We had the alarm set for 6 AM, but I got up earlier. Couldn't sleep. Never do when there's an alarm involved and we might miss something if we don't wake up on time. We made our lunch last night to take with us on the boat tour today. The weather is supposed to be perfect. It will be a little cool in the morning, but warm up to 80 this afternoon. The boat tour will take us out on Lake Powell for a 2 1/2 hour ride down 1/3 of the lake to Rainbow Bridge. Once we get there, we'll disembark and hike up to Rainbow Bridge where we'll see a 290 ft. arch from the base to the top of the arch. It spans 275 ft. across. The top of the arch measures 42 ft. thick and 33 ft. wide. Native Americans hold the bridge sacred. Our phone, Siri, said that Page, AZ and Utah were on the same time, but Arizona doesn't observe Daylight Savings Time. Utah hasn't switched to Daylight Savings Time yet, so we have been screwed up with our time since we got here on Tuesday. It hasn't been an issue for us until today. We drove to the Lake Powell Resort where we had to check in this morning in the dark. We had to check in at 7:00, but when we got there it was really 6 AM. We were an hour off. How embarrassing! So we drove back to the camper (5 min. from the resort) and hung out for an hour until it was really time to check in. Oh well...one lost hour of sleep. No big deal until it hits us tonight. We checked in at the tour desk at 7:00 and got our boarding passes. They started to board us at 7:20 and we were pulling away from the dock at 7:30.
We sat in the lower enclosed level for the ride out since it was cooler in the morning. We sat on the side of the boat where the sun would be shining on the rocks for better pictures.
Our captain pointed out areas of interest as we made our way down the lake for 50 miles. Our trip out to Rainbow Bridge would take 2 hours there and back with an hour and a half stop at the bridge itself. We each were given a headset that allowed us to listen to audio narrations about points of interest along the way and the history of the area. The narration was very interesting and informative. We learned the difference between a mesa and a butte. This is a butte--taller than it is wide.
This is a mesa. Wider than it is tall.
We learned that the locals call the white band on the rocks the "bathtub ring" referring to the highwater mark.
We learned about the native people who inhabited the area and the explorers who discovered it. This picture, if you use your imagination, is called the Sleeping Warrior. His head is on the left as he lays down and his feet are on the right. In the middle is his shield as it lays on his chest. Can you see it?
Tower Butte was easy to identify after we learned its name yesterday.
So was Navajo Mountain off in the distance.
The captain took us down many canyons. The average boater would have a hard time finding their way around without a map. We motored past a canyon that was the beginning of the Escalante National Monument. It is often referred to as the Grand Staircase. It encompasses 1.7 million acres.
Many buttes and mesas had names and the captain pointed out most of them. This one is the cookie jar.
The boat slowed down and we entered a very narrow, winding canyon called Forbidden Canyon.
We went slow because you could not see around the next bend.
We did encounter quite a few boats coming from and going into the canyon.
We saw a sign that pointed the way.
Around the last bend, we saw the dock where we would be tying up the boat. We arrived around 10:00 and would need to be back to the boat by 11:30 to board. The captain docked the boat and everyone was excited to get off to see Rainbow Bridge.
We had to walk on a long pier to get to the landing area further back in the canyon.
Once we got to land we caught a glimpse of the bridge.
This looked like the perfect place to catch some rays!
We then hiked about a half a mile to the base of the arch.
We found this hanging garden in a shady area of the path.
Everyone was anxious to have their picture taken by the bridge. So were we so we did it twice.
We hung out in the shade taking a rest and chatting with people from all over the world. Around 11:00, the ranger gave a talk on the history of the area and the formation of the arch.
Afterwards, we walked back to the boat to wait for the others to return and eat our lunch. This time we wanted to sit in the open air, upper deck area for the ride back. It was warmer now and the sun would feel good. I could also get better pictures from up above.
On the 2 hour ride back, we encountered many pleasure boats out on the water. You can rent houseboats and power boats at the marina and many people took advantage of that on this fine day.
The popular thing to do in Lake Powell is rent a houseboat and find a nice sandy beach to dock the boat and spend the day or overnight. In the summer, there is some great swimming in the lake, but at this time of the year when the water temperature is 60 degrees, it's not so desirable. Still, water sports of all kinds were enjoyed on a beautiful day like today.
We got back to the dock at 1:30 and headed back to the campground. It was pretty quiet there. It seemed everyone was still out doing whatever they do on a nice day. Bob wanted to wash the trailer. It was so dirty and dusty that we could barely see out of the windows. I took the opportunity to do some wash. The campground had a great laundry. Washers were $1.00 and dryers were 50 cents. That's the cheapest we've seen anywhere! By the time I got back to the camper, Bob was done washing the trailer. He started dinner, while I finished putting away the wash. While I did the dishes, he did me a favor and gave Auggie his evening walk. Both of us were really tired from getting up so early, so we were going to call it another early night. We were planning to take a tour of the dam tomorrow, but on our hike to Rainbow Bridge today, we talked to some people who raved about a Lower Antelope Canyon tour that they took. It sounded so interesting and their pictures were awesome, so we changed our plans and booked a tour. Antelope Canyon is on the Navajo Reservation so visitors must be accompanied by a Navajo guide. Our tour leaves Page at 12:10 tomorrow so we get to sleep in. That will be a treat! We went to bed at 8:30. At least we think it was 8:30, or 9:30 if you're in Utah! Ha! Either way, we were beat!