Thursday, September 23, 2010
We awakened to a beautiful day in Slick Rock Canyon, and decided we would kayak as far as we could in the canyon and hike for a bit after that, especially to see the Anasazi ruins farther up the canyon. There are in fact restored Anasazi ruins right above where most of the houseboats beach, just before the point where the water in the canyon starts to narrow and becomes obstructed by dead trees. Most people don't see anything farther up the canyon than that. Our kayaks and backpack with water and snacks and willingness to hike allowed us to see things that most people never see.
Our progress in the kayaks was stopped by a beaver dam, so we beached the kayaks and continued up the canyon on foot. After a while we came to the restored Anasazi ruins called "Mistake Alcove Ruins." The mistake was not the Anasazi's but the National Parks Service's. The ruins were restored in 1972 but as water levels rose, particularly in 1999, they were far too accessible, and too many visitors seriously degraded them. They are now fenced off with chain link and razor wire. We climbed up to read the plaque, no mean feat for me because I am terrified of heights. Baxter it turns out is part mountain goat, a great climber and evidently fearless.
We continued on a bit, and we saw that there was a side canyon that looked like it might be interesting, so Russ, Toni and I climbed up a steep incline to it while Patty rested. The view back down Slick Rock Canyon from that vantage point was pretty amazing. The side canyon itself turned out not to be all that interesting. Baxter had climbed up with us, but I think he was worried about Patty and took off all on his own to go back to where she was resting. He is having the time of his life being off leash on these hikes!
Slick Rock Canyon is unique among all the Lake Powell Canyons in that it shows no evidence of being washed out - the terrain and verdure is much like it would have been when the Anasazi Indians inhabited it. I made this composite photo of some of the incredible vegetation in this little part of the desert.
When we returned to the boats, we swam a bit, had lunch, and continued our futile efforts fishing (will we ever learn?). We decided about 4 p.m. to head out for our next destination, The Rincon. We arrived and anchored, and were soon joined by C-Swell, Bill and Sue from Colorado. Just after dark, our friend Jody Kidd from Centerville, Utah, arrived on Voyager and we had a pleasant evening sitting in our cockpits with three boats rafted.