Page Stories and Tips

Weather Warnings

Being in Page we had planned to go the Colorado River Discovery float...so we booked for the afternoon trip. We arrived at the office/shop in Page in plenty of time...and checked in, and were told that we would be briefed shortly out the front. There were a good number of bathrooms there...there was also a small coffee shop if you needed that fix. There was a shop with a range of stuff...lots of logo stuff ...but we decided not to purchase anything on our way out as it meant carrying more stuff, which turned out wise.

So we sat down outside on the small patio area. And the buses arrived back from the morning trip. We were getting excited.

Then someone started calling out the names of those booked on the afternoon trip. But then came the bad news...they had let us check in because they were waiting for the 12.30 weather report. This reported that there could be thunderstorms...hail...but also tornadic wind warning. The guy said hail didn't worry him as a hard hat could cope with that but anything a weather warning involving tornadic weather meant he wouldn't take us out on water. So we were directed inside to either get a refund or rebook. Unfortunately we couldn't do the rebook so we got a refund...and headed back to the motel.

Now it didn't look bad outside and not having the car...and needing to get some stuff ...and feeling a need for some food...decided that walking down from the hotel to Walmart seemed like a good plan. So it was less than a ten minute walk...and only slightly taking my life in hand to cross the road. Got things I needed and started to walk back...and at this stage the dark clouds were there. Got across the road, and I knew I wasn't going to make it back to the motel before the storm started. So Burger King was just there...so as I ordered a drink...the storm started...rain, thunder and lightning. Not the most spectacular storm to watch...but bad enough with lots of hail falling...and the temperature dropped enough that even several hours later there were places around Page that still had banks of white left from the hail. But some amount of rain fell too...and once the rain stopped I walked back through the car park of some stores. But there was so much water lying and flowing across the tarmac...my feet got wet quickly. But then I got to in front of the motel and two rivers of water and red sand flowed across the entrance. With no option...I walked though water that was more than ankle deep.

I was very glad to get back to the motel and was quite happy to have a quiet afternoon watching TV. I was especially glad not to have been doing to river float...even if not doing it was a bit disappointed.

But we later met one of the guides who had taken us through Antelope Canyon, who told us he had a group of Japanese tourists in the slot canyon when they got the warning to get out...but no matter how much he shouted at them...they were too busy taking photos...even when water started to get around them they still wouldn't hurry up...if it was me in a slot canyon formed by water being forced through a narrow space I'd want out of it.

Thankfully since it was a torrent of water and sand it was easier than mud to get out of my shoes in my walk back to the motel. It also meant I was in a Burger King, and I think it was the first time in probably ten years. But it all reminded me that in Ireland I'm so not used to 'serious' weather, that I had forgotten what weather warnings elsewhere can actually mean in severity.

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