I woke up early – 5:45 am, got the kids up, and wandered to the restaurant in the Marina for breakfast. Today’s plan was to take a tour boat cruise around the lake out to the Rainbow Bridge and back. When we get back, we planned to rent a motor boat and explore on our own. While we ate breakfast, we ordered some box lunches for our excursion.
We rode a tour boat for five hours through Lake Powell. We were disappointed to be stuck inside the boat instead of up on the rooftop in the open-air seating. However, this turned out to be a good thing due to the heat. Views were spectacular even from the windows.
I began to wonder what the water swallowed up when the Glen Dam was built.
We saw rock formations resembling reclining camels, and the areas used to film Planet of the Apes.
However our destination, the Rainbow Bridge (the largest Natural Bridge in North America) was a beautiful site. The water levels have dropped 40% in the past 20 years, so we had to hike to a site once approached by water.
Thing 1 mostly stayed below deck on our ride back because he overheated a bit. But we all had a chance to ride in the open air surrounded by the buttes and islands of the lake.
Five hours outside without taking a swim made us all very hot and tired. So, we retired to our room to cool off for an hour and then, after discovering no boats were available for the afternoon, reserved one for tomorrow and opted to swim in the pool and on the small sandy beach below the resort.
I’m looking forward to tubing with the boys tomorrow and exploring some private spots on the lake.
Today provided a great lesson in go with the flow as our plan to boat tomorrow will probably cut out Antelope Canyon before we head to Bryce in the afternoon.
Hubby – Lake Powell hat
Thing 1 and Oldest: t shirts
Thing 2: snow globe
Me: Photo book of Lake Powell and book about Glen Canyon-pre Dam
Note: Thing 2 has decided to start a snow globe collection. I think that is really cool!
We woke up feeling fresh, with some of the jetlag tapering off. After breakfast at the Maswik, we caught the Blue Line Shuttle to the Visitor’s Center and walked from there to the rim trail. The paved trail was easy to walk on and offered spectacular views the entire way.
As we walked along, one thing that struck me is how different mindsets experience the canyon.
There is the artist/poet type, who focuses on the way the sunlight alters the appearance of the layers of rock throughout the course of the day, or who tries to put into words the feeling of awe and insignificance that the sight of the vast canyon inspires.
Then, there is the analytical, math-minded, adventurer, who is fascinated with questions like, “if someone fell off of the canyon, how long would it take them to hit bottom,” and “what are the precise dimensions of the canyon?” – You guessed it, my boys, especially Thing 1. Hubby had a great reaction to the gory obsession.
Instead of freaking out in horror, like I was inclined to do, he asked Thing 1, “Well, what’s the distance it would take you to reach terminal velocity?”
From there, they took the formula, using estimates based upon average depth of the canyon and estimates of the speed at which one would fall, etc. Oy vey!
The math-minded and poet-minded fascinations merged when it came to the science of geological, paleontological, and wildlife around the canyon.
We watched the timeline stamped along the path, marveled that the earth at a particular spot was 270 million-years-old or 1 billion-years-old. It’s not easy to grasp the ancientness of the minerals. We looked at the layers of the cliff-sides and plateaus, spotted shale and limestone, and peered down to the Colorado River.
We even spotted a Condor—a huge buzzard-like bird with a 9-foot wingspan.
We finished our hike and ate lunch at El Tovar Lodge, a lovely hotel right on the rim. A restaurant with a view – excellent! I ate a salad with chicken and Meditteranean veggies.
Before walking back to Maswik, we stopped at the Hopi House Art Center to look around. I bought a book of Native American Legends and also a book with photos of the views from Hermit Road. I also loved seeing all of the different styles of Native American pottery and learning about the way they were made. Some coil pots, burnished. Others molded as “greenware” actually poured into a mold and then hand-painted. Amazing.
We drove to Lake Powell in time to take a dip in the lake. But e the drive provided amazing scenic view the entire way. We hugged the Grand Canyon and passed through the center of valleys between roc formations seemingly erupting out of the Earth. Beautiful!
We ate dinner at the Lake Powell Resort and Marina Rainbow Room, overlooking the lake and a boatyard full of houseboats.
I need to get some sleep because we have an early day tomorrow.