July 1, 2002
After passing by the Painted Desert and stopping at the Cameron Trading Post, we proceeded to Page where we transferred to smaller buses to pass through a 2-mile tunnel to the bottom of the Glen Canyon Dam that holds back Lake Powell.
Here, we were loaded onto 22-passenger, solid-bottom, motorized rafts for our 14-mile float trip. This relaxing trip, four hours in duration, brought us floating effortlessly down the 47-degree river as we basked in 100-degree air temperature with cool breezes. Although the deepest point was 130 feet, the majority of the river was 20 feet deep, enabling easy viewing of the trout below. The absolutely massive sheer vertical walls of red compressed sand-stone rising from the emerald green waters were incredible. You could imagine there was no way out other than by river, and only upon reaching a low area.
Along the way we viewed slot canyons, small waterfalls formed by seepage, eagle nests the size of vehicles, and cap rocks (inverted rocks) also known as poison rocks because one drop kills. A postcard with an aerial view of horseshoe canyon was passed around. The river nearly encircles this monolith, which is viewable by a trail along the top. Unfortunately we were informed you would have to take several pictures and paste them together to have something like what was shown in the postcard. A 20-minute rest stop provided us with a short walk to view petroglyphs and listen to a brief history lesson. We had a 30-minute buffet lunch on nice beach where the water was calm enough for wading. I dove off the back of a raft for a refreshing dip that didn’t last long. We were informed about how quickly hypothermia could set in, but it felt good nonetheless.
Lee’s Ferry was the end of our trip and the beginning of the whitewater rafting. Old buildings were all that remained of the old Lee’s Ferry stop, which was the only way to cross the river. Mormons that need to cross here in order to be married in Utah traverse a trail along the other side of the river before reaching the ferry crossing. Children 12 and under are required to wear life jackets, water and soda is provided on the raft, and there is no splash to soak belongings. Hats and sunscreen are a necessity. Pick up is at 6:00am and return is approximately 6:00pm with a choice of three hotel stops. Admission to the Grand Canyon is not included, but I was able to use my train tickets which was valid for a week.
From journal 66 Kicks to Grand Canyon