river raft tour on the Colorado – part two

Are not picture essays easier to throw together than writing lengthy thematic or conceptual posts?  We think so.  And, yes, the music really was better back in the ’80s.

Now, we continue with our exploration of the Colorado River just below Glen Canyon Dam in northern most Arizona, USA.

About midway through the rafting tour, we stopped for a short time so folks could check out some Indian petroglyphs on a short hike from the “beach”.



Here is another view.



We did not walk the whole distance in the heat.  While in the shade along the trail, we snapped this photo.



Back now at the beach and waiting to embark on the remainder of the raft tour, we enjoy the cooler area next to the river and in the shade of the canyon wall.



Another view of the nearby scenery.



Back now on the water and out in the sunlight, we approach the famous Horseshoe Bend at river level.  The canyon walls are hundreds of feet high.



Minutes later, we can see – at water level – the giant rock monolith which is the iconic feature in pictures of this curve in the river when viewed from the cliffs above.  One could say that the river had to go around this harder stone and perhaps that is what caused the curving of the river here.  We were on the cliffs above that morning and were looking down on this scene from above which gives a very different view or perspective.  Interested readers can see our post from last year (October 2017) for our photos of this scene seen from the cliffs above.  https://larrysmusings.com/2017/10/05/looking-down-at-horseshoe-bend/



Another look.



A look up at the soaring cliffs above.  There were tourists above us on top of those rock walls looking down at us. 



Having progressed now a littler further down river, we see the rock monolith from a different angle and gain appreciation of its size.



Looking ahead, the river begins to curve back as it continues around the rock monolith.  It was in this area that our tour guide turned the raft back so that we began our return upriver to the dock just below the large concrete dam.



A glance up at the sandstone walls towering above us at this spot gives this view.  Rafts on the river appear quite small when seen from the tops of these cliffs.



The late September sun now appears to be sinking in the mid afternoon below the top of the cliffs.  An interesting item to note is that Arizona does not observe “Summer Time” or Daylight Savings Time.  But, the nearby Navajo Indian Reservation does observe Summer Time.  My wife’s iPhone kept changing its time on this river tour.  She would check the time and remark how late it was getting but then we realized that her phone’s clock was locating us as being in the Navajo Reservation which was nearby.  Her phone’s clock was toggling between Mountain Standard Time (GMT minus 7 hours) and Mountain Daylight Time.



Having completed our turn in the river, our raft starts up river.



A closer look now at the same scene.



Continuing along . . . . 



In this next pic, the sun is occulted or blocked from view by the canyon wall.  A wispy cloud very slowly passes by.



By zooming in the camera lens, we can get a sense of the texture of the rock.



Further upriver now, and looking behind us with the sun above the scene, we capture this rock outcrop pointing to the sky.  Recall the words of Jimi Hendrix. “Excuse me while I kiss the sky.”



Impressive sandstone canyon walls.  The US Southwest has some stunning scenery revealing many millions of years of geology in the rocks.  These can be called timeless scenes.



The other side of the canyon was now in partial shade.  Other shades and hues of color became apparent with the different lighting conditions.



This is the same scene a moment later where the rocks appear to reflect a bit more orange light.



A zoomed in shot here gives a greater appreciation of the texture of the rocks.



Wow!  What a shot.  We can see both sides of the river canyon, the concrete dam and highway bridge, the sky with clouds, and the river – all in this one photo.  The German tourist in the pic was wearing a New York Mets baseball cap.



Now we are walking back up to the bus loading area for the trip through the canyon wall tunnel and back to the tour company office in nearby Page, Arizona.



A hurried shot here shows the electric transmission line towers high above, reminding us that much electric power is generated here as the water passes through the dam and the electric turbines.



Thanks for rafting with us.

copyright 2018 – larrysmusings.com


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