, where I once worked. Once again, 911 was dialed from my phone, and a fire truck was dispatched.
That was the end of the day’s excitement. I enjoyed a relaxing meal at Junction Restaurant, in Chinle, before heading down to Native American Baha’i Institute, another 1 1/2 hours further southeast. It is time to change gears, and focus on spirituality for a day or so.