Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Out and About: Black Canyon River Trip

Last weekend, I went on a canoe trip down the part of the Colorado River called Black Canyon. It spans the 11 miles between Hoover Dam and Lake Mead. The trip was billed as a relaxing, easy float that would require very little paddling. And that's what it was like the first day.

On our way out to Nevada, we saw this super cool solar power plant near Primm. Until I saw it, I didn't even know that solar power plants were a thing.

Launching below the Hoover Dam:

On our way down the river:

Since the launch site is on federal property, you only have 15 minutes to unload your stuff from the transport to the canoes, so you can't really organize anything. That means we needed to stop on a sandbar a short ways downriver to sort ourselves out. The following two photos were taken from the sandbar:

Back on the river:

Side hike:

Some of our duck companions:

Waterfalls on a side hike:

Trying to capture how green the water was:

I took this picture because of the "small" boulder that is perched precariously partway down the slope on the left:

Exploring a river cave. After this photo was taken, a phone (not mine) would be lost to the watery depths. It was retrieved but I don't know if it survived.

Sunset over our campsite. There were very cool hot springs at the camp site, but I didn't have my camera with me when I went to visit them.

Unfortunately, on the second day, we experienced strong headwinds that made paddling very difficult. It took a full day of extreme physical effort to make it to our pick-up point an hour late. So it wasn't exactly enjoyable. This is the only picture I took on that day, before the winds picked up:

In the end, I was glad that I went. It was nice to learn that I was made of tougher stuff than I thought I was, and I'm proud of myself for stepping outside of my comfort zone. But I don't think I'd go again unless I could be certain that I wouldn't experience the same adverse weather conditions.


Patricia said...

Is it good that water is green?

Did you have a guide, or do you have a friend who knows how to do this stuff?

It looks so fun! Even with the tons-o-wind. Which, granted, I couldn't see, but still.

balyien said...

Green water typically just means lots of algae. I believe that, in an ecological sense, it's indicative of healthy water. In a "for humans" sense, it's perhaps not great for us.

The trip was non-guided. My friend who organized it went the year before and there were other people in our group had previously gone.