With the canoe loaded and gear packed, I left the house late morning on Thursday in search of paddling friends and a river. I found the first paddling friend at the college. Waited awhile while she finished helping a new hire and I touched base with a few friends that wandered through the area while I was there.
About sundown we found the next paddling friend as we pulled into the Hacienda Hotel & Casino's parking lot east of Boulder City, Nevada. I've likely paddled more days with Helen than anyone other than my wife. She's the owner of Desert River Kayak and one of the few businesses that has authority to launch boats just below Hoover Dam. (We did wave to Al & Kelly of the Bayfield Bunch as we passed just west of Congress, but I don't think they saw us!)
Friday morning found us below the dam for the 7 a.m. launch,
almost directly below the bridge.
We were fortunate to have Helen join us on the river. Normally she's driving the shuttle for her customers. In addition, we were joined by a family friend / matchmaker / blogger / mother of five kids and her friend for their first trip through the Black Canyon.
We stopped at the sauna cave where the view from the inside
was as steamy as Kathy's glasses.
We stopped at Goldstrike Canyon where we found hanging gardens growing around warm seeps.
From Goldstrike the bridge is still partially visible.
We stopped at Boy Scout Canyon before continuing on to Arizona Hot Springs. Up the ladder (complete with a cell phone photographer going for the angle)
to the first meaningful pool. There's one dammed up before the ladder but it's too cool to be worthwhile. There's another pool above this one that is very hot.
After a soak and lunch, we were back on the headwaters of Lake Mohave, enjoying the views of the canyon as we continued downstream to the Willow Beach Marina.
It was pretty clear that Beth and Leslie enjoyed the day as well, even if Beth is going for the "who me?" pose.
A great day on the Colorado river with wonderful weather, light breezes, and good friends. Well worth the drive!