While I was studying at MSU in Bozeman, Montana, I took several hiking and rafting trips to Yellowstone N.P., Glacier N.P. and other great places. This photo blog entry is about the kayak and canoe trip to Lake Powell / Utah. All English blog entries are scribbled notes only, but am working on re-phrasing them.
Saturday, March 14, 1998
Leaving Bozeman (A) at 7.30 a.m., heading on I91 (Huffin Lane) towards West Yellowstone. Came through Four Corners, Gallatin Gateway (B) – south, passing Big Sky. On to Hwy20 further south towards Idaho Falls (C). Got gas in Ashton. On our way I saw the Teton mountains in the distance. Simply beautiful. We drove through the Shoshone-Bannock Reservation between Blackfoot and Pocatello. Turned on Hwy15 in Pocatello south to Salt Lake City. Long drive, stopped in Tremonton/Utah (D). Got gas again in Ogden, Utah. Beautiful scenery along the way. Drove past Great Salt Lake which appeard swampy and flat. Drove through Salt Lake City (E), weather is hazy. Spotted a huge church or something on a hill. Probably some Mormon church. Other than that no highlights. Went on to Provo, Utah (F). Had dinner in Fillmore (G)(I think at Burger King). On to Cedar City (I), Utah where we stayed in „Best Western”.
Weather: warm, sun, about 69°F/ 21°C but breezy
Total route: 1.071 km / 665 mi
Map by Google Maps
Sunday, March 15, 1998
Leaving Cedar City (A) at 8 a.m. towards Page/Arizona. On our way we drove through Dixie NP and Zion NP. What an absolutely fantastic landscape…We stopped in Kanab, Utah (B) then went on towards Page, Arizona to our destination of the day “Wahweap Camp Area” on Lake Powell (C).
Total route: 260km / 161 mi
After arriving at Wahweap Camp Area we got our houseboat No. 86. The marina was full of boats:
The following photo shows an overview of Lake Powell:
We shortly stopped at the souvenir shop to get drinks. With our nice little boat we started off into Warm Creek Bay. I don´t like boats but the drive was so calming. The suns caused thousands of sparkles on the water surface, it was warm, quiet and the landscape around me unique. We set up our tens in the sand. The sun went down and sent bizarre light on the surrounding rocks.
Warm Creek Bay, where we spent our first night in complete silence:
During the day it was warm but got cooler pretty fast. Temperatures fell from 68°F (20°C) to 41°F (+5°C) at night. When we arrived, I took a walk along the river bed, surrounded by a huge yellow and orange wall of stone. I could see the structure very clearly.
A pretty gusty wind evolved. In total we were 6 on our trip, two women, one was me. So because it was pretty cold we went inside the boat and for the first time in my life I was taught how to play “Hearts”, a card game. It is complicated….We searched for our exact location via GPS. We also saw a satellite in the sky. The night sky was pretty, full of stars. I crawled into my little blue tent. The sound of silence was a bit scary.
Map images by Google Maps
Monday, March 16, 1998
Ok, I need to come to terms with this silence…making me nuts.
My tent view is really nice:
It´s 8.18 a.m, we have breakfast and are ready to go on to Navajo Canyon.
We paddled to the end of the river course. The sun is burning. After walking for a few minutes, we were forced to turn around as the sand was turning to mud. We continued on the houseboat and stopped when we spotted an ancient Anasazi ruin. I was so excited to climb up there.
It was hard work to get up there but the view was spectacular. We got back to our bivouac. They let me conn the boat, which was kind of cool.
Little Blue Tent was waiting to be set up. I saw two falling stars and one kind of eagle. Again it was breezy but not cold.
Tuesday, March 17, 1998
At 7.30 a.m. we left for Antelope Canyon. The sun is shining, it´s a bright day. We dropped anchor in the midst of the canyon. The Canyon was too small for the boat to get through. So we had to get into our kayaks and canoes and paddle to the end of the river course. But what we didn´t expect was the big “No Trespassing” Sign. Oh no. The canyon was closed! We discussed what to do and decided to try to walk anyway. Four of us walked along the river course. It was a very calm and humble mood among us. While walking I was told that last year there was a tragic incident in which 11 tourists were killed in a flashflood. Now I was getting nervous. When we came to the sites where bodies were found and we saw the spots marked we turned around. I was feeling guilty, sick and sad. Nobody saw us but if the Natives had spotted us, we would have expected to pay a fine.
Again very quielty we paddled back to our houseboat. Everyone was in thoughts; the incident touched us. We went on to see another Anasazi ruin. It was very hard to climb up. This time it was easier for us to climb since there were rock-cut grips for hands and feet. How interesting! Well – and the view was again great.
