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The fifteen hundred mile trip from the Rio Grande Valley to Page, AZ was just like every other commute to our next seasonal job. Ho hum – drive a little, stop, get out the camera, look at the natural wonder, drive some more, oh, look at the wildlife, drive some more, ooh, did you see that?, look over there, find a campsite, look at the sunset, get up the next day, see the worlds largest whatever, another state line, another time zone, follow the scenic byway, cross the Continental Divide – again. All sarcasm aside – this is an absolute dream.

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DSCN1656Arriving in Page, we realize we are at the center of what is called the Grand Circle.

If you go 250 miles from here, in any direction, you would find 9DSCN0208 National Parks, 24 National Monuments, 43 State Parks in Utah alone, unending scenic highways, Archeological wonders, Lake Mead, Grand Canyon, and 3 National Recreation Areas, one of which, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, we get to live work and play right in the middle of.

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Our new jobs entail Tracy working as an agent selling boat tours of the beautiful Lake Powell/Colorado River Basin as well as part-time Deck hand on these same tour boats. Some of the perks include being able to take your friends and family on these most impressive boat trips.

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Mark’s job is to keep the diesel engines/generators and all related things in tour boats operational.

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Tracy being able to include friends and family is coming in handy as we are enjoying a visit from Tracy’s Dad, Ed and our friend LaVona, from Oregon … both at the same time, so naturally boat tours, four wheelin’ and National Parks are on the itinerary.

When our only visitors, to date, arrive, we decide that an obscure National Park that would usually not be particularly accessible is the one we want to visit. Capitol Reef National Park is only a 48 mile dirt road, then about 150 miles of asphalt away.

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What a day! Great scenery including the water pocket fold where the earths crust slammed together to form the Rocky Mountains and the beautiful Mesa’s and Buttes and all sorts of geological oddities in the region.

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There is also a historic farming town called Fruita where the ground was perfect for growing fruit.

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The next day, we enjoy a tour on Lake Powell and ride on the famous tour boat the “Nonne Zoshi” which is Navajo for “Rainbow turned to Stone” which is exactly where it takes you to, the world’s largest Natural Stone Bridge.

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A fifty mile boat ride, then a one mile hike and we arrive at a stone bridge large enough to fit the US Capitol building underneath. Awesome.

After our tour of the first 1/4 of the 189 mile long lake, we return to the town of Page (across the bridge by the Glen Canyon Dam) and just a little south on highway 89 to Horseshoe Bend. A place where you can stand at the edge of a 1,000 foot cliff overlooking a most impressive “bend” in the Colorado River. On certain days, you can also enjoy the 50 mph wind coming up the canyon walls, pelting you with sand. Needless to say – we didn’t stay long.

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amangiiriTime is running short with our guests, so on our last day together, we take a quick tour of a resort called Amangiri – a playground for the extremely wealthy ($7500 a night) hah, not on this salary – anyway from there we visited the Carl Hayden visitor center which tells us the history of how the town of Page was built exclusively for the workers building the dam and for the old Colorado river tours that were done before the 1950 completion of the Dam and the following 17 years it took for the lake to fill.

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After the visitors center, it’s off to the airport to bid farewell to Ed and to try to convey just how much this visit meant to us. LaVona still has a couple more days with us, but we have to work, so visiting is having dinners together in the evenings, maybe a short trip to Lone Rock, and Tracy arranging more boat tours to fill the day.

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As our socializing with friends and family concludes, we want to thank LaVona for flying here to spend time with Tracy for her birthday and look forward to our next adventures together.

Speaking of adventures, we have Navajo and Antelope Canyon Tours to enjoy together as well as Jeeping this beautiful desert back country. We have bumbled into movie sets and scenes such as where The Outlaw Josey Wales, Planet of the Apes, Moses, and Maverick were filmed – just to name a few.

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DSCN0797We have already made some good friends which is another oneDSCN1474 of the advantages to work camping, friends with Jeeps, Toyota’s,  4×4 pick ups and great senses of adventure. Boat Captains, Mechanics, Deck hands, accountants, restaurant workers, all of us 4 wheeling around in the desert and the canyons and the mountains and the mesas – some are locals and for the most part know their way around, others are from here and there, but as we are quickly learning – this is BIG outdoors and there is always something new for each of us to enjoy.

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We hope you will enjoy our slide show.

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