The day started a little breezy, but we were 1 mile from Slickrock Canyon and the site of Wall Ruins so be battled our way into the canyon. We saw another group camping with a houseboat and waved as we paddled to the end of the canyon.
After about 30 minutes of hiking we found the ruins high up on the wall and fenced off from the public to protect the site. This was one of the few ruins in the canyon with the roof still intact.
As we were walking back to our boards I commented on the surprising number of birds flying around the canyon. When we made it around the bend in the creek we saw why. Ravens had found a bag of food that was strapped to Carla's board under her lifejacket. They had torn open the side of her dry bag, pulled out the baggies of dried veggies, oatmeal, and noodles and scattered them all over the beach. Worst of all, worst, worst, worst of all, the ravens had found our last two cans of precious beer and stabbed their nasty little beaks through the aluminum until the cans were riddled with holes.
We gathered all the little wrappers and pieces of trash we could find while the campers in their houseboat parked next to our boards pretended not to notice. We paddled out of the canyon in pissed off silence.
On the main channel the wind picked up to form whitecaps on the water. We knelt down on our boards and let the wind blow us forward. Instead of dissipating the wind seemed to gather speed and intensity until the nose of my board submarined under each wave and I could feel the board wobble as it tried to push back above the surface of the lake. We were at a spot in the canyon where the wall rise vertically from both sides but the wind was so intense that I doubted we could have paddled to shore if we wanted to.
I looked over at Carla knowing that she isn't very comfortable with water. But instead of clinging to her board in terror as I expected, she was sitting there taking pictures and waving back at me with a grin on her face. The wind was making 2-3 foot swells on the lake and there were times when I looked over and only saw Carla's shoulders showing above the surface of the water as she dipped into a trough.
Fortunately, the wind pushed us directly into the canyon we were aiming for and we were able to paddle through the chop to the end of Lake Canyon where a sandy beach and a fallen cottonwood gave us a much needed camping spot and break from the wind.
After battling the wind for hours we were mentally exhausted and a little amazed that we made it. After laying on a fallen cottonwood log for a bit Carla sat up, looked around, and said "Do you want to build a fort?" With renewed energy we spent the next hour dragging logs and sticks around to make our home for the evening.
Later on a group came to camp on the beach near us. We walked over to say hi, eat their food, and enjoy their campfire and they told us when they first saw our fort they were convinced that a serial killer squatter was living there and almost turned around to find a new place to park their houseboat for the night. They told themselves "No one just builds a fort around their tent if they are just camping!"