Today the wind was blowing harder and we went back to Gunshot Canyon to drop anchor. By now a storm with thunder and heavy rain came up. I decided to skip sleeping outside..
I don´t like boats usually, especially to be inside a boat or even sleep in it. But – it was either me in the tent and heavy rain, thunder and lightning, or me inside the houseboad with possible stomach problems. We played Hearts again, I was the first to gain 1000 points just to find out that I fell back to 50 again. Well, no luck in card games I guess.
The featured image at the top of the post shows Gunshot Canyon, where we spent the night, not in tents, but in the boat. Before we all went to sleep that night, Mike checked for our tents. They were gone. Blown by the wind. Great! But Mike is a picture of calm and decided to go to bed and search for the tents tomorrow morning. I was glad I had grabbed my stuff already.
Wednesday, March 18th, 1998
In the morning we looked for the tents. Fortunately nothing was lost, which after all these years still makes me wonder…After a long breakfast everyone went for a short hiking trip on their own. The wind still blew pretty bad but the sun was shining. At about 1.30 p.m. we started for our next sleeping site for tonight. Mike decided it would be West Canyon.
This place has some magic of its own, I like it very much.
We arrived in time so that everyone had the possibility to discover this new place. I saw another cave and decided to climb up to it. It was again quite hard but somehow I managed. I don´t want to think about what kind of small creature could have been inside the cave but wow – from up here the view of the bay was spectacular. The sun was setting, coloring the stone walls with a warm red light. And right now, right here my camera dropped and fell into the sandy ground. Rick saw me sitting in the cave and took some pictures.
When the sun went down I captured the beautiful light right outside my tent.
In the evening we played „Hearts“ again. The cold nights, the wind and the hot temperatures during the day caused a light cold and I decided to stay inside the boat.
Maps by Google Maps
Thursday, March 19th, 1998
In the morning Rick and I returned once more to the holes in the wall. This place was so peaceful I needed to see it again before we left. At about 9 a.m. we left for West Canyon. Althought the landscape is almost always the same, it is so amazingly beautiful and diverse that I couldn´t take my eyes off it.
When we arrived we took the kajaks and paddled to the end of the course of the river. It was very muddy and we walked through the mud into the beautiful canyon. Each of us at least once got stuck and sunk in to their knees. I wasn´t fond of it – walking through the cold water, in socks.
At one point there was no way of getting any further. The water was too deep. So we went back to have lunch. On our way back there were some adventurous mini-gorges to be conquered. I had so much fun!
We tried to find an alternative route in order to avoid the water. So we climbed up a little hill to have an overview.
Well, unfortunately there was no other way. So again we waded through the mud. I was so busy not sinking too far into the mud that I didn´t notice the sleeping baby rattlesnake. The boys told me afterwards…Good choice…By houseboat we went into another arm of the river. The more we got into it, the narrower it was for the boat. On each side of the boat two or three persons needed to push the boat away from the rocks. Very interesting navigation and fun. We made it all the way to the end. The picture shows me helping to tie the kajaks to the boat before we started our hike. (click image to enlarge)
Friday March 20th, 1998
Another try to enter a different bay failed so we turned around. We left for Friendship Cove but missed it and went on to Dungeon Canyon.
We had planned to explore more Anasazi ruins after breakfast. After a while everyone went off to a different direction and explored their own path. So I found myself in the middle of nowhere. I decided to go back and tried to find the ruins. Without success. At about 11.25 a.m. we went on towards Wetherill Canyon. One last time we took our kajaks and went into the course of the river arm. Again it was muddy but we walked until the water got too deep. Our tour guides went ahead to see whether there is some unexpected change lurking behind the next bend. While they waded through the water, I lay down in the sand. Unfortunately there was no other way, the water was too deep and we paddled back to the houseboat.
There was a very calm and melancholy mood among us. One last time we played “Hearts” before we went to bed.
Saturday, March 21st, 1998
At about 9 a.m. we left for Face Canyon but we passed it only as we needed to return the boat to the marina. We had some lunch at about noon. We said Good Bye to Rick. Our blue van left Lake Powell at 2 p.m. We stayed overnight in Provo/Utah. Total miles/kilometers: 338/ 545
On Sunday at 8 a.m. our final journey back to Bozeman began. This kajak/kanu/hiking trip was the first I had done. I had never been to the desert of Arizona or Utah. I came back with countless and priceless memories and impressions. Nature created so many unique landscapes. I was so grateful and happy that I was able to be on that tour. My gratitude goes to Mom who enabled this for me.
Maps by: http://www.utahoutdoors.com/