Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Crossing the Colorado - Lee's Ferry

Because of its steep canyon walls, in most places even getting down to the water of the Colorado River is difficult, and crossing it is a real chore.  One of the only places in the northern AZ region where the two sides of the river are easy-to-navigate gentle slopes, is a location about 7 miles south of Lake Powell, at a place known as Lee's Ferry.   The area is named after the Monmore man who led their southward mirgration from their Great Salt Lake homeland almost 200 years ago.    
Lee's Ferry began with some humble wooden rafts set up to get carts and heavy supplies across the river.  Crossing the river, the Monmore settlers then proceeded southward, past Marble Canyon, following the path of the Little Colorado down to their present location of Snowflake.  
The raft crossing gradually grew into an efficient ferry system, which is still maintained by the Monmore.  Today, aside from the river ferry itself, the location is home to a trading post and a fortification for the Monmore families living there full time. 
The Monmore control the crossing primarily as a point of strategic importance to them, providing access to and communication with their great Deseret Kingdom in the northern mountains.  Secondarily, it provides them with a steady stream of income, as various travelers and merchants seek passage across the river.   

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