The Colorado River up close

Second day at Lee’s Ferry campground . . .  

I suppose I should keep up appearances since I’m in a campground with people in it. It’s 6:15 a.m. and the crew needs to be walked.  Oh, what the heck.  I’ll just pull on a pair of pants under this nightshirt.

Usually this early in the morning Bridget and Spike want to get their business over with quickly so they can crawl back into bed.  Not this morning.  Not when I’m in my nightshirt.  I can tell they want to make the complete campground loop, and I’m not going to go back to get dressed.  Whatever.  This is camping.

Up at the other end of the campground, I meet Jim.

He and his wife, Alice, are camped in a Casita.  We talk for quite a while, so long that the crew settles down for a rest at my feet.

Jim says, “We’re leaving in a few minutes.  We’ve had enough of this heat and wind.  It was one hundred yesterday. ..  hundred degree heat and hundred mile per hour wind.”

“I think I’ll stay another day and give it time to settle down,” I remark.  “I’m hesitant to drive in wind like this.”

“You’ll spend the rest of your life here then.  This canyon is always windy.”

I tell Jim my next stop is Jacob’s Lake. 

“Oh you’ll like it there.  It’s jacket weather.”

Alice comes out and we introduce ourselves.  I can see they are all packed and ready to hit the road, so I say goodbye and the crew and I move on.  I throw two poop bags (mission accomplished!) in the dumpster.  Jim and Alice pull their Casita down to our neighbor’s site.  They‘re saying goodbye to Casita friends, Konrad and Lynn.  I try to photograph the three Casitas together in spite of an uncooperative morning sun positioned in the wrong place.

Around 8:30 Gaelyn arrives as expected. 

We sit inside the BLT, out of the wind.  Being fellow bloggers (, we have a lot to talk about.  Gaelyn works six months for the Park Service at the North Rim, so we have even more to talk about.  She shares information that will help me find my next boondock.  I met Gaelyn for the first time when camped south of Congress, Arizona.  It’s good to see her again.

Around noon the crew and I hike down the path to the river.

Spike takes a dip, of course, even though the water is very cold.  I have a great time taking photos. Spike is a cooperative little model, as usual.  Today Bridget doesn’t bother being camera-shy and lets me snap a few of her, too.

Walking the beach, we approach a man and his son.  The man has caught a rainbow trout, a little less than 14 inches.  It’s his third today.  “You aren’t allowed to keep ‘em if they’re over 14 inches.  It’s called a slot limit. This one is just right.”

“I’ve never heard of a slot limit before,” I comment.

“It’s so trophy fish can grow.  If you catch something big, you have to throw it back.”

This regulation doesn’t seem to be hampering his enjoyment, or that of his son who apparently is in charge of the net.  The father pulls the fish out of the net and holds it so I can take a photo.

Walking the beach is so peaceful. 

A few people are here, not many.  I watch Bridget and Spike investigate like little kids.  The wind and the river make the temperature comfortable.  I sit on a rock ledge that hangs over the river’s edge and dangle my feet in the water.  For about fifteen seconds.  It’s like ice!

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Lee’s Ferry is a National Park Service campground.  The nightly fee is $12, or $6 with Senior Pass.  No reservations are taken.  There are several pull-throughs and back-ins.  They look like they are reasonably level.  A few trees.  The sites have a picnic table and a curved structure that’s supposed to block the wind.  Several sites have a view of the river.  The others are near a massive rock formation.  Restrooms.  No showers.  No hook-ups.  The boat launch is nearby.  This is a popular spot with fly fishermen . . . er, fisherpeople.  It’s a photographer’s paradise.


About rvsueandcrew

Fulltime nomad
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54 Responses to The Colorado River up close

  1. John and Kona says:

    Hello RVSue and Crew~~~~

    All your pictures are so colorful and perfect!

    What kind of camera are you using?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      There are more photos than the ones I initially posted. For some reason all of them didn’t load at first. I’m happy you enjoy them. My camera is a little digital Sanyo, 5X zoom. Picassa photo editor helps it turn out presentable photos.

  2. strawberrypolly says:

    Susan, what a awesome place. The pictures are wonderful. The crew looks healthy and happy and having a good time
    Love you

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Love you, too. Hope your family is well. Say hi to everyone for me!

      Spike still has a boo-boo on his back. Other than that, we’re great! I’m still on the diet.

