Page Turner

On a hike outside of Page, Arizona

When I was 20, my then-husband and I drove from Colorado to California in a Volkswagen bus. One moonless night, we stopped at the end of a dirt road, laid our sleeping bags out on the ground, and went to sleep. When we woke the next morning, we were about 3 feet from the edge of a sheer cliff overlooking this:


Although the experience made a (very) big impression, I never knew where I was that night until last year, when I saw a picture on a travel blog. It’s Horseshoe Bend in Page, Arizona, and I took that photo today. The site is now a popular tourist attraction, with a grown-up parking lot, a $10 entrance fee, and a mile-long, paved trail to an overlook with a railing. No camping allowed!  Horseshoe Bend is more domesticated, but as breathtaking as it was 47 years ago.

There are other reasons to spend a night in Page. The town itself is (very) nothing special but it’s on the way to a lot of special, including Bryce Canyon, Zion, Lake Powell, Monument Valley, and the Grand Canyon. It also had the only appointment I could find in three states for my first Covid vaccine. At the local Safeway. Woo hoo!Next stop: not exactly sure.

22 comments

  1. What a spectacular vista! Did you freak out you woke up on the Cliff of Death??? I would have immediately gone into a coma.

    And a big YIPPEE re your first COVID shot!

    1. I wonder whether the residents here are getting vaccinated. The appointments were wide open for the week and no one was there but me even though I arrived an hour early. Bars and restaurants packed!

    1. Yes, government seems to be but I am wondering whether there are lots of appointments here because locals aren’t taking advantage of the program. I arrived early and no one was there, lots of appointments remaining that day!

  2. Ha! I had the same experience in 1981 when I drove cross-country with a friend from East to West coast, through Colorado to Arizona toward LA – We camped at night on the side of the road, hoping to wake up early to catch sunrise over the Grand Canyon. In the morning, awoke with a huge shock to see that we were feet from the cliff – It could’ve been the exact same place that you had camped. Amazing intersections of our lives.

    1. That’s incredible! Horseshoe Bend is at the “end” of the Grand Canyon, a couple of miles from Glen Canyon Dam, not technically a part of the park but certainly a part of the canyon.

    1. Yes, I am happy too! I don’t have to return to the same Safeway, although they have to “be there for me” if I return. Not sure where I will be but my travels will revolve around that second shot!

  3. What an incidence, Kim! You and your then-husband came close to death. Five years ago, my sons helped me to fulfill my childhood dream of visiting the Grand Canyon 🙂 Congrats on getting your first Covid vaccine. Hope you have no problem in getting your second dose.

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