Photo Courtesy Wikimedia Commons
Lake Powell and house boat have become almost synonymous. It seems like you can’t read a magazine article about Lake Powell, or visit a site on- line, without some mention of the two.
How do you feel about
Draining Lake Powell?
If I could, I would love to spend a year on Lake Powell aboard one of these luxurious homes away from home. This would become my base for exploring this large and beautiful lake.
But not only do finances and circumstances (I don’t own a house boat) prevent my doing this, but National Park Service (NPS) rules limit camping to 14 continuous days and 30 days during a season.
I have been most fortunate in having a sister and her husband who do own a house boat and who have graciously invited me, my wife, my daughter and grandchildren on several occasions to join them for a Lake Powell Vacation
Let me tell you a little about these trips: They always start from Albuquerque, NM where Elizabeth and Reid live and where I lived for many years.
We would all meet at their house the night before we were to leave for the lake. We would help load their power boat and all of the vehicles in readiness of an early morning departure.
Reid would already have done most of the work in getting things ready, and Elizabeth would have done all of the grocery shopping.
All the perishables would be stashed away in long 4 or 5 foot ice chests, filled to capacity with ice.
The next morning always arrived early, and we usually were on the road by 5:30 AM with Elizabeth and Reid in the lead pulling the powerboat. The rest of us followed in convoy.
In Bloomfield, NM we would stop for gas and a potty break, then on to Farmington,NM for breakfast at McDonalds.
Lunch was usually at the Burger King in Kayenta, AZ, a small town on the Navajo reservation. By this time, everyone is getting tired of being in the car, but we know it won’t be long now till we are at the lake.
And, sure enough, we are soon pulling into the parking area at Antelope Point Marina and unloading personal belongings, ice chests, and boxes of non-perishables.
Once we have everything unloaded and all the vehicles locked, we then begin the task of loading all of this onto the golf carts operated by Antelope Marina employees.
It doesn’t take long with all of us pitching in.
Then we begin the trip down the ramps to the slips where Elizabeth and Reid’s house boat, Van Gogh, awaits.
We ride along with our gear and hold on tightly as we wend our way down the steep ramp, and along the board walks.
It’s clear the marina employees are experts at this, having done this hundreds of times a week.
Now we’re at Elizabeth and Reid's house boat, and again we unload our gear and load it again in the houseboat.
We, too, are getting pretty good at this.
No matter how many times we’ve been here and board the house boat, it’s always a thrill, just like the first time.
Kind of like coming home after a long time away.
After we have things stashed away, Reid and Elizabeth go back for the powerboat. Elizabeth drives the boat while Reid takes the Suburban back to the lot, and soon we are ready to depart.
On Its Way
Elizabeth stays with the powerboat while Reid backs the house boat out of the slip and we head at idle speed up the lake, destination Last Chance Bay.
Once out of the No Wake zone, Reid stops the house boat, and Elizabeth pulls the powerboat up to the back deck where we attach a line to it for the drive up the lake.
Life is Good!
Once Elizabeth is aboard the house boat, we are under way again.
What a glorious feeling!
The wind in our face, the sweetness of the breeze and the incredible beauty surrounding us!
What more could one want?
As we near Last Chance Bay, again Reid stops the house boat and Elizabeth boards the powerboat and heads out searching for the perfect spot in which to beach the houseboat for the night.
It’s not long before we hear her on the marine radio: “Powerboat Too to Van Gogh.”
She gives us directions and soon we spot her and follow her into shore, where Reid expertly noses the houseboat on to the shore
Now it’s our turn to do something besides enjoying the scenery, and we all pile off the boat and grab the Danforth anchors from where Reid has them stored.
We set the anchors in the sandy beach, two to a side, run the lines thru the eye holds and snug them tightly.
We run out the boarding plank, set a plastic wash basin half filled with water to wash our feet in before entering the houseboat and another basin in which to keep our sandals and water sneakers.
This way we keep most of the sand out of the interior.
Photo: Nancy Jackson
Lake Powell is one of the most beautiful lakes in the United States.
It is a magical place, a place that casts her spell over all of us who visit her, drawing us back to her crystal waters year after year.
If you would like to share a memorable Lake Powell vacation, please fill out the form below.
The grandchildren are off to explore our campsite while we adults kick back with a toddy and enjoy the quiet and solitude and talk about our day and our plans for tomorrow.
However, it doesn’t take too long before hunger sets in and the ladies are up getting things ready for our first evening meal aboard Van Gogh.
Reid already has the grill fired up and soon the tantalizing smells of charcoal broiled steaks fills the air.
I’m the designated dish washer, due to my lack of culinary skills, so mostly my job for now is to keep out of the way and assist where I can, nibbling here and there on this bounty that is being laid out before us.
Finally, the dinner bell is rung, and we all grab out plates and silverware, and line up before Reid, his grill and those beautiful steaks he has broiled to perfection.
We then top our plates with the other entrees and find a place to sit and stuff ourselves.
No food prepared at a five star restaurant ever tasted so good. Our compliments to the Chef!
After our sumptuous meal and the tables are cleared, the leftovers put away and the dishes are washed dried and tucked away in their cabinets, we adults drift off to the upper deck where libations are served, leaving the kids downstairs to play Speed, a card game at which they excel.
The sun is setting now and the sky and water are ablaze with brilliant reds and oranges, and the cliffs and buttes behind us are absorbing all this wondrous light, changing color before our eyes.
What a fitting end to a beautiful and glorious day!
As night settles on the land and water of Lake Powell, as the night sky is filled with countless stars sparkling in the vast darkness, Nancy and I and the grandchildren unroll our sleeping bags on the upper deck where we will sleep beneath this heavenly canopy of stars.
Lake Powell I have missed you! Thank you for welcoming me back!
Even before construction on Glen Canyon Dam began, it was steeped in controversy.
There were many opponents who felt the dam should not be built and their passions ran deep.
They pointed to the pristine wilderness of Glen Canyon and bemoaned the loss of such magical places as Music Temple, Cathedral in the Desert and Outlaw Cave.
But, just as passionate were those proponents who felt that building the dam more than justified these losses.
They talked about hydroelectric power, taming the Colorado River and providing much needed water to thirsty lands.
And, now that the dam has been built, and each side has seen their predictions come true, there is talk about draining the lake and returning it to its natural state.
My question to you is: Should Lake Powell be drained?
I would like more than just Yes or No.
I want to know why you feel the way you do;
maybe some personal experience that has shaped your conviction, pro or con.
Also, I would love to see and share your photos.
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