Added 18 December 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008, Lake Powell, Utah
(Hover over images for captions. Click images for larger versions.)
Our last day on the lake. Not unexpectedly, I was the last one to get out of bed. But I got packed up quickly and was the first one ready to go. Chuck was ready early too, so we chatted while we waited for everyone to get ready, and we eventually launched at around 8:30.
I took a short detour down the ghost canyon to see what it looked like in the daytime, then caught up with the group before the mouth of Moqui Canyon.
The main body of lake was very calm, making for a very enjoyable farewell paddle. Chuck got a wild hare and powered out ahead of everyone. I didn't know it at the time, but he had been hoping that I would basically race him to see who could hold out the longest at speed. Had I known, I would have obliged, but instead I stayed back with Marisa and Dennis while Mindy took the middle ground.
I kind of felt like I'd spent a fair amount of the trip out ahead of the group or doing my own thing and figured I'd be less anti-social this morning. Nearer the boat ramp I pulled ahead a bit and arrived just after Mindy. We were at the take-out before 10:30 a.m. It took quite a while to unload and re-organize our gear, so we didn't leave Lake Powell until around noon.
Marisa was still listening to her book on tape, so I rode with Dennis and Mindy. Chuck went on his own way back to New Mexico. We drove down the Moki Dugway and stopped once on the way down so the group could enjoy the views. We drove the dirt road through the Valley of the Gods then headed into Mexican Hat for gas. We had some time to kill, so we made a brief detour to Goosenecks State Park before driving to Kayenta to find a hotel and a much needed shower. I covered the hotel room for Dennis and myself in partial compensation for gas, which was partially negated when he kindly paid for the groups dinner at the hotel restaurant. After dinner we wandered the hotel gift shop then returned to our rooms. No one lasted much past nine o'clock.
12 November 2008
Everyone was awake fairly early, largely well rested. The hotel bed was far too soft for me, so I didn't sleep all that well, but oh well. I'll take flat ground and a sleeping pad over a hotel bed any day. At least the shower was worth it. Without really planning it, we all met in the lobby at around the same time for the free hotel breakfast, then we packed up and started the drive home, with a couple of detours planned. Since Marisa was done with her book on tape, I rode with her.
Our first detour was to Navajo National Monument. We took the short hike to the overview of Betatakin (BetAHtakin), a well preserved Hisatsinom cliff dwelling. Just outside the north entrance to the visitors center was a small patch of snow, so I lobbed a couple at Marisa, making her run ahead of us. As we looked down upon Betatakin with our binos we were all amazed at its condition. A number of buildings were so well preserved that we half expected to see some of the Hopi's ancestors walk out of them. It was really quite shocking. We hunted for the petroglyphs and pictographs reportedly found there, and eventually found a couple of pictographs. We then returned toward the visitors center and detoured down the Aspen trail, which looks down the canyon.
After returning to the visitor's center, we once again hit the road, stopping next at the Cameron Trading Post. I had hoped to find something neat for my new house, but everything I wanted cost more money than I could justify spending, so I came away with only a pair of silver thunderbird earrings for Shannon. After browsing the trading post, we had lunch at the historic restaurant there, where most of us had delicious "Navajo tacos." After that, we faced only the drive home, which we pushed through at a decent pace, slowed down slightly be rush hour traffic in Phoenix. Dennis and Mindy dropped me off at my place by 6:30 that night, thus completing an amazing trip.
Chuck has a trip report for this trip too, which you can view at: http://www.chucksweb.net/Trips/2008/LakePowell/Powell08.html
Now to plan the next Lake Powell trip . . .