I took some early photos of Monument Valley from the balcony, then decided to go back to sleep. Due to the high winds and blowing dust, I left after breakfast, rather than take another drive around the park.
My next stop was Navajo National Monument. As expected, I wasn't early enough to join one of the Betatakin hikes. Instead, I walked the Sandal and Aspen trails near the visitor's center (2 miles total). You get a nice view of Betatakin from the Sandal Trail.
I got to Page early, and drove down to the lake at Wahweap, stopping at a couple of overlooks to get photos. At the first stop, the wind, which was apparently gusting to 50mph today, ripped my hat off. I had to climb down the slope to get it.
Then it was on to Lee's Ferry. I had originally intended to try hiking the Cathedral Wash slot canyon tomorrow morning, but since I was here, why not now? At the trailhead, Cathedral Wash runs through a culvert under the road. The trail goes down the side, which is not a canyon at this point. As you start walking downstream (which was dry), the sides begin to rise and turn into walls.
Much of the time, the wash has a sandy bottom, but sometimes, the level of the wash abruptly drops over some stones. It also narrows in for a bit. At first, the drops are mostly small and can be walked over. Before long, you get to one where you need to scramble down, then one where you walk along the benches before scrambling down (there is a cairn or two marking the way, although I didn't see them until I saw the route).
Finally, at an estimated 3/4 mile, you get to a high pour-off. There are cairns along the right side, but I couldn't see how to get down the thing. I walked down the upper bench on the right side, but couldn't find the way. I came backed and scanned it from the left side, but still couldn't find the way. I know there is one, but just couldn't find it. So I headed back to the car. The wind was more of a problem on the way back as I was sometimes facing it. It also sometimes blew sand off the top, so it was good to stay in the center of the wash when possible.
I went down the river (Colorado) and took some photos. There were a lot of swallows there. While I don't claim they were all Violet-green Swallows, that was all I could find. After some balanced rock photos, I headed back to Page to check in to the motel.
No new trip birds or mammals today. I remain at 140 bird species and 13 mammal species during the trip.
Best Western ArizonaInn, Page AZ