The day after our friends’ wedding and our last full day in Arizona, Andy and I spent the day exploring his old stomping grounds. Our first stop was Horseshoe Bend.
Horseshoe Bend was one of Andy’s favorite places to visit when he lived in Page, but it’s changed quite a bit in the decade he’s been away, due to the influence of Instagrammers. (Even Page itself has changed quite a bit because of social media. For example, so many wealthy people are buying homes to turn into AirBNBs that Page locals can’t afford to buy homes in their own town!) What was once a hole-in-the-wall, quiet spot to reflect on nature’s beauty has turned into a tourist sensation full of tour buses and crowds—it kind of ruined the experience, in our opinions.
Nonetheless, we decided to hike down to the Bend. The city has begun paving a hiking trail to make it easier to reach the bend, but it was still in progress when we visited, but we had no choice but to hike. It was a somewhat challenging hike, being 32 weeks pregnant with an even bigger belly. Once we finally made it over the hill and to the Bend, we were shocked to see tourists perched on the very edge of the overlook doing insane yoga poses and standing on their tiptoes. It terrified me; I was afraid someone would fall on the slick sandstone. Even Andy was very nervous because he knew the (un)likelihood of surviving a fall and the extreme difficulty of a rescue/retrieval.
After enjoying the sights and snapping a few photos, we began our hike back to the car. If I thought the hike down was strenuous, hiking uphill in the sand was plain excruciating. Thankfully, there were a couple of benches where Baby and I could stop to rest. By the time we finally reached the car, I was done.
As exhausted as I was, we refused to let that stop our sightseeing! On to Lake Powell. But first, lunch! We wanted to enjoy a fancy lunch at the Rainbow Room at Lake Powell, where Andy worked as a teenager. Unfortunately, it didn’t open until the early evening, so instead, we went next door to the Driftwood Lounge. It has the same food and the same views but is half the price 😉
After we stuffed our bellies, we drove around Lake Powell. We walked along the beachfront and went out on the pier to enjoy the view. You’ll notice I was wearing my sweet compression stockings in all the photos — by that point in the day, my legs were so swollen that I did not care how tacky I looked 😉 We would have loved to rent a pontoon boat or even a houseboat, but we’ll have to save that for our next trip to the Grand Canyon State.
Wahweap Overlook is where all the teenagers go “necking” … or at least, that’s where they all went a decade ago. Naturally, they were almost always caught by the BLM officers patrolling the area. I asked Andy if he ever did that when he lived there, and he assures me he didn’t 😉
Then we drove to the campsite where Andy used to live. At that time, Andy’s parents worked for the company that manages Lake Powell’s marina, campground, and restaurants, and there was an employee-specific campground where workers and their families could live. The majority of that campsite is now closed, and employees with families must live either in Page or across the Utah border.
Speaking of Utah, we drove over the border to snap a photo at the state sign. On the way there, we passed a “BUMP” sign. I had been looking for one throughout my pregnancy and was thrilled to find one in the middle of nowhere in the Arizonan desert!
As we drove through Utah (or was it Arizona?), we saw a tumbleweed blow across the road and a jackrabbit running. We also passed a roadrunner beating its meat. No, that’s not a euphemism — it was literally beating a dead rodent on the ground. It felt so quintessentially Arizonan to see a tumbleweed, a jackrabbit, and a roadrunner all in the span of about 5 minutes.
We ended the day by driving from Page down to Prescott Valley. The view was gorgeous, and once again, makes us wish we had more time to spend in Arizona.