Thursday, March 12, 2015

Last Day in the Black Canyon

After time out for a report of the Alaska State Hockey Championships, we're back to finish reporting on the Black Canyon trip.

We woke to blue skies on our last day for this trip in the Black Canyon. Some of us enjoyed a warm breakfast of oatmeal and coffee before breaking camp. The early morning surge from the dam was already starting to recede as we loaded the boats.

It was nice to see the groover guy from Lake Mead National Recreation Area there to drain the holding tanks for the two outhouses. These are the only outhouses on this section of the river and are heavily used. With launch permits at the dam sold out for the coming weekend and the beginning of Spring Break, it wasn't going to be pretty if they'd let the tanks fill much more.

It was a delightful morning to be on the river - sunshine and a very light tailwind as we started. Everyone had smiles on their faces and good memories of our hike yesterday. We never did get back to soak in the hot springs, but that just means we'll have to do the trip over again one of these days.

The dripping spring near mile 59 was looking good.

We all kept looking for Desert Bighorn Sheep on the hillsides. They're quite common in the area and sometimes are sighted in fairly large groups. Kathy did spot two adults and a lamb high on the Arizona side of the river, but they were too far away for a picture.

We passed Crane's Nest Wash and then started looking for a spot to take a break.

The little pocket beach about mile 55.5 was our home for a short break as we exclaimed about how the weather was much nicer than we'd expected from the reports.

We stopped in the cove on river left just below Emerald Cave at mile 54 so that I could get a picture of Kathy's Knot Too Shabby hovering above the sandy bottom. This is the same place that some of my earlier wood boat projects had been photographed years ago.

As long as we were here, I got a picture of the canoe (Knot Again,) but I was too lazy to unload it.

About that time, BJ and Suzanne came around the corner from Emerald Cave so I got pictures of them. By that time the breeze was starting to build so these pictures didn't get the same "levitation" effect,

but it was clear that everyone was enjoying the trip!

Our trip ended at Willow Beach Marina at river mile 52.5. The official Black Canyon Water Trail continues on down lake another 13 miles or so, but it's quite possible to paddle all the way to Katherine Landing, just above Davis Dam at Bullhead City.

We were so glad Suzanne could join us for this trip. We're looking forward to more time together with her on rivers in the future.

A big thanks, also, to our friend Izzy, and all the staff of Desert Adventures, who provided launch and shuttle logistical support for this trip.


  1. Gorgeous photos! Especially the two showing the levitation effect.

    1. Thanks, Sharon. It's a beautiful piece of country that keeps calling us back.

  2. This is one of those trips that just grows in "fun factor" the more I look back on it....if that is possible! What a great trip! Thanks again to you and BJ for introducing me to such a spectacular place!

    1. In my experience, river trips are good for weeks of smiles. Glad you enjoyed it - we certainly did!

    2. BTW, we're looking forward to doing it again - just let us know.