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Road Trip USA 2022

Lots of red soil & stuck at Lake Powell

Vermilion Cliffs aerial view

For the next two nights we have accommodation in Page, which is only 120 km (75 mi) north of Tuba City. We can therefore take some time and be off the route.

So we start at our first stop, the Navajo Bridge, which leads over Marble Canyon and the Colorado River flowing through it. The bridge was built in 1929 and in 1993 another, wider and more stable bridge in the same style was added. This makes it one of the few ways to cross the Colorado River. For more information, visit the National Park Services (Navajo Bridge).

Navajo Bridge over the Marble Canyon Colorado River in Marble Canyon Navajo Bridge over the Colorado River

With this knowledge, we admire the impressive construction, the view into the canyon and the Colorado River, which is very calm at this point. By the way, it should be mentioned that it is extremely hot again.

We follow US Highway 89A west for about 30 minutes (45 km/28 mi). To our right are the Vermilion Cliffs. The associated national monument also contains the rock formations called "The Wave". We are now turning north on House Rock Road with the aim of eventually hitting Highway 89. The road is gravel, which turns into sandy ground the further north we go. An SUV is at least mandatory here and, above all, always remember to have more than enough drinking water with you. Because a breakdown in this area...

The heat (around 35°C/95°F) doesn't allow for extensive hikes today either. That's why we always stop for a moment and look around in the immediate vicinity of the car. The landscape is once again unique and deserted. By the way, we also reach the next state on our trip - Arizona. A few kilometers before we should reach asphalt again, the track gets exciting again. It must have rained heavily a few days earlier and the road was partially flooded. Fortunately, hard-working helpers were already clearing them out and we didn't have to turn back.

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It's now 4 p.m. and after the hot and dusty fun, we plan a trip to Lake Powell, more precisely to Lone Rock Beach. In theory, you can drive your car right down to the water. But this is not as easy as said, since it is a sandy beach and there are only a few lanes on which you should move. So we drive as far as we dare to get to the water, grab a few towels and refresh ourselves in the lake. Somehow others have found a way to get to the shore with their huge mobile home or trailer. Typically American, they also have everything you need for fun - canoes, jet skis, beach buggies, etc.

Lone Rock Beach at Lake Powell amerikanische Camper at Lake Powell Can-Am Maverick Sportbuggy

Around 5:30 p.m. we start to the hotel, which shouldn’t be particularly challenging or even exciting. But that changes suddenly when we get stuck in the sand and of course we can't get free on our own. So I hope for the well-known helpfulness of the Americans and ask for help from a few holidaymakers who, as already mentioned, are there with all kinds of equipment. Without much hesitation, they come to us with their 4x4 pickup and do their utmost to free us from the mess. Once our car is back on a solid part of the beach, our helper offers to drive the car out, which of course we gladly accept. Unfortunately, he doesn't succeed either and we're stuck again. So the same game again, but now directly on the rope to the exit.

Towing our stuck Ford Explorer disassembly of the underride protection

At this point again a very big thanks to the unknown helpers. Without them, it would have been a night on the beach.

We carefully make our way to the next gas station, as we have significantly lowered the air pressure in the tires for support. Unfortunately, all assistance systems show errors because they probably couldn't cope with the fact that the car was pulled backwards for so long and so fast. That really annoys me because nothing works anymore, no cruise control, no automatic distance control, etc. After all, we still have 8,000 km (5,000 mi) ahead of us at this point. I hope, however, that these will catch up again after a while.

However, when we arrive at the gas station, we see while pumping air that the underride guard is hanging down completely. We decide to unscrew it completely. Luckily I have a multitool with me, which also has a pair of pliers. So it's done after a few minutes.

Smoker at Big John´s Texas BBQ in Page (Arizona)

All refreshment from the lake is gone, of course. So we go to the hotel to take a shower and then have dinner at Big John´s Texas BBQ.

In front of the restaurant is a smoker the size of a tank boiler and this runs around the clock, as we find out the next day. There is also live music playing on a stage. Ribs & brisket are fantastic and what we do now with the car, we postpone to tomorrow.

New York: View from Rockerfeller Center (Top of the Rock)New York "Top of the Rock"
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