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Page and Lake Powell

November 4, 2011

After Monument Valley we headed West towards the town of Page. We needed to pick up some groceries, get a minor fix to the Beast and pick up our email.

Page is in Arizona, however it is right on the border with Utah and we headed to a spot in Utah to camp. Right on the shore of Lake Powell is a National Park Service managed location called Lone Rock Beach. It is rumoured that Hugh Hefner holds a party here each summer but there was no sign of the Playboy boat when we were there. However what is there, is a stunning white sand beach on the shore of Lake Powell. There is no campsite as such but you can stay right on the beach wherever you want.

Lake Powell itself was controversially formed by damming the Colorado River and flooding Glen Canyon in 1963 but took until 1980 to fill. The lake is 550ft deep at the dam and stretches back 186 miles up the Colorado River, 72 miles up the San Juan River and has flooded a further 96 other river canyons. The total shoreline of the Lake is 1960 miles.

We pulled right up to the water – through some fairly deep sand and stayed here for three nights.

I mentioned that we had to get a small piece of work done to the Beast. We could hear a hissing sound in the cab and each morning one of our air tanks was empty. It didn’t take a genius to work out that we had an air leak. We found a garage in Page, Liberty Auto, and they took off the console in the cab and quickly discovered a fairly major leak on the differential control. Behind the panel there was a mess of airlines. Eventually three different leaks were plugged and after watching how it was done I’m now completely confident that if we get another leak in this area I can fix it myself. We must get some spare connectors and lines for any repairs that may be needed in the future.

Also while on Lake Powell we took the opportunity to get our kayak out and go exploring on the lake. I did a solo trip out to the Lone Rock and back. Then both of us went along the shore exploring various drowned canyons as we went. This really felt like the summer we didn’t have in Alaska as the temperature reached 30c each day and the nights were mild. Winter comes late to Southern Utah.

Just before leaving Lake Powell we drove a few miles outside town and visited Horseshoe bend on the Colorado river.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Tony and Karen Evans permalink
    November 5, 2011 1:02 am

    Hi Mark and Sarah,

    Its been great following your adventures, we are looking forward to the time when we can start our own trip.

    I thought it a good idea to try out our truck “Jabba” on some serious off roading. I have done a lot in a Land Rover including competitions and a north to south Austrailia trip but I have not tackled 7.5 tons of Leyland Daf!

    So on Saturday we did our first serious off roading, We got on really well, the extra weight of Jabba gives much more grip than normally experienced in a Land Rover and the ground clearance is fantastic.
    However I made a big mistake!
    I had difficulty engaging the centre differential lock but decided to continue anyway. The problem occurred when we chose a steep decent, using first gear low ratio to control our speed we set off without problem, halfway down the slope one of the rear wheels locked and Jabba started to slide. The normal way to deal with this is to accelerate to get all four wheels turning however before I could react the rear halfshaft broke allowing Jabba to gain lots of forward momentum!
    I thought we had got into a high speed slide so I did not put the breaks on (breaking is disastrous on steep slippery slopes!) we where moving pretty quickly by the time we got to the bottom of the slope. With a small cliff and several trees ahead I could only chance a high speed 90 degree left turn, fortunately Jabba is very stable and made the turn OK

    Phew!

    The lesson learned are –
    Dont do any serious off roading without engaging the centre differential.
    Have some off road tuition before taking on any difficult off road adventures.
    Accents and descents need to be carefully considered.
    Try to ensure some form of suitably sized recovery vehicle is available. Land rovers are not strong enough!
    7.5 ton vehicles go down hill very fast without engine breaking!

    It was really good fun (and a bit scary) and I was very impressed with Jabbas off road ability. I learned a lot!

    I wanted to share my experience so that you don’t make the same mistake with the centre differential

    Happy traveling!

    Tony and Karen

    PS I got a replacement halfshaft from Ed Perry (overland vehicles) he has a truck for spares!

  2. November 8, 2011 12:34 am

    Hello from Capri and Jason, we met you briefly in Cardiff today. Your beast is a great vehicle! I wish you lots of fun on your trip. Here are some photos from our Antarctica trip

    Bergy bit and Adelies
    IMG_1348
    • November 8, 2011 2:50 pm

      Hi guys,

      It was lovely to meet you today. Photos look great – we really have to try to get to Antarctica when we’re in Ushuaia.

      Mark

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