Magazine article Sunset

In the Black on the Clear Blue Colorado

Magazine article Sunset

In the Black on the Clear Blue Colorado

Article excerpt

For most people, rafting the Colorado River means a rock-and-roll ride through the Grand Canyon's awesome depths. A shorter, easier way to get your feet wet in the Colorado is to float through Black Canyon below Lake Mead.

Recently I made the trip with my 6-year-old nephew, Neil, who lives in nearby Las Vegas and has been going to the lake since he was a guppy. He was blase when we boarded the Black Canyon River Raft Tours bus in Boulder City, and remained so until we reached the launch site, where he got his first bottom-up view of Hoover Dam. Gazing up at the 726-foot-high concrete curtain, he uttered a simple "Wow]"

Which is what all 30 or so people on our raft were probably thinking as we motored toward the dam for a closer look. Feeling like ants on a leaf floating under a downspout, we peered up at a 50-foot-diameter spillway tunnel. Here, it's impossible not to be conscious of the contained force of 110-mile-long Lake Mead. As we headed downstream, Neil asked what would happen if the dam broke. "Why, we'd just ride that wave to the Gulf of California," drawled our guide. …

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