Friday, July 13, 2012


July 11th, Wednesday

Something we have always wanted to do was to take a raft ride down the Colorado River. Seeing there were no white water day trips, we settled for a leisurely ride on a raft from Page, AZ to Lee's Ferry, AZ a fifteen mile ride that would take five hours.

We were able to book it for this afternoon and drove the two hours to Page to meet the raft company for 12:30pm. We were early so we went to the Glen Canyon Dam National Recreation Area. It is the dam that holds the water back from Lake Powell at the headwaters of the Colorado River. It is only slightly smaller than the Hoover Dam down river. We toured the Visitor Center and Tim was most impressed with a digital readout showing the amount of revenue generated from the power from the power plant here. It showed between $2 and $5 every second.

Looking Down on Rafts From Top of Dam

Dam From Below

We were very surprised at the amount of people waiting to go on the trip with us. There were three bus loads of people driven from the raft company down through a two mile tunnel to the base of the Glen Canyon dam at the bottom of Lake Powell.
Lake Powell

When we departed the bus, we were given hard hats to protect us from falling rock on our walk down the dock to the rafts.

Walking to the Rafts At the Base of the Dam
The temperature was up to about 102 and the rubber rafts were quite hot to sit on, but we gamely jumped on board, straddled the pontoon and we were off. There were not too many people on board so we had plenty of room to move around and relax. With lemonade and water provided, we were quite comfortable for a while. Of course, the Frogg Toggs cloth which we wetted and wrapped around our necks didn't hurt either.

Frogg Togg on Tim's Neck
 As long as you keep them wet, they stay cool. Wonderful invention! The temperatures in the canyon rose as high as 115 and we were really feeling the heat when we stopped on the shore where there was a path to the cliffs where there were petroglyphs from the ancient tribes that populated the area  900 years ago.
Ancient Petroglyphs

While we were stopped, people were jumping in the frigid water to cool their bodies down. We hadn't worn our bathing suits as we got  misinformation from the person who booked our trip. She told us that no one goes in the water because the river was way too cold. However, the majority had worn suits and were happily cooling off in the ice cold water. Of course, the children had a ball running in and out and coaxing their parents to join them. Tim and I watched for a few minutes, decided our clothes would dry quickly and waded in to our waists, splashed water on our faces, dunked our hats and our Frogg Toggs and were able to get some relief as well.

The ride itself was very pleasant. The Glen Canyon walls were about 700 feet high and we cruised around the bends seeking the shade and, a few times, stopped against the cliff and sat in the shade for a few minutes.
Raft Against Canyon Wall in the Shade

We would see the other rafts on the water,but they weren't close by so we didn't feel like it was a crowded ride at all.  The views were great and we even saw wild horses and desert mountain goats on one of the cliffs.

Wild Horses

Mountain Goat

Glen Canyon

It was a great ride down through the Glen Canyon.

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