Sea kayaking in the desert

Thursday 13th October. By Paul.

In 1963 the Colorado river was dammed at Page, Arizona to create Lake Powell submerging a stunning part of the river. Since then boating has become a huge industry on Lake Powell. One person here described it as the houseboat capital of the world.

Kayaking is nowhere near as popular as motor boats but the upper reaches of the canyons can be accessed. Lake Powell is also huge – a massive body of water in the middle of a desert.

We had just hiked the canyons north of the Colorado river and now we planned to paddle up the canyons to the south.

We used a local water taxi to drop us off away from Page and spent seven days on the lake, going into progressively amazing canyons.

The canyons branched out from the Colorado and flat water extended many kms into each one. At the mouth the water was wide but narrowed to give a welcome relief from the sun. Soon we would be paddling between narrow walls of the canyon and then putting our paddles down and using our hands to move the kayaks forward.

At this point the cliffs above us could be up to 100m high – really a slot. The the canyon would twist and ooze would start, which is debris on the water surface that stinks at it decays. Ooze is the sign that paddling is nearly over, and with the canyon so tight we would reverse our kayaks sometimes hundreds of metres. Kayaking here is surprisingly good with not too many people. It also feels like we stepped of the planet – Tatooine perhaps – sea kayaking in the desert does not seem normal.

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About paulandjodie

Our first blog, five star tent, was a six month project in parallel with a journey on foot and by kayak from Alaska to Patagonia. Now back to real life, Jodie is inspired to start blogging again, just a little bit, with photo theme hop.
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