March 8, 2014
It's 3:30am and the wind which is still howling has finally roused me from a restless sleep. I have to pee but it's cold and I don't want to get up so I toss and turn for an hour. I finally give in, get up, pee and tighten all the guy-lines on the tent in a futile attempt to quiet the thunderous flapping.
7:30am, 39.7°, 1021 mbar.
I drifted in and out of sleep for about an hour after getting back in the tent. I get up about 7:30am and walk about the river bottom shooting a few photos. Soon Chris and Anna rouse and we pack and head down the road. Heading east on US 89 we'll first pass Wahweap Marina just after passing into Arizona. A few miles more and we'll cross Glen Canyon Dam and then climb the hill into Page, AZ. Our planned put-in is at Antelope Point, a few miles east of Page.
During the planning phase for the trip, I debated weather I should start at Wahweap, which is in a side-channel, or Antelope Point, which is in the main channel. A Wahweap start offers two options: one, paddle down the side-channel and join the main channel near the dam, then head up the main channel past Antelope Point; two, paddle east through the Castle Rock Cut passing from Wahweap Bay into Warm Creek Bay (another side-channel). Alternatively, I could start in the main channel at Antelope Point. The respective distances to the point where these three options meet are 4.5 miles, 15 miles and 6 miles. Unfortunately the water level is very low (3575') and the Castle Rock Cut is dry so the shortest route is not an option. The next best option is to start at Antelope Point, so that's where we're headed.
On our way through Page we stop at Safeway and pick up the last few things we forgot and then start heading out to Antelope Point to the marina. Since we aren't sure where to get the boats inspected or if we needed a backcountry permit we stop in at a kayak rental shop and talk with the clerk. He is very helpful and gave us lots of suggestions but most importantly he told us that Antelope Point was closed because the water level had dropped 6'-8' below the end of the boat ramp. So the only put-in is at Wahweap. We thanked him and backtracked back across the dam to Wahweap. I guess we're stuck with the long route.
It took us almost two hours to have the boats inspected, unload, stage and pack all our gear and get on the water but finally, we're off. Wahoo!
Another benefit of putting in at Antelope Point was to avoid the busy, narrow channels near the dam and avoid camping near a high traffic zone. Fortunately at this time of year there's not too much traffic but at the end of the day we're camped almost directly across from the Antelope Point boat ramp. Oh well, best laid plans and all that.
Location: 36° 57.92' 111° 26.93'
5:00pm, 63.9°, 1018 mbar