|You may remember that last summer we spent a week with Tom and Carol
Vind at their summer home on Woman Lake in Minnesota. It was at that time
that we first discussed houseboating on Lake Powell. Tom thought it would
be neat if four couples could go that way we could play duplicate bridge
in the evenings. And so the plans began. April 4-10 were the dates we picked;
it worked well for two of the couples who would be leaving their winter
places in Arizona and heading back to Minnesota. Tom and Carol knew
the other couples; we only knew Tom and Carol but figured we get along
with most folks. It was wonderful. Because we were traveling all winter
Carol, Evy and Diane did most of the meal planning; I just helped with
the desserts (and they said I over did it).
Ron wrote a diary of the trip so I will use that for the rest of the story.
Day 1. After a night at the Super Eight motel the four couples all met at the boat dock on Lake Powell about 8 oíclock in the morning. We were very impressed with the 59 foot house boat. It certainly is a luxury craft with all the amenities.
We didnít get on the lake until 12:30 because it took over an hour to get the paper work done and then another hour to get a technical walk-through on the boat. While the guys did that the gals did the grocery shopping for our week long trip. There will be no stores on Lake Powell.
There are dozens of electrical systems which are all run off a generator. We had to learn how best to anchor the boat on shore at night and all about the channels we would be traveling through. It also took us a couple of hours to load the boat. We all packed lots of different kinds of clothes in case of cold weather on the lake (which didn't happen) and we had more than enough food and supplies for eight people for a week.
Can you imagine a 59 foot boatĖitís like a yacht with a top deck which is half covered? The lower part of the boat has a family or common area with a very modern kitchen.. The kitchen has a microwave, regular oven and a large refrigerator. The lounge area has a large setting area, TV, stereo and and the captain's area where the steering console and all the boat controls and electrical panels are.
Tom at the helm with George assisting--Plenty of room for dancing--wet bar
Ron and Carol (I can't rest I am busy being the photographer)---stairs to the top
The day was just beautiful and we have really lucked out on the weather because it was sunny and in the high seventies. We docked about 5 oíclock for the evening and then took a small boat ride up the canyons in Tomís speed boat that we tow behind the houseboat. After a supper of beef stew, salad and desserts we played 12 boards of duplicate bridge, but by 10 oíclock we could hardly stay awake.
Bill, Diane, Barb, Carol, Tom (kind of hidden-sorry), Ron, George and Evy.
Bedrooms are small but.....
Ron is little he fits---Forget it Tom---your room is the big one.
Back deck---dining room/part of kitchen---it takes three captians to go?
Day 3. I slept in until seven this morning and everybody was kidding me about that because we were already underway heading up towards Escalante canyon. Tom, who is an early riser, thought that we could get an early start and while we were moving could have breakfast. It worked fine and again we have beautiful weather. We have about four who take turns steering the boat so itís an easy thing to be traveling and eating. We can space our showers because no one is on a schedule and Barb happened to be in the shower when our boat encountered some rough water due to a wind that picked up in one spot of the canyon. That must have been an experience, but she didnít seem to mind and got a kick out of it. Iím typing this in our stateroom and the boat is rocking a little right now. We now understand why they have such big motors on these boats. Itís because of strong wind currents and storms that can kick up at any time. We are glad that we have four couples because we all assist in navigating through these many canyons using our binoculars and watching for numbered buoys. We have maps and you have to be careful not to get up into a dead end channel. This is a terrific learning experience in a fun situation.
Ron & George---Captain Evy and Tom, Carol, Bill and Diane
Ron and George with one of the four anchors.
This morningís trip was so spectacular that pictures or our description will not do it justice. One canyon that we went into was the Cathedral Canyon and the walls were so beautiful and the reflections in the water just overwhelmed all of us. We are actually starting back tomorrow because we have a good two day trip getting back to the main marina.
water leaves shades of blue, green, brown and black. We were able to maneuver the small boat into a water cave and could imagine that Indians might have occupied this cave at one time. We did see some remnants of Indian cliff dwellings further into the trip. These were all deep canyons
before the government flooded the whole area and built a dam to harness electrical energy. There was a lot of controversy at the time by environmentalists, but we think that the beauty has been enhanced and has opened a wonderful recreational area.
It is important to keep a look out for the buoys.
Day 5. So now we are working our way back because it will take two days to get back to the main marina and we want to be there sometime Monday morning. The boat has to be checked in before two oíclock and we have to have it gassed up and completely unloaded. Since we have eaten a lot of the food, hopefully it will be less to take up.
Tom's little boat (our water toad)----George at the helm with Tom looking on.
Our plan today is to beach the boat twice. Our first stop will be a temporary one part way back so we can explore some canyons with the little boat. After our first docking we went up some beautiful canyons that had high colorful walls and narrow passages. At one time we could reach out from the boat and touch each side of canyon walls. We took two canyon excursions and the first was the most spectacular. We were able to get back into a water cave and also saw some remnants of Indian dwellings which must have been cliff dwellings before the canyons were flooded by the hydroelectric project. Tomís boat has a depth finder that shows the depth as we progress through the canyons and that helps a lotĖespecially when we were going through the water cave.
Since we have been spending so much time in the little boat, we all have gotten a lot of sun and before I realized it my legs were sunburned. The sun, water and fresh air zapped us all, but we still got in 15 boards of duplicate bridge tonight. Right now Carol Vind and I are the leading partners for the trip with only one more night to go.
Day 6. Today will be an easy day because we donít have that far to go. In fact we are getting a late start after a very leisurely breakfast. There are several branch water ways that we are going to explore with the small boat, but we have all agreed that this would be a good day to not plan much and just relax before our final docking tomorrow. The trip has exceeded our expectations with outstanding weather and a very compatible group. We were able to get a small phone signal this morning and Barb checked both of our message services and there were no messages. No news is good news.
Just to be on the safe side we are going to stop at the satellite marina
Dangling Rope) just around the corner to fill with gas. We think that we
could make it into the main marina, but donít want to take a chance. Gas
on Lake Powell is $2.45 a gallon and these boats take a lot of it. Having
the small boat for exploration has helped cut down our gas consumption
because one time we didnít move the large house boat and stayed tied up
in one place for two days. We do run the generator about 16 hours
a day and that takes 2 gallons an hour.
Carol and Tom go for the only swim of the trip and they said it was cold.
Day 7. The final day was uneventful except that we had a wonderful docking place last night. It was on a sandy beach and several including Barb did a little walking. Since we all had quite a ways to travel on Monday, we decided to get an early start back to the marina and got underway about 6:30 and ate breakfast while we moving. We used the time also to get all our belongings together so that the check-in process would go quickly. Barb and I were on our way back to Mesa by 11:00 oíclock. Itís a six hour drive back to Mesa and we are not used to traveling that in a car. We are spoiled with traveling in the motorhome. The trip back went smooth and we are grateful for the week of wonderful weather we had for the whole trip.
I found this hiding up on the hill at our last stop.