Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Not the Sea of Cortez


We’ve been back in the U.S. for three nights.  We’re camped on the Left Bank of the Colorado River, that is, on the California side. 350 feet away is Arizona, on the other bank.  Yesterday it hit 90 degrees, and with no wind (a relief after spending two months on the very windy Baja peninsula), but we’re under the shade of large Tamarisk trees, so have not been too hot even though we have no hook-ups, so can’t run the air conditioner. Jill and Doug, our Canadian travel buddies, are camped 100 feet away.


The Colorado River, at least here, is clear and cold, with a current running about 3 knots between dams built about every 10 miles. Yesterday morning the 4 of us took off in our kayaks, paddling or pedaling upstream, against the strong current. One after another, we passed places where hundreds of RVs were parked along the shoreline, in a mind-boggling density after what we’d gotten used to in Baja. Jet skis roared by, cigarette boats too, water skiers, and pontoon boats. It’s a busy place, and we kept close to the shoreline to stay out of the way of any crazy drunks that might be driving too fast and not paying attention.


Ninety minutes later, and with sweat pouring off our foreheads from the exertion of paddling, we pulled ashore at the Roadrunner, a  restaurant with a dock, outdoor seating and fabulous hamburgers so big we split one. Seated in the sun, Cathryn and Jill got too hot, so stripped off their shirts and shorts and jumped, very briefly, into the cold waters of the river, then were swept south so rapidly they had to work hard to make it back to the dock.


Though our northbound journey took 90 minutes to cover 3 or 4 miles, the southbound journey running with the current took only 40 minutes with almost no paddling except to steer our course.  This is sure a different kind of kayaking than on the Sea of Cortez, and we enjoyed it.

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