Monday, June 8, 2009

Lake Powell

We spent the last several days at Lake Powell with our friends the Jorgensons. They were nice enough to invite us to go down with them. For Lisa and I both, this was the first time in 9 years that we had gone to Powell. It was one of our favorite vacation spots as kids and teenagers, and this was our first time going there together. Because of this, there will be many pictures. If you don't like it, tough!

We headed down on Thursday after I got done with my patients. We stopped off at the traditional "Hollow Mountain" to get some gas and treats. It's a store built right into the rock. Ah the memories I have of this place as a kid.

We got to Bullfrog too late to drive the boat to the beach, so we camped at the campground for the night. I wish I had some pictures of some of the previous trips we took down there every year when I was kid for comparison. This is what we found when we finally went to bed that night. Aubrey felt the need to sleep with her leg draped over Tucker. What funny kids they were this week.

So we launched the boat Friday morning and decided to head north up the channel to start looking for camping sites. We decided we would start at Moqui Canyon, and if all the available beaches for camping were taken, we would keep on progressively working our way north. When we got to Moqui, it was an absolute zoo. It was insane how busy the lake was this weekend. We then proceeded north to Hansen Creek only to find the same thing. Then we ended up going to Forgotten Canyon in hopes of finding anything.

As we went down the canyon, things were looking quite grim. I was thinking that we were just going to have to go back to Halls Bay and do some beach camping there. I didn't really want to resort to that because they were forecasting wind gusts of 45 mph, and the bay would be fairly miserable with that kind of wind. Luckily for us as we pulled around the corner to the spot where Lisa's family went most of the time (the cove that Lisa refers to as "their spot") we saw a houseboat just heading out. The beach had become available that instant! It was perfect. So we and the Jorgenson's beached the boat and unloaded all of our gear.

Here is a shot of the coveted beach and our gear spread out.

This is what the kids did for the bulk of the weekend. They loved to play in the water, sand and mud. I was cautiously skeptical about how fun it would be to go down with a bunch of really little kids. I didn't know if it was going to be worth it, but Tucker, Aubrey, Kate and Zach all played wonderfully together and managed to not make too many messes or get hurt too badly. Although a little bit different approach to a Lake Powell trip than I remembered with my friends and family, I really enjoyed watching my kids play and enjoy their Lake Powell visit.

Here's Aubrey hamming it up.

Cool man Tucker with his sunglasses that he wore almost the whole time.

The water levels at Lake Powell have been rising about a foot a day for the last couple of weeks. As you can see in this picture, the result of such rapid water rises caused tons of driftwood to gather on all the beaches. The kids loved to play with it and we didn't mind it too much.

We had a ton of wind for the first couple days that would start early and end near dusk. It didn't bother us too badly at camp because of my kickin' tent and shade tarp that can withstand tornadoes, hurricanes, monsoons, and even little kids. One negative aspect of all that wind was the swirling and blowing sand. For all that have been to Lake Powell, you know of the really fine sand there. Well, we laid Cole down under the shade tarp while he napped one day, and much of that fine sand gathered all over him. When we went to check on him this is what we found. Poor kid, he was such a trooper.

As I mentioned, the wind was pretty strong at times. This picture shows well how the wind would just whip the wake, spray from the ski and even the waves.

Some cool sunset shots of the sandstone walls near our camp.

Here is a picture of our cove looking out from the beach. What a site. As you can see from the glass water, the wind wasn't blowing the whole time and we did get some great water for skiing and wake boarding.

If you look up the definition for stud in the dictionary, this is what you will find:

Lisa was a champ with the water ski and acted like she hadn't skipped a beat since the last time she went water skiing 5 years ago.

Lisa playing with the kids at our beach.

Aubrey sitting in the floaty, just playing in the sand.

This is what Cole did much of the time. Thanks to the suggestion of some of Lisa's running buddies, we brought the johnny jump up and hung it from the shade tarp. He loved it, and it made life much more pleasant for us.

