With camp still snoozing, I woke early and wandered about the immediate area with camera in hand. Once folks started coming to life around the site, I decided to take a hike to the far side of the valley to get an overall photo of our campsite and the surrounding monuments. It was an unbelievable spot as I sat there just taking in the views with the sun rising behind me. I’m not sure how far I had gone, but our campsite was just a speck in the vast terrain surrounding us. It looked to be another overcast day, but still provided a breathtaking vista. Making my way back, we gathered up to have breakfast, coffee and decide the day’s route.
Day 08: Goosenecking our way to Alstrom Point
(If you’re just catching up, part II of III can be found HERE )
Brian brought up Goosenecks State Park as a cool place to check out, along with directions on where to head. We set off in the general direction of Lake Powell and Page intent on checking out these new and wonderful places.
We arrived at Goosenecks State Park and were blown away by the massive size of the canyon the river had carved over the course of time. We took a dirt road along the canyon to see if we could find a cool spot to view the snaking river, but it turns out that the parking lot with the marked areas is the best spot.
Crossing this spot off the list, we made our way to the Utah/Arizona border, hitting the pavement hard. After making a pit stop in Mexican Hat, we headed towards Lake Powell and Page for logistics and a meal break.
We were on the road for quite some time without a lunch, so we grabbed something quick and tried to figure out our night’s campsite. We reviewed our maps and we decided on a site on the north side of Lake Powell which involved some dirt roads but promised seclusion. With the sun nearing the end of it’s daily arc across the sky, we hit the dirt at Big Water just off Highway 89 on the Utah side of the border. The convoy followed the dirt road and split off the main road towards Alstrom Point.
The sun was quickly disappearing beyond the distant horizon and I was pressed to get some photos of this spectacular sunset. With the group at the campsite, I stopped early what would prove to be THE perfect spot to capture the sunset over Lake Powell.
After soaking in the view and with my photos taken, I proceeded to meet the group and find a spot for myself to setup for the night. I was greeted by a 180 degree view of Lake Powell, and even though the water levels were quite low, it was sublime. Everyone else was already set up so I picked a spot right along the cliffs edge to make camp. With the fire burning and dinner made, I was reminded of why we got into all this in the first place.
Flagging down Chad in Flagstaff
The next morning, our plans involved jamming down to Flagstaff, AZ and linking up with Chad who lives in the area. We didn’t have a tight schedule, so we had a slow start in the morning. This was time off from work and schedules after all. Unfortunately, Andy and Jaxx had to bail early to take care of some business at home, so at the pavement we said our goodbyes and parted ways. Andy headed north while we headed south on Highway 89 .
It was an uneventful drive down Highway 89 as we made our way over to Flagstaff. We met Chad at Historic Brewing Company, a pretty cool tucked away spot in downtown Flagstaff with some excellent local brews and food. Somehow everything tasted so good, from the burgers to the fish & chips, and even the brussel sprouts. We stuffed our faces and enjoyed a brew while we discussed the next campsite, where Chad would be joining us. After a break, we decided to restock our supplies, firewood and road snacks while we were there. Chad headed home to gather his things to meet us at our predetermined campsite later on.
The group headed down Highway 17 with our exit at Schnebly Hill Road, which would be a dirt road that would take us to our campsite with a spectacular view. We traveled along this road passing a few locals already camped out but we found our spot further in and off the main road. This area held another amazing view of the valley below with the city of Sedona off in the distance. We found our spots for camp along the rocky ridge and settled down. Chad joined us just in time for the campfire. Games and drinks were had, and another entertaining and joyous night fell upon us. Great times with great friends.
The Long Road Home
Our final morning in camp was a slow start, and the cleaning up from the meal from the night before needed to be completed. Once we had ensured that we had left no trace of our being there, we packed up and began the long journey home. The main group decided to grab breakfast in Sedona while I had to head home. As we made our way down to civilization, we stopped to take one last group photo at the base of the mountain.
Until our next big adventure… Thanks for reading!
All photos in this 3 part series were taken with my old and battered Nikon D80 with the following lenses:
Sigma 17-55mm f2.8 and Sigma 70-200mm f2.8.