SKOAC: Trip Report - Lake Powell 2004

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Trip Report by Sarah Ohmann

This years encore trip to Lake Powell included seven participants: Rich Cook, Sarah Ohmann, Patrick Maun, Alex Stamm, Vicky and Tim Thompson, and Jill Wroblewski. Bill Newman had to cancel, but we honored his memory by bending another propeller... After picking up our houseboat at the Bullfrog marina, we once again returned to the Escalante canyon/river for further explorations - last year we were literally blown out of the canyon by strong winds, and didnt see as much as we wanted to. This time we experienced calm paddling conditions and had good luck finding beaches to park the houseboat.

A five-year-long drought in the southwestern states has reduced Lake Powell to almost half its capacity, with water levels 100 feet below the high water line. The retreat of the lake has exposed many parts of Glen Canyon not seen since rising water levels drowned the canyon decades ago.

After unloading the kayaks from the roof of our houseboat, we paddled through deep rock channels where the retreating water has revealed ghostly drowned forests, with fishing lines and lures strung through the branches. At the end of the side canyons, we usually found a very interesting mix of clay and quicksand, that left the group looking like a mud wrestling team! We got out of the boats and hiked up side canyons that had been submerged until a few years ago, admiring the red slickrock formations and splashing up creeks in bare feet or sandals. In the evening we enjoyed fabulous meals prepared by Vicky and Tim with help from the rest of the crew.

Our only dirty weather occured during the last hour of the trip, when the houseboat surfed back into the marina in 4-foot waves, ending the trip with a bang as our dishes became airborne! Except for sweeping up the mess, I think its safe to say we had a great time. Page not found – SKOAC Superior Kayak and Outdoor Adventure Club

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