Apologies to J. Geils Band but this is not about humans being digitized into centerfolds. This is about digital screen savers and wallpapers being turned into human touch and feel experiences.
My wife and I spent a weekend recently in and around Page, AZ on the Utah border in the Glen Canyon National Recreation Center. One of the highlights was a visit to Upper Antelope Canyon and a boat ride on Lake Powell, a man made reservoir on the Colorado river, through the canyon walls.
You have probably seen digital images of Antelope Canyon on your PC or TV. Going to this slot canyon in person is a spiritual experience. We both left our tour group and explored the “cathedral” and the “heart” of the canyon on our own. Indeed, it is a sacred Navajo site, like nearby Horseshoe Bend where the Colorado river makes a spectacular U-turn, the Rainbow Bridge Monument, the Grand Staircase all of which adorn many digital pages on the web.
It’s a bit of a trek to get there – we drove from Las Vegas and wove in and out of Nevada, Utah and Arizona through time zones and speed limits to get there. The journey has several rewards – within a couple of hours are 3 national parks – Grand Canyon (the less visited North Rim is accessible from this side), Zion and Bryce Canyon. Lake Powell must be the house boat capital of the world. The view of the shooting stars at night is spectacular.
Lots of technology angles I noticed on our trip – the NOAA Weather Radio and alarm horn to warn of flash floods that are common to Antelope Canyon, the 8 generator, 1320 MW Glen Canyon dam, the 2250 MW coal -fired Navajo generating station, the technology on the luxurious house boats and RVs that visit the area.
Beyond the rugged beauty of the area, I was fascinated by the local history – that of the Navajo, Hopi and other tribes, the history of the 3 states under the Spanish and since, the silver rush to many places in the area, the history of how Lake Powell came to be and more.
Much of that history is controversial – environmentalists hated the damming of the Colorado river, others cannot wait for the coal-fired plant to be shut down. The Mormon migration to these parts and the treatment of the Native Americans invariably raises emotions.
Go with an open mind and enjoy the breathtaking vistas. Go touch and feel the eye candy which adorns your PC screen.