Monday, June 29, 2009
We reached the high water mark of Lake Mead around Gneiss Rapid in Bridge Canyon. But we didn't reach the actual lake until the middle of the next day - more than 60 miles downstream. Its been a bad few years for the reservoir (see my posts from our January trip to Vegas) and it just keeps dropping. During its better years, and particularly in the decades between 1937 and 1963 before Glen Canyon Dam was built, the Colorado dumped its load in this section of the canyon. The tributaries built their alluvial fans to match the reservoir level. So the river now flows between banks eroded into these mid-20th century river deposits. And flows tens or even hundreds of feet above the rapids that used to be found on this stretch of river, which are now buried in silt.
Time to wrap up the Grand Canyon stuff. Between this blog and the other two, I've posted way too much material, much of it redundant, and its time to go back to the shorelines this blog was originally meant to address!