We spent part of the afternoon in Page bowling and playing billiards at a local hangout. The kids needed a distraction from all the sightseeing and a good time was had by all. Later we made the short drive and hike to Horseshoe Bend where we were just in time to catch the sunset.

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Our tour takes us inside the dam and down to its base where we tour the power generation station. Pictured here are 7 of the 8 generators which produce a maximum of 1,296,000 kilowatts. The concrete arch dam is 710 feet high and contains 4,901,000 cubic yards of concrete. It is 25 feet wide at the crest and 300 feet wide at the maximum base.

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Lake Powell on which we will spend the day tomorrow was formed by the Glen Canyon Dam. Despite a lack of general enthusiasm for the idea everyone really enjoyed the tour we took of the dam. This turbine was removed from service two weeks ago and is now on permanent display atop the dam.

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I got up early for a sunrise view of Monument Valley before we head to Page, AZ.

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The drive to Monument Valley takes several hours and we do not arrive until early evening. Jeanine and the kids are satisfied with the views as we approach the park from a distance. After dropping them off at the Goulding’s Outpost, I venture into the park to catch the final rays of light and a compelling sky.

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Before departing for Monument Valley we made one last stop to enjoy Tower House. Although visitation is not permitted their is a nice lookout from which to view this iconic dwelling.

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Throughout our trip, Jeanine has been doing a lot of macro photography of flowers. While on our hike she captures this simply exquisite photograph of an exotic bee of some sort.

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Here is Balcony House as viewed from the other side of the canyon on which it is located. Jeanine and I took a short hike where we enjoyed great vistas of the cliff dwelling and their surroundings.

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Egress from Balcony House is through a small and narrow tunnel which require you to crawl on hands and knees to reach the exit.

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The circular pits are called kivas which were used for religious ceremonies. They wood have been covered by roofs which were flush to the ground so that surface area could be utilized. Each kiva was constructed with a dedicated air intake to ensure that smoke from the fires within would vent properly out a hole in the middle of the roof. Religious ceremonies were held in the round and were never apapted to the rectngular structures used as living quarters.

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Our second guided tour is of Balcony House which requires quite a bit more climbing to reach including this 32 foot ladder only a portion of which is pictured here.

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Visiting the dwellings made it very easy to understand what life here must have been like and one can only marvel at the architecture and ingenity of the people who created these dwellings.

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This wider angle view of Cliff Palace reveals the magnitude of this dwelling which has 150 individual rooms and 23 kivas. It is still not known what motivated the Anasazi to build their homes in the cliffs and to subsequently abandon them for the plains. Access to the Cliff House is only allowed during a ranger led tour and we were fortunate to have a very entertaining and well informed guide.

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Today finds us in Colorado at Mesa Verde National Park for an entirely different experience which features man made beauty rather than natural wonders. Here the ancestral Puebloans built a series of cliff dwellings to accommodate entire villages. It is easy to mistake this photo for a diorama size model but as you will see in the next photo these structures were built into the side of a mesa.

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On the way back I make a short detour to visit Pine Tree Arch which was well worth the additional quarter mile. The boys have seen enough arches for one day and opt to return to the RV where lunch is waiting.

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The boys and I continued on to Double O Arch which required a strenuous 5 mile roundtrip but was worth the effort. Most people view the arch from the other side since that is where the trail ends. I find this reverse side view to be even more spectacular.

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