I'm back! But not with a vengeance; mainly with a case of hives that has me ready to take a steel wool pad to my forearms and toes. But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'm talking about my Lake Powell vacation here. Let's do it right.
So, we left Denver on Saturday morning and picked David up in Grand Junction. We then camped overnight in beautiful Moab. We got up the next morning and drove to Page, AZ where we stocked up on dangerous toys and sundry articles at WalMart and stayed in a motel. The next cold, drizzly morning we went out to the Antelope Point Marina and scored a houseboat. They actually let me drive it for a while as we headed out on Lake Powell. Driving something with two engines and a steering wheel that turns around about 4 times in either direction is harder than I thought, but after weaving down a canyon for a while, I got the hang of it.
The houseboat was awesome. 59 feet long, with 4 bedrooms, two bathrooms, fore and aft decks, and an upstairs sundeck complete with an icemaker, fridge and stereo. There was also a nice galley and a living and dining area which had an entertainment center and its own stereo. Verrrry nice.
We headed out and moored in Kane Creek Canyon the first night. Since the average depth of Lake Powell is 400 feet, you can't quite just drop anchor. You have to be moored at night with four anchors that you have to bury in the sand, and bury deep. It is moored from both the front and back of each side to make it stable. You don't want it swinging around and hitting the rocks during the night.
We also rented a power boat, which I got to drive to go pick up Sean and Amanda when they got there on Monday. It was much easier to drive than the houseboat; more straightforward and responsive. Spivey, our resident knot tier, went along and helped me dock and tied up the boat. Sean and Amanda got down to the boat just at 6, so we had a nice, chilly late afternoon ride over the lake followed up with hot chocolate when we got to the boat.
The next day we set off and docked in Grotto Canyon. Since doing the anchors was a bit of a pain, we stayed there the rest of the time. It was a really nice spot with a canyon to explore and good fishing.
The lake is beautiful. The water is a tropical green where it is shallower, going quickly to a deep blue as the bottom plunges down to 400 feet. The blue lake is a stunning contrast to the red buttes and monoliths and the white of some of the lighter rocks. Because of the steep dropoff, you get some really beautiful gradients when the sun is shining on the water.
Pretty much we spent the time there eating, drinking, lounging, messing around, and reading. Oh, the reading was glorious. I haven't read for pleasure in while in such a long dose. I finished up the rather dry Japanese history book I'd been reading and moved on to Watership Down that Cassie had given me. I got through about three quarters of the book in a day. I enjoyed that. I got in a bit of light hiking and a lot of photography. I took more than 600 pictures, so you'll understand if I don't have them up quite yet. We also had a three man slingshot that we rigged up on the side of the houseboat to fire water balloons (biodegradable, don't worry) off the side of the boat. The thing has some wallop to it, which John found out when the water balloon didn't release and it came back and smacked him in the chest. Supposedly the thing could fire 300 yards, but we got it maybe around 100 if we were lucky.
Speaking of war wounds, John wasn't the only one. I got a minor burn on my hand when I picked up the wrong end of my fire poking stick. David seriously messed up his ankle on the third day doing a night hike. Spivey took a baseball to the shin that left a beauty of a welt. I also had an allergic reaction to something that is still making itself felt. The backs of my hands and arms are livid with hives. I'm not sure what caused the reaction, but I think that it was the Banana Boat sunblock I put on. I've never used that brand before. My legs and feet broke out to a lesser degree, though lately the histamines seem to be congregating in my toes. Whenever I'm out in the sun, they really act up, and today after some frisbee in the park, they're driving me nuts.
The food was awesome. John had been a chef before his time in the high tech industry, so he did almost all the cooking and it was superb. Jun and the others caught some striped bass and he mixed it in with this awesome salsa. And there was steak and pasta and burgers and lots of good eats punctuating the perpetual browsing we did on bags of chips and some addictive cake bread that Jorma made.
On Friday we packed it in and came back to the marina. The plan was originally to camp again in Moab, but with David's ankle and the general exhaustion we just drove straight back to Denver. I spent Saturday recuperating, catching up on media I'd missed (BTW, the two Lost eps were good and the Heroes one was great!), and doing laundry.
So anyway, that's Lake Powell. I'll have pictures sometime soon.