National Geographic : 1967 Jul
Lake Powell: Waterway to Desert Wonders Here the river's narrow tributary canyons tempt the explorer into fascinating glens secret fairylands where walls, tapestry streaked with desert varnish by iron and man ganese seepage (page 45), tower up to thin cerulean crescents far overhead, and titanic chambers glow delicately pink or orange. When I first drifted through Glen Canyon, many such Edens beckoned. Other wonders, difficult if not impossible to reach, remained unexplored. Four years later, with the lake flooding deep into their twisting passages, they became accessible by boat, and I re cruited a party for an exploratory cruise. To navigate the new lake, we obtained two Buehler Jet boats. Developed by New Zea- lander William Hamilton to travel his home land's shallow mountain torrents, they drew less than 6 inches of water at their 28-mile-an hour cruising speed, and could turn in their own length. Using a water-jet system instead of propellers, they were sisters of the boats that in 1960 climbed the Colorado's formida ble rapids in Grand Canyon.* We named them Green Lady and Blue Lady. To help man them on our month-long cruise up Lake Powell, I enlisted 22-year-old William (Buzz) Belknap III of Boulder City, Nevada, who at 16 had piloted one of the jet craft in the Grand Canyon adventure. He *See "Shooting Rapids in Reverse!" by William Bel knap, Jr., NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, April, 1962.