Thursday, July 3, 2014

Dolly Steamboat Cruise on Canyon Lake

Part of our anniversary weekend was cruising Canyon Lake on the Dolly Steamboat. As an outdoors enthusiast, I was excited about the possibility of seeing some animals along the 6-mile ride. It's quite a hike out to Apache Junction — it took an hour to get the the marina from central Phoenix — but it's worth the trip to check out another one of our state's gorgeous lakes. You'll drive through Apache Junction to get there, where you'll pass Lost Dutchman State Park and the Superstition Mountain Museum. As is expected in June, it was a hot day, but the steamboat has an air-conditioner, so you can still keep cool (at least if it's working). There's also that lake breeze that tickles your skin.

Canyon Lake was busier than I expected it to be, considering how far it is from the Valley.
You'll hear some tunes (including "Diamond in the Rough" by Rex Allen), Arizona history and details about the flora and fauna of Canyon Lake. You might see eagles and bighorn sheep, and you'll definitely spot Mormon Flat Dam and rock formations such as E.T and a mastadon. The captain points out some tree rings in the rock as well.

We sat toward the front, on the upper level, where we enjoyed this view:

Graham captured this little guy.

As we made our way back to the marina, we were beginning to think we wouldn't see any wildlife. Some people asked the crew what animals we might see and what sightings they've had recently. Just then the captain pointed out bighorn sheep to the right. It's a wonder he could spot them from so far away. It took the rest of us a few minutes to see the rams and ewes.

We shared the day with other couples, retirees and some families. Overall it's a nice little day trip.