LAKE POWELL - SPRING 2009
Nearby campsites:Wahweap Campground
Comments: Our son and his two kids joined us for a week-long delightful Five on a Boat cruise of Lake Powell. The following is the tale told by our g'daughter, Ami, of our time together.
My Stays both Over and Under in the Deep Blues of Lake Powell
Feeling the cool breeze rush through my body gives me chills as it touches the freezing drizzles running down my legs. I replace fear with excitement and as my dad reaches "0," take a flying leap off the side of the ledge. The sudden gush of air makes me nervous and I end up slapping the water with my outstretched hand. The tingly sensation. I swim in the icy water with Bryce, both of us have gotten up enough courage, and when I look back across the water I can see Grandma, Grandpa, and Pop watching us and chatting cheerfully together. The pool draws me in more than a magnet would, the refreshing feel and shimmering color. Grandpa drives our C-Dory far to get to new coves and camping places. To me it seems like an excruciating task, looking out across the vast blue and not seeing an end. He does this for hours and I applaud his patience. Then Grandpa asks me to look up from my book that has captured my attention and shows me what he sees, when looking out at the hardened sand dunes. Stories and histories. "The rocks speak to me," he says, and suddenly I can see that he is not at all bored or tired when steering his boat.
At night we play cards together, some people are standing, of course, because of the sparse amount of room for sitting. I laugh hysterically at Grandma wondering what has just happened, whose turn could it possibly be? Her silly and lovable ways. We're serious when the prize is delicious "experienced" M&M's. The winner scores one of these, and the Super Loser does. Gramps was getting an M&M every time for his losing skills. The bugs bomb Bryce, the one who is least accepting of their constant presence. These tiny gnats and their pinpoint brains, but Grandpa says that they know who despises them the most, and swarms this person merely for the fun. I agree.
A huge wind picks up and rain starts to cascade down in monster droplets. This is a trying time for boats and tents alike. During the few passing storms that befell us, the boat scurried off to a hidden cove to escape the small mountains of waves. They come at the boat from all sides and the boat rocks just as much. Bryce loves using the windshield wiper that clears the window from being covered in raindrops. Pop tells me to keep the window swiped so he can check for possible fast anchoring places with the binoculars. It's exciting and thrilling. Keeping our tents upright in this weather is challenging and maybe even purely crazy. After this is accomplished and we can only hope that the rocks inside are enough, I feel a victory of sorts as I run back to the safety and dryness of the boat. But my scalp is coated with a nice thick layer of sand now, the same stuff that squished between my toes not long before. I feel the grit in my teeth and the sound it makes, while I grumble about having my newly shampooed and renewed hair now filled with sand.
It is most definitely an art to pee without a toilet. There is just no doubt about it. I was really successful at this and not getting my shoes or legs sprayed, by the end. Hee hee - I won't even mention going number two. I loved sleeping outside with my toasty-warm sleeping bag, Pop and Bryce close by. I only used the fly to my new tent a couple times, when I needed to, every other night it was so great and uplifting being able to see the stars as I looked up. Real. My muscles were cramped at times considering the tent is rather small, and so Clarence (my good luck stuffed animal) was shifted to the far side. It didn't seem like he minded though. "Nighty-night, sleepy-tight, don't let those bed bugs bite. . ."
I drove the boat and found it rather opposite to how a car is driven. Turn the wheel in the boat and nothing happens; okay, I think, maybe it has to be turned really far. So I turn the wheel even more. Wow! Now it is turning and way too much. I turn it in a panic the other direction. Eventually, I learn to turn the wheel and wait until the boat reacts to the change of direction. The two do not happen simultaneously as they do in a car. I get better slowly and soon I feel comfortable driving. My brother loves to drive and he seems like he was doing this his whole life. The boat seems to be for him in a way. My father also drives the boat and he uses care and concentration. My father is a careful person and very deliberate, I can feel this in the way the boat moves under his hands.
The V-birth is the home for siestas. Bryce and I both indulged in a few during times of travel. It is so comfy, but also hot, now and again. Once I woke up from a dream; Bryce had gotten a huge yummy chocolate milkshake with Grandma and I was left out. We did get ice cream, what felt like a lot, and this was a much appreciated treat and it was so exciting. There is a perfect board going across the underneath of the table and cushions in the boat. Grandma and I each have our legs up, curling around each other so we make sure we each have enough room.
Pop, Bryce, and I go on hikes in the early morning, and try to be finished before 10 am when the sun starts becoming deadly. We have walked many awesome trails and had many discoveries. We found ruins left by Anasazi people and the visual proof of their artistic and skillful ways. As we got to look in and even enter some of the homes they had built, a new knowledge and respect arose of how these people lived their lives. It was not easy traveling and getting food, no doubt. The pictographs and petroglyphs were rare and so amazing. It was fun to guess what their creators intended to represent by the art, but even greater was to discover them; that first moment. Pop was good at doing this, both for the ruins and the art. I wanted to stay up there, so high and shaded. Live in these homes like our ancestors once had. "I could learn to adapt to sandy-hard grounds to sleep on," I said eagerly. It was so peaceful of a place. They would live each day doing much of what people of our time take for granted. Hunting for each meal and grinding seeds and plants. Taking care of the children and helping them become strong and independent. Freezing nights and scorching afternoons.
On one of our hikes we found plants growing right out of the side of the rocks. Black was inching its way down as small droplets of water fell. The predominant sounds of the water hit the floor and drew our curiosity. Soon each of us was reaching our tongues up to the sky, eyes trying to grasp sight of each droplet, to catch in our mouths. Pop told Bryce and me that this was the cleanest water we would find. Mm-mm, scrumptious! Frogs and tadpoles were plentiful in the ponds that were shaded. Catching them was great fun. I loved these guys and lizards as well, though they were faster. We were lucky enough to find a slot canyon after we climbed our way up a high slope and rocky planes. We went up to reach the top and then right back down to get into the beautiful canyon. The mud was soft and cool as it squished in my toes. Bryce went the farthest into the canyon, but no one really wanted to swim to go further through it so we didn't go too far.
Grandpa said we could go wherever us kids wanted but that if we wanted to, it was us who had to steer him forward each day. Where to now?! Type of deal. It was great because I learned how to read the map, the names of the canyons, and how to guide Grandpa using his high tech equipment. It was soooooooo nice and the water kept everything fresh, clean, and sparkling bright.
Oh happy days!
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