  3. HI Sue, Lots of pictures and they are all so beautiful! What a view! the water looks so clean and pure. Enjoy! Pat to the crew.

  4. Reine says:

    Great photos. By the end of the day there should be even more Casita folks there. Hopefully it will cool down a bit for the weekend. Maybe folks just need to get a swimsuit on and get wet. 100 degree feels really good when you’re wet.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Oh,, Reine…. Not in this water. It’s probably 40 degrees! No kidding. If it weren’t moving, I’d think it was ice.

      Another Casita pulled in across from us a few minutes ago with Texas plates. Now I see it’s not there. Maybe they went up to the other campground loop.

  5. Llanos says:

    Just can’t stay away from the desert can you? I love the mountains, but the desert just calls to me. Looks like you have some of that blood in your system also.

  6. Alice says:

    this is where I put in for my river rafting trip in 2006!

  7. Elizabeth says:

    Wow…looks like a rock hound pardise…tho’ you are probably not supposed to take any from a campground anyway!! Amazing the water is so cold and it is so hot!! Do they keep that place open year around?? I would think it might stay warm enough even in winter…but one would have to be able to get out to get supplies.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I don’t know about year round. You can get supplies at Marble Canyon not far from here, I heard. (Probably convenience store type). Page is the nearest big shopping area.

  8. Cindy Kingma says:

    Hi Sue,
    My husband has never been to Utah but I have. We are traveling to North Carolina (to granddaughter graduation)in our truck camper and bringing our lab Sam and cat Kitty Girl. I want to stop in Lee’s Ferry on our way home and all around that area. I showed Norm your photos so he can see what we will be seeing. We will be doing a month round trip. Stopping to see Mt Rushmore and that area going to North Carolina and doing the southwest route going home. Hope your stay is really nice. The beauty is so breathtaking and I totally felt those same tears of wonder that you did on my first glimpse of our Southwest…Our country has everything for everyone.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Cindy . . . That’s a big trip you’ve planned! Remember it gets very hot here at this low elevation. I’m hoping to get up to Rushmore before the summer is over.

      Best wishes to your granddaughter and have a wonderful, safe, and memorable trip!

  9. Bill says:

    Help me out Sue- Can I take my camera with me today without checking rvsue? It used to take good pix..have any photo advice for the eclipse on Sunday? I wanted to give your readers some ‘canyon’ info..OK?.

    I earned my pilot’s license in 1974, a college grad gift from the old man. The FAA checkpilot that signed my temp certificate was named Lake Z. Hite. He told me that his family owned a marina/airport on Lake Powell.

    For anyone whose interested, try this:
    Hite Airport , AZ, or http://www.canyon-country.come/lakepowell/marinas.htm. It’s a beautiful webb site and let’s you know more about the area! cheers, br, (sue, honestly, you can’t make this stuff up!!)

  10. Marcia says:

    Hubby and I were looking at your latest pics and he says, apropos of Spike’s soaks “Spike isn’t a rat terrier – he’s a muskrat terrier.” What do you think?

  11. Reminds me of the first time we met Gaelyn too. We all ended up sitting in your Casita that day as well because of the wind. Ya got some nice photos there. Reminds me of a section along the Colorado River just northeast of Moab….

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      That’s right! Gaelyn is like the wind . . . I’ll have to tell her that sometime. The crew and I came back a few minutes ago from our second hike down to the riverbank. It’s cooler now, the sun is low, did’t stop Spike from a second soak in that icy water! Crazy!

      Your photos of Lake Huron and around the Lodge are dreamy. Quite a beautiful place.

  12. Sherry says:

    I love it, you 3 out for a walk in your PJ’s…..way to go! Now that’s relaxed full timing. My style too. Spike must have ice water in his veins to be laying there comfortably in the Colorado which I don’t think ever warms up. What fun! Great pictures!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Thanks, glad you liked the photos. I think it’s this with Spike . .. He’s such a hot little guy that the cold water doesn’t seem cold!

      All this boondocking I’ve been doing . . . I’m in the habit of walking out the door in full slob attire.

  13. Emily says:

    Oh Sue, memories for me. Fifty-two years ago I was anxious about getting h.s. graduation over with and heading to Lee’s Ferry, with mom. My graduation present from the folks was a raft trip thru the Canyon to Lake Mead. It was hot & miserable there and we eventually learned that the daytime temp away from the water was 120º (that was in mid-June)! We had a lot of that heat thru the Canyon and we sat in the water eating our meals. I remember a stone building, that had been Lee’s, is that still there? We tented somewhere near that building.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      What a fabulous graduation present, even if it was a scorcher! You rafted all the way to Lake Mead . . . It must have been incredible.