We took a drive down to Hole in the Rock, where the Mormon pioneers lowered their cattle, horses, and wagons down the sandstone cliffs (before the lake was there of course). I was the only one in the group that had been there before, so I stayed back to hold the boat while the others hiked up to it. That's me wayyyyyy down there keeping the boat off the rocks.

Kate and Aubrey playing in the sand.

We had a little bit of success with fishing. Tucker and I caught some fish including catfish and bluegill. Unfortunately, no stripers. Look at how excited he is to reel that thing in!

A cool silhouette shot that Lisa got of me with a catfish on the line.

Again, Lisa had no trouble making the water skiing look easy. Thanks to my parents for letting us borrow their skis. They worked great.

Here she is pensively scanning ahead to plot her course.

I did some wake boarding on the last day, and the Toby Keith song "As Good as I Once Was" kept rolling through my head. After wearing out my arms from slalom skiing, I was feeling the burn wake boarding. That coupled with the fact that I couldn't get as much air as I used to and couldn't do the tricks I used to, I kept singing to myself, "I'm not as good as I once was....." Despite my reduction in skill levels, I still really enjoyed it.

Lisa used the action feature of our camera to capture a fun sequence. I will narrate it for you in my words.

"Yeah, I'm bad, watch me destroy this wake."

Immediately after take off, "I'm getting some decent air."

Upon landing, "Crap, I didn't stick that like I should have, this might hurt."

SPLAT! "Yup, that hurt."

In all it was a great weekend away, and a great time at Lake Powell. Now, back to the daily grind.


Justin & Erin Linton Family said...

Looks super fun. I haven't ever been there, maybe one day. I can't get over the picture of Lisa on the beach with the kids. You don't look old enough to have 3 kids. Way to go, on the water skis guys.. Welcome to Summer right? :) Maybe we will make it out there soon. We will let you know our plans when we finalize everything. Talk to you later,

Karen, Mackay, Easton & Kallie said...

one word...jealous! :o) glad you guys had fun!

Laurel said...

I love Lake Powell! Aren't you glad to be back in Utah?!?!

Nate and Jen Poulson said...

Yeah, it's been years since we've been back to Lake Powell and I too have fond memories of that gas station...
We finally get to go on a boating trip in July to Wyoming with my fam. I can't wait. But I think that I too will have gotten rusty. But that's when you pull out the wake surfer and you think you're awesome again!

The Eliason Family said...

Looks like you had a fun little vacation!

dan and audrey said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE LAKE POWELL!! looks like you had tons of fun, can't wait till I can get back down there. and hollow mountain gas station must be tradition for everyone driving down to powell, it's the coolest!(:

Lisa said...

What a fun trip!! I am excited to go someday..Kev will be so jealous when he looks at the pictures. He looks at pictures of Lake Powell and houseboats almost every night. It would be fun to have a time share with you guys.

Kevin said...

Lisa was right... I'm practically crying (not to mention jealous) because of how much I miss that place! Someday it will once again become a Foster Family Tradition/family reunion to hit powell a couple times a year! Sorry I missed your call from Halls Crossing when you called to gloat! lol j/k. Looked like an awesome time you guys and I'm glad the kids loved it too. I can't wait till our kids can make the same memories Lisa and I had with our cousins as kids! Good times!

Leah and Mike said...

How fun!! I'm glad you guys had such a fun trip!

Amber said...

What a fun get away for your family! I haven't ever been to Lake Powell but I have heard it is a blast. Glad you got some water skiing in.

Amber said...

What a fun get away for your family! I haven't ever been to Lake Powell but I have heard it is a blast. Glad you got some water skiing in.

The Strong Family said...

looks like you guys had a blast! I love lake powell, we used to go on houseboats there every year when we were little. HOw are your legs so freakin skinny after 3 kids, I am so jealous!!

Maquel said...

I love Lake Powell! I haven't been in so long, either. Both of your water skiing skills look impressive!

Emily said...

Oh, how I miss it there! Your kiddos look like they had a fantastical time.

Josh and Heidi Balling said...

funny thing. we did look up the definition of stud and they must have omitted the picture of you. We are so jealous! It's been awhile and we are so excited to go this fall!