July 4, 2011
An early beginning today. We have booked a ride on a boat tour of Lake Powell with a departure of 7:30 am. The weather is very overcast today. Hopefully this will keep the temperatures down as yesterday it was 110 degrees. The tour we have chosen will be approximately 6 hours long. We will be traveling deep into the water canyons of Lake Powell to one of the most sacred places known by the native American Indians as Rainbow Bridge. It is only accessible by boat.
Passengers are equipped with headphones and along the journey the history of the lake and it’s people is provided. Along the sides of the canyon walls a “bathtub ring” can be seen, the steadily decline of the lake’s water level.
Over the course of the journey we pass many boats on the lake. This lake is a fantastic place to spend a week floating and exploring. Most of the boats we pass have small boats and/or jet skis tied to the back in order to explore the smaller canyons up close and personal. Page is so hot during the summer, but the water here is always cool because of the depths. Cooling off is only a jump away.
We make a short stop about halfway in order to deliver supplies to a depot that is completely isolated from anything. There are no roads leading here. The only way you get in and out is by boat or helicopter. The depot has ice and groceries and serves for an emergency services when needed. Those that work here do so in week-long shifts and we are transporting not only supplies today but the exchange of crew to the depot.
Rainbow Bridge is the world’s largest known natural bridge and accessible only by boat. The water’s are much higher than normal after several rain storms have passed this way recently and we are lucky not only to have overcast weather but a much shorter walk than normal. When the waters recede in the summer months it is too shallow for the boats to dock close. Walkways have been constructed to aid in accessing the bridge and can at times mean a 1-2 mile walk into the bridge area. Today we are only a shot down the path. We have about an hour to explore the area and take photos before heading back to the boat and return back to base camp.
The boat we are traveling on has 2 layers, with the upper floor open. The weather has become very dreary and many of the patrons that chose these seats earlier have moved to the enclosed area. Andrew and I are therefore fortunate to snag two seats. It feels wonderful with the wind whipping through our hair and the smell of the clean air filling our nostrils. In front of us an elderly couple has fallen asleep. The pose so wonderfully sweet that we could pass up the shot. We can only hope to be experiencing life to its fullest together at their age.
Back on dry land Andrew takes a shot or two of the marina. The smoke stacks in the distance seem so out-of-place in this setting. We head next up to a look out point and notice that down a fairly steep slope many have ventured to write messages using a collection of stones.
We head on into Page to retrieve our faithful companion. Shyla is so excited at our return and immediately starts barking at full volume. It is strange to hear this from her as she very rarely barks. Having a hard time containing her excitement we pack her into the car. We head back to the lake and let her take a dip before the last of the sun fades into the night.
It is 4th of July today and there are fireworks scheduled but we are so tired and tomorrow begins the next leg of our journey and so this year we do not watch the magical display….though we do here the bang periodically as we all fall into a deep slumber.
The slide show includes some more pictures we took today.