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A beautiful time of year in Page

Posted: Thursday, Feb 6th, 2014

Nathan Jones is a husband and father, works at NGS, and enjoys the Page area lifestyle.
Last night I pulled up my weather app on the phone, and looked up some of my favorites.

Dad was 68 in Phoenix, and Mom 62 in south Texas. Then I looked up my brother in Minneapolis: -9.

I decided, uncharacteristically, to hold my tongue for a bit, and waited until the next day at mid-morning, when I took another look at Minneapolis weather on the app. Yup, still -9. So at lunch time I took a selfie on one of the hills here in town, with clear blue sky in the background. I texted the photo to my brother, with a title of “46 in Page. What is your temp?’ He wrote back: “You suck. Minus 9. But at least it only feels like minus 23.”

So when I got home I figured I’d better take advantage of our local blessing. Winter solstice was behind us, the evenings getting shorter every day, so I had time to squeeze in a run. I put on shorts and a tee shirt—try that bro, at minus 9—and headed out through the wash to P Rock.

With my two dogs chasing rabbits somewhere in the vicinity, we headed out across the desert, to enjoy the fading light over the Vermilion Cliffs. But we weren’t alone. Two quads blasted up the hill toward Big Five, the pop of open, four-stroke exhaust echoing down the wash. From a side trail a half mile to the west a single gal rode her horse through the sagebrush, talking on her cell phone, with her border collie running security detail nearby. As I headed up the hill, a family in a Suburban passed me on the way down, waving out the window, just enjoying the sunny afternoon four-wheeling with the kids.

Once I got up on top of the P Rock mesa, thankful to have the soft sand behind me and a bit of gravel under foot, I had the bench to myself. To the south the evening sky was still soft blues and faded grays. To the west over Lees Ferry and the cliffs, the oranges turned to reds and burned into the rocks temporarily until the shadows won the battle and the darker hues crept towards the North Rim. Then as I turned back north, the town of Page and the lake dropped out before me below the mesa, with street lights coming on and shadows advancing quickly.

I picked up the pace going down the sand hill towards town, and met a family of five walking up the track towards the Rock. Good evening for a walk, and surely good to see folks getting out and enjoying the desert. Down at the turnout off Highway 98, three more cars and trucks were parked, with folks somewhere out in desert walking, running, and taking their dogs out. Good to see.

So I limped back to the house in the late evening twilight, sweat cooling my brow. Forty-six degrees at 6 p.m. sure beats -9, and I feel fortunate to be able to take advantage of it. And it was sure good to see a bunch of other folks out too, doing their thing and enjoying the coming of spring in Page. So get out there and enjoy our mild winter before the spring winds blow into town. It is a beautiful time of year.

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