Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Lake Powell 2014

Last winter Lisa and I decided that we wanted to rent a houseboat to Lake Powell for this year and treat our parents to a fun vacation for all that they do for us.  We decided to time it for when her brother Spencer came home from his mission.  We brought him along and invited her grandpa as well.  Lisa's grandpa owned a houseboat at Lake Powell from 1974-1994.  He was super excited to be able to return to the lake that he loved so dearly.
Get ready for picture overload.  We had an awesome trip together.  The scenery was spectacular, and we did so many fun things with the kids.
We took off from Bullfrog Marina Thursday morning.  I don't think we could have timed the weather any better than we did.  As we were driving down on Wednesday night it was so stormy. It was raining great, big buckets of rain.  When we woke up Thursday it was a bright, sunny day.  The sun continued on through the rest of our trip until after we dropped off the houseboat on Monday.  And then as we were heading home the storm clouds rolled back in.  We had the best weather while on the lake.

Lisa's grandpa was so happy to be back in his element and was excited to captain the boat for us.

We found an amazing site in Iceberg canyon thanks to Spencer.  It was a soft sandy beach in a secluded cove that was only big enough for our houseboat and ski boat to park on.  The cove only had 5 hours of direct sunlight each day which was very welcomed.  The temperature was around 100 degrees each day, so we enjoyed the shade we had at our disposal.

The kids played, and played, and played in the water and in the sand.  I honestly can say that I didn't hear any of them say they were bored one single time.  They were constantly busy and always had a smile on their faces. If they weren't in the water, they were either playing games on the boat with their grandmas or were out hunting for lizards.  Cole was obsessed with finding lizards.

Blake has been a little slower this year at embracing the water sports.  He wasn't a big fan of our boat when we first got it.  Slowly but surely he has been warming up though.  This trip he loved swimming all over that cove of ours.  I was so proud of the progress he's made.

One of the best spots to relax was on the upper deck of the houseboat.  There was a shade tarp, and you had spectacular views.  Grandpa snuck in a little cat nap up top while we all played.

Lisa always wished they had a slide on their houseboat when they were growing up, so she was quite excited to have one on our rental.  The kids loved it.  We had some fun playing on it.

Cole decided to go down sideways.  They were all trying it different ways.  On their belly, head first on their back, tandem, etc.

Lisa's dad rented a kayak for the trip and it was a hit with everyone.

Lisa's brother Spencer picked up slalom skiing like he never left on a mission.  He got better every day we were there too.

I love slalom skiing.  I really enjoy wake boarding, but slalom skiing is my favorite.

Lisa even got in some good runs with her new ski.

We also let Spencer take his turn at driving the boat.

In the evenings and mornings we would do some fishing off the back of the houseboat.  All of the kids were successful in catching some fish.

We caught some catfish, blue gills, and crappies.

That first night we had the most amazing sunset.

After we put the kids to bed the first night, we had a fun "name that tune" game with the adults that I put together.  Spencer barely edged out my dad and took the first place prize.  My dad took second, and in a close third was Susan.  I took 5 songs that were Billboard top hits the year each person graduated.  For grandpa I took his 5 scattered throughout the '40's and '50's.  I took 5 each from '71, '72, '73, '97, 2000, and 2011.  We had some good laughs while playing it.

When we woke up Friday morning we were treated with this cool sunrise.  

We did some more fishing.

The blue gill liked cheese the best while the catfish and crappie like bacon the best.

After breakfast and fishing we would go do some tubing and skiing.  Having the open bow was nice for the added space and can be a fun spot to ride.

Tucker started out with the trainer ski rope, but by the end of the trip he was getting up on his own with the normal ski rope.  He loved it.

Tucker was trying to go outside the wake so he could "ski like dad".

Aubrey is a competitive girl.  If she sees her brother do it, then she has to try it as well.  She is a great little skier.

She was even showing off.
We did lots of floating and lounging around.

We got a cool photo of Ken on the slide.

We had great food on the trip.  We ate well for each meal.

On Saturday we did some more fishing.  Cole was the king fisher that day.

This crappie didn't survive the catch, so we filetted him up and cooked him for lunch.

Cole wanted to get up on the skis after watching his siblings.  He was so happy to be out there.

We found a fun cliff jumping spot not far from our camp.  It started out small, around 3 feet high, and gradually went up to about 30 feet.  It was perfect for the kids to work up their confidence and go a little higher each time.  Even Cole was a little dare devil and participated.  Here is Spencer jumping off with his GoPro in hand.  That camera was sweet.  I can't wait to see the video footage he captured.
Lisa and Aubrey jumping together.

Here's a cool shot of Tucker leaping off the edge.

Cole was so awesome and fearless.

After cliff jumping, Tucker begged us to take him out skiing again.  We decided to try and see if he could get up on his own.  He didn't disappoint.  He popped right up.

Back at camp, we did some more swimming and relaxing.

After dinner each night we would go out and hit the smooth water for some more wake boarding and water skiing. The views were sensational.

My dad can still lay it down.  There aren't many grandpa's out there that can still ski as well as him.

After my dad, I took a turn.  The water was so nice.

While we were out water skiing Saturday evening, my mom took the kids across the cove to go lizard hunting.  She made their day.  I guess it was a lizard paradise and the kids saw the little reptiles everywhere.  At one point she lifted up a rock so they could try and catch the lizards.  Unfortunately the rock slipped loose and fell right into her.  Here are her battle scars as Tucker likes to refer to them.

On Sunday morning we got up and had a little devotional.  After breakfast and the devotional we headed out for Rainbow Bridge, the largest natural bridge in the world.  We had incredibly smooth water going down the channel that morning.  It's not common to have that smooth of water in the main channel.

Along the way we stopped off at Hole in the Rock to show Spencer where the Pioneers lowered their wagons and livestock down into the canyon while en route to set up the San Juan mission.  It's an incredible testament to their faith and determination.  It's an awesome example that inspires me.

We also took a small detour to Reflection Canyon.  This isn't my photo, but it shows how narrow and winding the canyon is. At the current lake levels it's a fun and beautiful canyon to tour.

We made good time to Rainbow Bridge.  Here is our little crew heading up the dock to the trail. Our kids were great little hikers on the 1.25 mile hike.

Here's a picture of Lisa with her dad and brother.

And here's a cool family photo.  The kids really enjoyed it.  They especially like the dinosaur track that the ranger pointed out to them.

On Monday we packed up, returned the boat to Bullfrog, and headed to Hanksville for a delicious lunch at Stan's Burger Shack.  We were sad for the trip to end, but we are already looking forward to another trip next year.  Who wants to come?


Semen Rendi said...
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Laurel said...

In my next life I want to come back as one of your kids!!! Man you guys have a lot of fun!!

Lindsay said...

Looks amazing! We used to go every year and I have been dying to take Zach! Lake Powell is heaven on a boat!

Dan & Heather Pelfrey said...

Pick me! We are soo jealous of your trip!! We are definitely going to make room in our schedules to come next time!!

Ken said...

It was great. . Thanks for a fantastic trip!

Katie said...

I can't believe all those kid skiers! They look awesome. I love the one of Aubrey swooping down to touch the spray from her skis. What a little dare devil. I love the last pic too of your family.