And the road goes on forever...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Playing on Water

When we put the boat away after out last river exploration we thought it would be for awhile since we are having trouble affording the fuel to run it. Today however, we decided to splurge in celebration of some news I hope to be able to spread next week if all goes well, by going out “one last time” on the river. The weather was begging us to cool off; the sun was brightly shining, and there was still much more to explore.

Because it was a Sunday, even though we got an early start this time, the river soon became very active. Part of the fun for us was lollygagging upstream shooting others having fun. Here: immerse yourself in it and imagine all that cool water and the thrill of speed!

Now to our own fun! Finally, the boat cooperated and we made it into the Picacho State Recreation area via water. The scenery is different in this section; more dramatic with steeper, peaked mountains reaching down to the river and forming marching lines into the horizon.

We found another marvelous slough to explore, turning slowly into what looked like a solid wall of reeds. Water depth was sufficient though at four to five feet. We passed an abandoned enterprise of some kind with a derelict, neglected dock and probably 20 overturned canoes. Had it been a business at one time? Why, way back here, where few come? Making our way stealthily and carefully farther along, with the reeds bending and slapping our boat we came to the choked down entry into Adobe Lake, filled with the ghosts of hundreds of dead tree snags. Was this an old orchard at one point? The boat goes nowhere now, entering would be far too dangerous; so we sit eating lunch while listening to myriad bird calls and bullfrogs croaking. A military helicopter passing over is the only disturbance to the total tranquility.

We’ve come far enough up river; time to turn back so we have some time to participate in our favorite river rite—sandbar sitting with a cold one in our hands. We find the perfect location all to ourselves and just mellow out and stay wet. It’s nearly the end of another perfect day out on the water. We hate for it to end.

Our last activity before blasting back down river is to follow some party boats into a very narrow entryway into a larger pond. As we near the torn and jagged ends of the elephant grass wall, sticking out menacingly like punji sticks--obviously hit numerous times by numerous others, we see why as we smash into them too; pushed there by the fierce river current. We check our rooftop canvas to make sure we sustained no damage and then note the mess of debris we’ve acquired. Oh well, we’ll be sure to blow that out! Hidden away on this small lake, tucked well back into an inlet with parking for only one boat is a perfect sand beach surrounded by rock walls. It would make a secretive camp spot; of course it is taken on this day (so I felt it too intrusive to snap a picture), but we’ll be back someday to hide away there ourselves.

We’ve immensely enjoyed our short time exploring the Colorado River; its call is very alluring. Given its length and numerous sloughs and backwaters, it never really feels crowded despite the crowds on weekends. Weekdays we have it virtually to ourselves. It is a wonderland worth exploration and we’re happy that we have the boat here now to do so. The natural beauty of the area is stunning and we would encourage everyone to take the opportunity for a visit if you are in the area. Boat rentals are available at Martinez Lake, including houseboats.