Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Tuesday May 18 - Lake Powell

Today we had a long hike up Paria Canyon - a tributary to the mighty Colorado River, that joins the Colorado at Lee's Ferry. The hike involved many river crossings which we gladly did to keep our feet cool and comfortable. There is a trail that heads north here for 46 miles, so we just really scratched the surface on our out and back excursion. This river has carved a wide canyon with a flat fertile bottom. At this time of year there are many flowering plants - actually it seemed like EVERY plant was flowering in its own special way if you looked closely.

As the river swings from one side of the valley to the other we got chance to explore some interesting side canyons. One was especially nice as it started as a narrow slot and ended at a cylindrical tower 300 feet overhead. We lay in the flat sandy deposit at the base of the cylinder, and it seemed like we were in a multicolored sandstone barrel wave tipped on its side, with the sky and occasional soaring birds passing over the opening at one end. We sat quietly and listened to the canyon sounds as they percolated into this special grotto. A dove's call drifted in, then some sort of special cricket we had never heard before.

Along the river's bank, in the soft mud we could easily read the tracks of a multitude of desert creatures that must have come down to the water's edge at night for refreshment. As we hiked the bushes often rustled with the scurrying of a lizard.

On to Lake Powell and some canyons further north.

From Lake Powell

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