Saturday, 13th May 2006 by Alex Turnbull
I was reading some old comments on the site and rediscovered this fabulous swirling water on Lake Powell. However this beautiful sight isn’t quite as innocent as it first seems.
On closer inspection you can identify the boat that’s causing this swirl, and taking a wander around the area turns up another one, followed by a whole flotilla. This initially deserted-looking landscape is in fact overrun with people – none of whom would be here if several environmental organisations had their way.
Lake Powell is actually a man-made reservoir, which was created by the flooding of Glen Canyon with the Colorado River – an engineering feat accomplished and maintained by the controversial Glen Canyon Dam. Despite the obvious possibilities for damage to the area’s ecosystem, Lake Powell is arguably one of the most beautiful lakes in the whole of America, and each year over 2 million people get to see sights like the Rainbow Bridge, which would otherwise be too remote for most of them to reach.
But reducing the amount of people who make it here might not be such a bad thing of course. Quite apart from the tourist presence upsetting the local Navajo (who consider the Rainbow Bridge an important religious site), it seems that the waters of Lake Powell are further eroding the foundations of the Rainbow Bridge.
Thanks to Jen, JDP and Goomerator.