So last week, T called and made us a reservation to paddle down the Colorado from the dam to Willow Beach. It's about an 8-mile paddle downstream, and you used to be able to just take this steep little road down below the dam and plop your boats right in, but in the aftermath of 9-11 you have to pay a licensed tour company to put you in. Anyways.
We started out at the Hacienda casino just after 7 a.m. We had to be checked in by a little government employee with a clipboard, but that was all the bureaucracy involved. Way to keep us safe, Uncle Sam!
I was in the sit-on-top boat, and my fat self just about toppled over with the first swirly patch of water we hit, so I swapped with T and we kept heading on down. Somehow he got stuck with the flimsy emergency paddle too (a last-minute Walmart purchase: a mistake he won't be making again), just about doubling the effort and concentration required for the trip. (He is just now recovered enough to get up off the couch. Interestingly enough, I was worse off in the calves and hip flexors than I expected.)
The highlight of the day was definitely the Arizona Hot Springs. After about an hour and a half on the river, we tied off on a beach and hiked about a half-mile up a gravelly wash, stripped down to swimsuits, and climbed a rickety old ladder up to a series of warm-water pools in the slot canyon. A tour group was already soaking when we arrived, but the pool was plenty big enough to share.
We got back to Willow Beach just after 3 and ate the very best post-exertion snacks ever: candy bars, Dr. Pepper, crumb donuts, and gas-station-style microwaved chimichangas. At any other time, a meal like that just tastes sleazy, but after an all-day activity there is nothing better.
We took off yesterday and today to lay on the couch, but tomorrow it's off to Utah for the second leg of our multisport vacation--rock climbing in Veyo. There will probably be a post about that this weekend.