As I stood online at the Black Canyon River Raft head quarters I was struck
by the level of professionalism. Outside there were several busses with the
Black Canyon logo on them, inside the offices were neat and clean, and the
amount of merchandise available was impressive. And I have to admit I was
affected. I bought one of their T-shirts. Hi, Im David. Im an impulse
After receiving our tickets and box lunch we boarded the busses for the trip
to the river. As we embarked on our journey I started to get excited about
the impending adventure. Little did I realize that the adventure had already
Bus driver, Mike Swatrz ... As we head down to the river, I'm going to tell
you folks a little bit about Boulder City ...
There are a number of great aspects to the raft trip, but my favorite is the
knowledge that you receive, and that starts the moment the bus leaves the
terminal. The tour guides are full of great information. Starting with
Boulder City where the offices are to Lake Mead, and all of the points of
interest along the way. But regardless of your personal interests there is
one attraction that everyone is captured by.
Bus driver, Mike Swartz ... You'll get the most spectacular view of Hoover
Dam anybody ever gets to see.
If you like taking pictures this is definitely a trip you should make. There
really is no other way to get this close to the dam legally. As we disembark
the busses and walk down to the rafts everyone has their camera out. And this
wont be the last time the cameras will come out. On the trip down the river
there will be several opportunities for pictures that you will be hard
pressed to capture anywhere else.
Raft Pilot, Kathleen Wood... You can sit anywhere on these rafts that you'd
like except for the front platform.
As we listen to the boarding instructions I notice how well my fellow
travelers are prepared. Everyone is wearing layers of cotton clothing, as
well as either sandals or shoes that they wont mind getting wet. And several
people have hats and or sunglasses. Remember that when you come on the trip.
Also remember to bring along sunblock. Otherwise everything has been
provided for you. Including life jackets for the kids. Adults desiring
lifejackets can also be accommodated, but that really isnt necessary. The
raft is virtually unsinkable, and for those who are less adventurous, simply
sit on the benches in the middle of the raft and youll be an ample distance
away from the water.
With everyone comfortably situated on the raft we start out across the river.
Our first destination is the base of Hoover Dam.
Tour Guide, Wendy Eskew... We're going to stay here for a couple of minutes
why tell you a little bit about how the dam was built. For those few who
have not had an opportunity yet you are more than welcome to stand up and
take your dam pictures right now.
Bad jokes aside youll learn a tremendous amount about the dam and the
The journey down stream is stunning in its beauty. The cliffs rise hundreds
of feet above you, and the water is absolutely crystal clear. It appears to
be emerald green, but that is because no matter what the depth of the river
you can always see the algae growing on the bottom. One of the first sights
we pass is a canyon that seems to have a solid rock glacier inching its way
inexorably to the waters edge. In fact its rubble left over from the
excavation of the dam. As we continue on down the river we will never be at a
loss for things to see.
There are a number of cultural sites affiliated with the operation of the
dam and the river trade before the dam was built. But the big attraction here
is the scenery. Like small waterfalls, hot springs, and an assortment of
desert flora and fauna that will dot the shoreline along the way.
Tour Guide, Wendy Eskew... Oh yeah! OK, you guys see their rear ends. Oh my
God, there's 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9, I see nine if you guys see more let me know.
Spotting bighorn sheep is almost a guarantee on the trip. Youll also see all
manner of water birds like double crested cormorants, great blue heron, and
even the occasional bald eagle. But the real joy in seeing them on the river
trip is that no matter what the critter you see the well-informed staff is
always there with valuable and interesting information about them.
There are several times during this trip when youll get a sense of what it
must have been like when the early explorers came here. Only now its much
more peaceful. With the dam in place the river doesnt rage like it did in
years past. As a matter of fact the only rapid youll be shooting on this
trip is one that was formerly known as Roaring rapid. Its currently known
as Rainbow rapid. But like the rest of this journey its well worth the
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