      I think the building is still around here somewhere.

  14. Donna K says:

    I don’t comment often, but I had to tell you how much I enjoyed today’s slide show. I didn’t expect the Colorado to be that clear and blue. Beautiful pictures, and of course enjoyed seeing Spike in the water and Bridget NOT in the water!!

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Donna,

      I was sitting outside a few minutes ago, early evening, looking at the river down below. It changes color. Sometimes it’s green, other times blue, parts of it even brown. In the morning it’s black with white caps. Quite a river . .. I’m very pleased you enjoyed the slide show. Hearing that makes the effort worthwhile.

  15. Kim says:

    Spike looks like he could actually spend the rest of his life there! Here’s hoping the wind dies down soon.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Kim,

      I got caught up on your blog today. I’m happy you are well and your life is coming together. All that mess may very well lead you to more than you could have imagined.

      The wind should be better in the morning. I’m planning on leaving here early, even though Spike could stay here forever. He feels that way about every camp, I think. One week he’s a mountain man, the next a desert rat, and always . . . a water dog!

  16. Chris says:
    Have you checked this site out, Sue? Lots of good upgrade info.


    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chris! I was looking at that site this afternoon! There are some photos of a boondock spot called Crazy Jug Point at the North Rim. I’m going to try to find that. I’ll check it for upgrades. Didn’t think to look for that.

      Is this the Chris I met at Big Q? I never know!

      • Emily says:

        Those Casita Adventures are Rob Rupp’s (Baron100). Last I heard he might be there at Lee’s Ferry this weekend.

        • rvsueandcrew says:

          I don’t think all the Casita people are coming here this weekend as planned. The winds are keeping them away. In fact, one came in and then left. I don’t know who it was. There’s only one other Casita here now — Konrad and Lynn. Maybe there will be more tomorrow.

          I hope you’re doing okay on the diet. I bought pkgs. of stir-fry frozen veggies… not bad when steamed. Remember to stay away from the starchy veggies and for some reason I don’t understand, carrots are to be avoided.

          • Elizabeth says:

            Some of our kin has to stay on low GI foods and supposedly cooked carrots become more sugary than raw even…weird I know…

          • Emily says:

            Have my list of 100 acceptable veggies, meats, dairy, fortunately for me the starchy veggies (+carrots) are a no-no because of allergies. Have found some wonderful recipes, on several Dukan sites I Googled. Down 4 pds in 3 days and it’s staying down! Yea. Do you have a scale? Hope you get to head for cooler country. North Rim is gooorgeous.

            • rvsueandcrew says:

              Congratulations, Emily! No, I don’t have a scale. Darn! I’d love to trade pounds-off stories with you! I’m going to measure my success by dropping a pant size or two. Keep up the good work… not that it’s work to eat all you want … ha!

      • Chris says:

        No, we’ve not met. I enjoy reading your site. I travel part time in a 2002 30′ Lazy Daze class C.


  17. Mark Watson says:

    That was me, I pulled into the campground for about an hour or so. What a grand view of the river. But I left for my reserved campsite in Page. I wanted to check out some potential observing sites around Page for the solar eclipse Sunday.
    Sorry I missed you.
    I hear the other Casitas were grounded by strong winds around Flagstaff and they decided to spend the night in Flagstaff, and should be arriving sometime Saturday at Lees Ferry.
    Speaking of winds, saw one 18 wheeler with no wheels on the ground, it was on it’s side on I 40.
    This morning around meteor crater there was a sever dust storm and w slowed down. Even when it was clear, it was so windy the 18 wheelers were only doing 55 mph,
    But me and my aerodynamic Casita just did fine in the high winds.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      So you’re the mystery camper! I wish we’d met. Wow,, those winds were worse than I thought, and I thought they were pretty bad. I bet my new friends, Gail and Ken, got plenty of dust where they are north of Flagstaff.

      I’m leaving this morning while it’s calm so I may not meet the Casita people. I want to get to my next stop, out of the desert, while there’s a window of opportunity. Windy days are common around here.

      I’m glad your Casita lived up to its reputation and you arrived safely, Mark!

