Hikers say goodbyes on the Dolly Steamboat

Diane Kandel, Publicist

On March 27, Robson Ranch Hiking Club took a ride on the Dolly Steamboat to celebrate the end of the hiking season and say their goodbyes to those who are leaving the Ranch until next season. Spouses who weren’t hikers were welcomed to join in the festivities.

The drive to Canyon Lake on Hwy 88 was breathtaking with one scenic vista after another! The colors on the rocks varied from deep yellows to light greens with interesting ripples and outcroppings at every turn. Once there, the group gathered and boarded the Dolly Steamboat. We were greeted by a well-organized staff that made things run like clockwork.

There were two open-air observation areas on the boat, one covered upper area and an air conditioned lower cabin area. This provided ample room for people to walk around and mingle. Background music set the ambiance while we listened to the fun and interesting narration from the Captain. It was fascinating to listen to Beethoven playing while he pointed out “Beethoven,” which was comprised of several interesting rock formations. He also explained the black streaks on the cliffs are called desert varnish and were created by iron oxide, clay, manganese and organic matter.

Along the way the group viewed many geological and natural wonders on the waterways of Canyon Lake. Desert big horn sheep and bald eagles were among the most memorable of sightings! Some said the scenery was mind boggling, and so it seemed as we caught sight of a saguaro growing out of sheer rock and down to the water’s edge.

To add to our delightful afternoon a wonderful luncheon was served. The chicken was juicy and tender and the chocolate cake was delicious! There was ample space on board to mingle and visit with everyone. Also on board was a small gift shop for those wishing to purchase souveniers.

Note: The Dolly Steamboat is located on Canyon Lake, which is considered Arizona’s “Jr. Grand Canyon.” The cruise offers a view of the geological and natural wonders in the secluded inner waterways of Canyon Lake. Desert animals such as bighorn sheep, bald eagles, desert flora and amazing formations created by a violent volcanic past can be seen. The Captain recounts the legends and lore of the mysterious Superstition Mountains and historic Apache Trail.

About 50 people attended the party, and many said it was the best event ever! We all look forward to the upcoming winter hiking season, which will start the end of October.