Angie was still in a lot of pain with her pinched nerve, despite taking the maximum dosages of the pain killers that we had brough along. She would not have many good memories from this trip if this remained unchanged. Charlie, who served our breakfast and pulled our leg at the least excuse looked up details of doctors in Page and Eunice rang to make the appointment. As we headed off to Page, Eunice set off for her long trip back to Bellflower.
The visit to the health centre in Page was easy to find, had a very comfortable and friendly reception area and the treatment seems to be doing the trick, although there are still periods when the pains are bad.
S2497 was for pictures along the road from Marble Canyon to Page and back, with a quick stop at the scenic overview of the Marble Canyon area – no cacti found.
S2498 took me back to 1997 when Anton & Christiaan and I spent 5 days in the area. Anton was preparing a project for his A Level Geography course. The task was to study a stretch of a river and identify the issues surrounding it. His friends and all students at Dorking had produced projects based on the River Mole that flows near Dorking. Anton had decided on the Colorado River between Lake Powell and Lees Ferry, Mile Zero on the Colorado River. Christiaan had assisted him, leaving me to roam on my own in cactus country – heaven.
Things had been developed and the gravel track was now hardtop. A particularly slope where Opuntia basilaris had been spectacularly in full flower was probably still there, but plants were in bud rather than in flower. We concentrated on the area where the pinkish Paria River, having come through Bryce Canyon, joined the clear dark water of the Colorado River for a two-tone effect. Other cacti found were another Opuntia sp in flower with similar or somewhat lighter flower colour but with much stronger spination. A look at the Opuntiads of the US website, run by Joe Shaw, suggests that this is Opuntia nicholii, related to O. polyacantha. Echinocereus engelmannii was here again, in bud.
S2499 was for pictures taken at and of Navajo Bridge – no cacti photographed.
We had saved all our cactus photography for S2500, opposite our temporary residence at Lees Ferry Lodge. This is the location of a plant rescue and conservation exercise by the Navajo National Heritage Program. In addition to the endangered cactus – Pediocactus bradyi – we found quite a few Echinocactus polycephalus ssp xeramanthioides in spectacular locations, overlooking the Colorado River. Also recorded: Opuntia sp. Echinocereus engelmannii, and a Yucca sp.