Chapter 9-3: Lake Powell Part I

In 1972 Glen Canyon National Recreational Area was created with Lake Powell at its heart. We arrived at Bullfrog Marina in the early afternoon to set up camp in 105o F scorching heat. We looked across the wide expanse of Bullfrog Bay and wondered what we had we signed up for, since neither one of us were keen water enthusiasts.  In the brochures the bay is described as a long and scenic waterway surrounded by rolling hills that rise to broad flat mesas. In the heat it looked positively uninviting. The next day we pulled away from Bullfrog marina in a small houseboat. Once out on the expanse of the bay we jumped into the welcoming warm waters of Lake Powell to cool off, and any hesitation I had about the vacation slipped away as the warm water enveloped me.

Lake Powell, Utah

We headed west and were soon surrounded by towering yellowish-gray, reddish-brown sandstone walls of the Navajo Sandstone. It was spectacular. We were floating within the drowned canyons of the mighty Colorado River. For all the environmental debate about flooding this 186-mile section of the Colorado River, it was a truly awesome way to see the canyons up close and personal. At night we anchored in coves under towering amphitheaters of sandstone walls splashed with draperies of desert varnish in hues of red-brown, blue-gray, or black, determined by the amount of manganese oxide (black) and iron oxide (red) present.