Back to

Canoeing on the Colorado River

Land Acknowledgment: We are currently staying on Bishop Paiute land, home to the Bishop Paiute tribe. This tribe is the 5th largest in the U.S. and has over 2,000 members. They are the descendents of the Nuumu, the first people to live in the area now known as Owens Valley. It’s important to acknowledge the history of the land we visit, as well as the indigenous peoples who have survived.

After leaving Arcosanti we made our way to Havasu where we camped for 2 nights. Here we visited the Colorado River for the first time, canoeing just under 16 miles in about 6 hours. This excursion was led by Helen, a 73 year old local guide who is full of knowledge and still one of the strongest paddlers on the river. We learned that the Colorado River is the only navigable river in Arizona. It’s also home to hundreds of species, including burrows which are actually native to North Africa. This species of donkey was brought here by miners years ago and now they roam freely, including next to our campsite. We also saw birds as we paddled along the water, including black, white-beaked Coots. Additionally, all of us enjoyed a break from the hot day by taking a short, refreshing dip in the water.

Some personal highlights so far include a yoga class led by Cecily, dunking on Preston on a basketball hoop we found, taking a bucket shower with Noah, and trying the Impossible Whopper from a Burger King inside a Walmart.

Next we embarked on a long van ride from Havasu, Arizona to Bishop, California. Now we will take a break from camping and explore Payahuunadu, otherwise known as Owens Valley.