Monday, July 1, 2013

lake powell - pt. 2

Still waters at sunrise

We were up with the sun on Tuesday morning, the plan being to find a campsite early and then go for a hike in one of the side canyons before the heat of the day set in.  When we got to the mouth of Sevenmile Canyon, we sent a scouting party ahead in the powerboat; at their go-ahead, we drove the houseboat in to the very end of the canyon, beaching it on a mud beach with the canyon walls close by and a hike just ahead of us.  This was a great campsite: more shade, easier swimming and super-scenic.

Hiking upstream

My folks, my brother and I opted to hike up the canyon, making this the first all-family/family-only hike since my brother and I met my folks on Mt. Katadhin in Maine after they finished the Appalachian Trail in 1998.  This slot canyon hike was considerably less strenuous than the AT and we went up until we couldn't go up any further, stopped by a boulder fall.  We walked in a stream for much of the way and there was quite a lot of greenery up in there, striking against the huge red canyon cliffs above us.  On the way back down, we met up with my sister-in-law and niece, who were doing some exploring of their own.  We were also lucky enough to hear (and see!) canyon wrens - nondescript little birds with a beautiful, trilling song.

The canyon got narrower

The afternoon was spent reading, swimming and drinking beer.  My brother tried to find some good routes for some rock climbing, while my dad and I found our way to the top of some cliffs overlooking our campsite.  Up there, in the mid-afternoon with no shade and far from the lake water and beer, it was HOT.  For dinner we had cheeseburgers and salad and kept working on the margaritas; there may or may not have been a short ABBA dance party when we discovered the CD player.

Keeping cool

We had a campfire after dinner, everyone sitting well back from the heat of the fire but enjoying the flickering light.  Sleeping that night was not quite as pleasant as it had been the night before: it was windy but hotter and never cooled down to a comfortable sleeping temperature.

View of our campsite from above

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