Houseboating on Lake Powell
September, 2002

We've always wanted to go houseboating on beautiful Lake Powell.
Lake Powell is a man-made lake that was formed by damming the Colorado River. The lake starts behind the Glenn Canyon Dam in Northern Arizona and extends 150 miles into Utah.  Along the main channel are hundreds of inlets and smaller canyons that branch off in every direction.   Some of these canyons go several miles and the San Juan River arm extends 50 miles.  This lake is starkly beautiful -- with towering red rock and clear, blue water.
This is our very good friend, Micah.  We met Micah and his family in San Diego a couple of years ago while they were touring the country in their motorhome.  Micah and his family joined us for a week of houseboating on Lake Powell.
Most days we cruised up the lake.  We would pull up anchor after breakfast and travel about 30 miles.  When we reached a place that looked good, we would nose up onto the beach, run anchor lines angled off to the left and right of the bow, and bury two anchors into the sand.

This method worked well until it got windy.  Here we are sideways to the shore due to heavy winds the night before that ripped us free of our anchors.  The whole story is a little long to go into, so I'll just say it was a bit exciting for 30 minutes. 

Here's a picture of the interior living area of our houseboat.  The boat sleeps 16 and carries enough water to last the week.  There's two refrigerators and all of the conveniences of home.

We were going to rent a houseboat, but learned that we could buy a shared ownership for a little more than the rental price for two weeks.  So now we can go houseboating for a week every September.

If you'd like to go houseboating on Lake Powell check with Costco Travel.  Last week while shopping, I talked with a woman that was marketing houseboat rentals.  Costco has put together a deal that is half of the regular price.  It's a great deal.  It is, however, not available during July and August -- the busy season when the kids are out of school and temperatures are above 100 degrees every day.  In other words, it's hot and crowded with tourists.
Can you see the rock sticking out of the lake?  On the rock is a buoy that says "SHALLOW."  It's tethered to a thirty foot chain.  When the river rises, the rock will be submerged and the buoy will float to the surface.  Needless to say, the water level of the lake is significantly down.  It was about 100 feet below the high water mark. 
This made it a little difficult to finding camp spots.   Our map would point out good sandy beaches to moor for the night.  When we got to the spot we could see the "beach" 60 feet up on the side of the rocky ledge.  In other places where the map said "rocky" we would find a sandy beach that, under normal conditions, would be submerged.
Look carefully on the ledge below the huge rock. Can see Max and Josh standing in a natural dome?  We anchored below the dome and could hear everything from across the canyon.  It was like camping in a giant ear.

I'm looking up at an eighty degree angle to take this picture and the rock extends out over where the boys are standing.

Here's a picture of all of us.  From right to left is Devra and Mike, their oldest son Josh, Micah, Cheryl, Max, Ed, Mitch and Jake.

Oh ya, there's a large arch too.  That's the Rainbow Bridge National Monument in the background.

You can get here by houseboat, but don't try it if your inexperienced or if there's even the slightest breeze.  You have to maneuver through a narrow canyon with steep rock cliffs.  We got here via Mike and Devra's wakeboard boat.  We used their boat for day trips -- exploring the narrow, winding canyons. 

We all enjoyed the slide that comes off of the upper deck.  I think this is Jake doing a head-first flip off of the slide.
Hey mom!  Watch me walk on water!
Well, maybe not.
Here's Josh enjoying an excursion around the lagoon.
When we, (the adults,) came down from the upper deck after dinner, we met up with "Bucket Boy."  Watch out "Sponge Bob," make room for "Bucket Boy."
Now it's time for "Natural Erosion 101".  The boys carried several tubs of water up the hill to create a miniature flash flood.
They would follow the flood as it traveled down the hill, carving canyons and even forming arches.
These are natural arches carved by the boy's flood waters.  Softer soils give way under hard soils to create a submerged water-way.  This is the same way that larger arches are formed.  
Here's a nice photo of Devra and Mike.  After dinner the kids would either be off digging on the beach or playing games downstairs  We, (the adults,) would enjoy the sunset on the upper deck.  Here, a full moon can be seen rising in the distance.
The full moon was nice for lighting up everything.  We could walk around without a flashlight.  Once the moon set, the stars were bright and plentiful.  Without the moon, there was not a light to be seen.

 
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