The Grand Time

Tom's Journal

July 15, 2007 - Day 59
The last day; The river’s end

View A Different Day

Since propeller power worked so well across two of the reservoirs along my way to this point, it seemed like propeller power would be a good choice for the remaining length of the river’s course, which is a series of four consecutive reservoirs.

So on the last day I was in my forties, Kathy, Derek and Cindy joined me on a charter flight to see the last of the Colorado River.

We circled Hoover Dam then headed downstream. At first I was disappointed in myself for not paddling because the Black Canyon, which is just below the dam and which I have kayaked before, looked so inviting.

But it wasn’t far until the land became relatively flat and agricultural. Some major exceptions to the agricultural patchwork were Laughlin, on the Nevada side, and Bullhead and Lake Havasu Cities in Arizona.

Each successive dam-Davis, Parker, Blythe and Imperial-impounded reservoirs with less and less evidence of recreational use such as motorboats, waterskiing and houseboats. In some places the shorelines appeared to be of concrete, similar to the huge canals that were diverted from the river.

At Imperial, all water visible from our altitude was diverted into what appeared to be three of those huge canals-one to Arizona and two to California. The river’s empty bed was visible and the growth along it could be followed for a short way approximately into the town of Yuma, Arizona.

Beyond that was what looked like a sea of sand and, because they appeared the same color, it was impossible to discern the ground from the sky where they met on the southern horizon.

So our friendly and very capable pilot, Jerry, of Zepp Air Inc. turned the speedy Cessna 414 toward Las Vegas and my 50th birthday.

A few days before this, a blood vessel broke in my left eye. It looked terrible but was painless to me. So it was fitting that I was “a sight for sore eye” by the end of the Time.

Supposedly what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but as long as they didn’t have to look at me, it looked like Kathy, Gary, Leslie, Jesse, Carl, Derek, Kurt, Bridgette and Cindy had a good time.

As I look back on this Time and think of what surprised me most, it would have to be, in order:

1) The large number of people who were part of it, the diverse range of expressions on their faces, and the unexpected roles some played;

2) The contributions being made every day by people working in many government agencies, including the National Park Service and Bureau of Land Management for optimizing the experiences for and volume of visitors. The Colorado River Water Conservation District is another organization doing great things for the river through education and positive interaction with the public. An example is the use of income from an endowment fund to underwrite the cost of studies to determine location of leaks in old, privately owned water delivery systems;

3) How unfamiliar many people who live and work along the river were with other regions of it, even short distances away, such as in the same county.

I would be remiss if I didn’t thank the major sponsors, and the person in each organization most responsible for taking a risk: Susan B. from US Bank Glenwood Springs, Scott B. from Subways of Glenwood Springs and Eagle, Derek H. from Water 2 Wine in Centennial, CO and Michael S. of Zeal Optics in Moab.

And my heartfelt thanks to all participants of any nature, past present or future, especially Papa Joe and his beloved Mayme.

View A Different Day

Mile by Mile Photos

July 15, 2007 - Day 59
The last day; The river’s end

May 16 2007 - Day 1May 17 2007 - Day 2May 18 2007 - Day 3May 19 2007 - Day 4May 20 2007 - Day 5May 21 2007 - Day 6May 22 2007 - Day 7May 23 2007 - Day 8May 24 2007 - Day 9May 25 2007 - Day 10May 26 2007 - Day 11May 27, 2007 - Day 12May 28, 2007 - Day 13May 29, 2007 - Day 14May 30, 2007 - Day 15May 31, 2007 - Day 16June 1, 2007 - Day 17June 2 - 11, Day 18 - 27June 12, 2007 - Day 28June 13, 2007 - Day 29June 14, 2007 - Day 30June 15, 2007 - Day 31June 16, 2007 - Day 32June 17, 2007 - Day 33June 18, 2007 - Day 34June 19, 2007 - Day 35June 20, 2007 - Day 36June 21, 2007 - Day 37June 22, 2007 - Day 38June 23, 2007 - Day 39June 24, 2007 - Day 40June 25, 2007 - Day 41June 26, 2007 - Day 42June 27, 2007 - Day 43June 28, 2007 - Day 44June 29 2007 - Day 45June 30, 2007 - Day 46July 1 - 13, Day 47 - 58July 15, 2007 - Day 59
The last day; The river’s end