A March across Powell, 18

July 05, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The wind went on for hours last night, unable to sleep I tossed and turned and watched the moon come up and creep across the sky. The wind blew on, tormenting me, as I tried to sleep and stay warm and keep the blowing sand at bay.  I succeeded at none of those.

Just before dawn the wind blew itself out. With the ensuing peace I passed out and slept right through sunrise.

When I finally rise, I start a double helping of oatmeal on the stove and start shuttling the kayak and gear back toward the shore. I first load the back half of the boat and prepare to slide it back toward the water.  As I go to lift it across the rock I forget the rule "lift with your knees, not your back" and twinge my lower back. Ouch. Shit. I've done this before and though painful I can get by and usually work it out in a few days with some serious stretching. I hope that's true this time.

I finish packing and launch into glassy water, a beautiful morning for paddling, cool air, warm sun, smooth water. Stroke, glide, stroke, glide.  After several hours I arrive at Buoy #57 and realize that I'm at the mouth of the San Juan Arm and that now I'm on the back page of the map, wahoo! Another milestone.

I paddle up the San Juan Arm and camp at 37° 11.92 110° 52.04.

There's a small gully here that I'm hoping will allow access to the rim above and an overlook of the gooseneck to the south.  After beaching the kayak and eating lunch I head up the gully exploring and looking for an easy way through the cliff bands to the rim above. After snaking around I bit I make it up to the rim and walk out to the edge overlooking the river channel. The view's good but not as great as I was hoping. The map shows another smaller gooseneck just east of this one and I was hopeful that I could see both, but I can't.  I'm not high enough. The cliffs rise another couple of hundred feet above me but there's no way that I can see to get up on top of them.

Back at camp I splash off in the lake and wash the sand from last few days off me and rinse out my clothes. The gully is full of drift wood so I build a fire because even through it's early I'm already in shadow since the canyon walls to the west are close and tall.

What a beautiful night, calm and cool. I lay on my pad for a while with my bag over me like a blanket and stare up at the narrow strip of sky above me. Orion twinkles above me in the blackness as I drift off.


No comments posted.

January February March April May June July August September October November December (1)
January (3) February (2) March April May June July August (1) September (5) October (2) November (4) December
January February March April (2) May June July August September October November December