October 3, 2016


By Nancy Dewhurst
Glen Canyon Dam
September 11, 2016

Having left Muley Point, we are now at what used to be Glen Canyon, Arizona. In the canyon’s place is Lake Powell - the direct result of Glen Canyon Dam, opened in 1963.

My initial reaction upon arrival at the campsite is how surreal it all is - a hybrid American ideal of nature, and there is nothing natural about it. The campsite resembles a suburban housing estate, campers are allocated identical concrete lots and provided with plush amenities. For some at the campsite, I expect this is what camping, wilderness, and nature is. Perhaps I shouldn’t scorn them - I’ve had the privilege to see otherwise. However, it irks me that every year over 3 million people flock to Lake Powell ignorant to - or perhaps just unaffected by - the reality of the lake.
Lake Powell campsite

Lake Powell campsite
Lake Powell
In many ways (at least to my na├»ve foreign eyes), the surrounding landscape is similar to that of Muley Point, and I can’t help but make comparison to my last post. Isn’t the damming of Glen Canyon comparable to the clumsy footstep that breaks through the Cryptobionic crust? But on a gargantuan scale? Short sighted human intervention undermines hundreds and thousands of years of nature’s progression, let alone countless sites of natural beauty and of great historical and archaeological importance. At its deepest point, Lake Powell is 560 foot. What wonders are hidden beneath, never to be fully appreciated? The life expectancy of Lake Powell is 700 - 1000 years. On a Geological time scale, this is miniscule. What right do we have to cause such destruction, for such short term gains?

Of course, I’m talking as though I am ‘other’ and separate from the situation, when in reality I am part of the cause. I have chosen to live in a desert for 5 months, and am unavoidably contributing to the demand for water by consuming it.
A family at Lake Powell

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