  18. Chuck says:

    Hi Sue!! Windy here in Virgin..43mph gusts..and a Utah rain…36-98 drops in 5 minutes. Then winds died down and pleasant late evening. It is normally breezy in afternoon here then cools off nicely.
    It is NOT normally windy there…storm blew thru just like up here..are the new breed of Casita campers wimps? FYI the blueish SUV appearred to have a low trailer tire.
    Stay an extra day, you won’t regret it….Spikie needs the extra soak… Great PIX,,Chuck

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hi, Chuck!

      Two days are enough for me. I have places to go and people to see! To be honest, the campground’s nice but the weekend people are moving in, kayakers and fly fishermen, and I’m starting to feel closed in. Someone along the way … Rick back at Darby? Al of The Bayfield Bunch? Rusty the Mountain Man? Someone told me this would happen to me after camping alone and loving it so much.

  19. geogypsy2u says:

    I think Spike is Crazy laying in the cold Colorado. Glen Canyon Dam is the reason the water is clear and cold. Should be ruddy red and 20 degrees warmer.

    Was a great visit. We shared a lot of info in a way to brief time.

    I saw the NPS boats pushing off into the river. Then caught them again from Navajo Bridge. My spirit floated away with them downstream. I so want to raft the upper river now that I’ve done the lower.

    Seems the wind calms tomorrow so should be a better travel day. After you cross House Rock Valley running parallel to the Vermilion Cliffs the climb up the Kaibab Plateau is windy and steep but only about 8-10 miles to Jacob Lake where the Forest Service Visitor Center is.

    Hope you googled Crazy Jug Point. 😉 It’s a bit of a gravel road drive. Other suggestion for rim view and House Rock Valley would be Marble View. Also a great place to find fossils.

    If you want to make the drive all the up to the rim let me know and I’ll ask if a visiting RV friend can stay parked next to me in the empty site.

    Going to Page shopping totally wore me out.

    Look forward to seeing you again.

    Oh, and I Really don’t like the wind, but I do run off at the mouth. 🙂

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      I’m not sure what I’m going to do until I get there, my typical MO. I’ll either find a site on a forest road off of Hwy 67 or I’ll go to Crazy Jug Point,, if the road isn’t too treacherous. I do have a slight, but growing, trepidation about driving on the edge of cliffs. Imagine that! I hope the road surface isn’t a tire killer.

      It was great we could get together again! I knew we would,, but not so soon. I thought of more questions for you after you left, of course. We could talk for days . . . I appreciate the offer to hold a spot for me at the North Rim. I think I’ll camp by myself for a bit. Then maybe I’ll take you up on that if the spot becomes open again. I’m probably driving people crazy saying that, as those sites are primo.

      I need some time in the woods! Wow, driving all the way to Page to shop… No wonder you wore yourself out. Shopping wears me out when the stores are across town.

      See what I mean about we could talk for days? … I’d better stop and get on the road! Thanks for coming by . . .

  20. artfulrvadventures says:

    Wow, a guy could get lost in your blog “comments” :)) Understandable tho; your journey is a joy to watch unfold. Like our children, this site is growing up fast. Move over Tioga George, there’s a new girl in town :))

    Don’t drag your feet too long down there or you will need that air conditioner to stay alive. And keep up the good work.
    Box Canyon Mark.

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      Hey, Box Canyon Mark . . . I’ve heard about you! What a giggle you gave me telling Tioga George, the Vagabonder Supreme, to move over for me. I could never take the place of the Master.

      You read my mind about the heat. A short while ago I was waiting for the snow to get out of the way and now I’m racing against heat. I think I’ve lost that race already since I’m planning to drive north through Utah. Of course, that plan could change in a second.

      Nice to hear from you, Mark. Roll on, roll on . . .

  21. rvsueandcrew says:

    REMINDER … If you don’t hear from me for a few days, I’m very likely out of internet service. Bye for now!

    • Sue says:

      I check your blog daily and have been missing the up dates. So glad I read the comments and now know you are probably having a great time, taking lots of pictures and enjoying some quiet time away from the internet.

  22. cathieok says:

    Can’t believe Spike stayed in that cold water. Have you been comfortable enough in the BLT with the heat?

    • rvsueandcrew says:

      The BLT is comfortable. In this dry heat, as long as I have a window open on the shady side, we are cooled by a breeze. That and my fan, and the crew and I are fine.

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