Lake Powell trips used to be a fairly regular occasion for us as kids, but now that we’re all older and busier, we go several years between trips. Our last trip was in 2004 so the cousins had been in discussion for a while about wanting to make another trip. Most of us were able to attend…Dad, Karen, me, Paula, Paula’s Scott, Nate (and friend Mark), Meagan, Pearce, Jennica (and friend Bailey), Uncle Scott, Erin, McKenzie, Ledger, Aunt Pammy, Uncle Rick, Skyler and his girlfriend Carolina. And Erin’s new puppy Ralph.
That’s eighteen and a half people and one dog. Surprisingly, the houseboat wasn’t too crowded, although there were several tents on the shore for sleeping.
The weather was great, very warm, which requires lots of water time. We had all sorts of toys…jet skis, wakeboarding, tube-ing (none of those for me though), floating rafts and I brought my SUP.
I took Poni out almost every day. It was beautiful!
I had been worried about making the 11 hour drive with her on the roof in the hot hot sun, but she travels well.
Almost everyone took a turn SUPping Poni around our cove.
We had a campfire every night (except that last one), launched fireworks, played music and invented peanut butter s’mores.
The houseboat was huge compared to any we’ve ever had before. There were four “bedrooms”, two that had doors, two that were down a few stairs in steerage. And best of all, two bathrooms! I opted to sleep indoors (in steerage) to be closer to the bathroom (in case you’re keeping track, I’m 18 weeks pregnant). I missed falling asleep under the stars but was glad not to have to walk down the steep stairs from the roof in the middle of the night.
The majority of the trip was pretty uneventful…swimming, floating, playing, reading, sleeping. The last 48 hours however were quite an adventure. Paula and her Scott, Skyler, Carolina, and Rick were leaving on Friday so they took Uncle Scott’s boat in to the marina loaded down with their gear. Jennica, Pearce and Mark went along to return the jet skis. The rest of us were on the houseboat as we slowly treked to our final site closer to the marina (to make for a quick departure on Saturday). It was very windy and very crowded in the main channel. One of the big tour boats camp roaring past and sent huge waves coming at our houseboat from the side. Those of us napping upstairs (Nate, Bailey, Erin, Meagan and I) were rolled off our of sleeping pads and lounge chairs. As we were scrambling around to collect anything that was loose up top, we heard lots of slamming and a huge crash from inside the houseboat and then Dad’s yelling. We went downstairs (still rocking side to side) to discover almost all the houseboat-supplied dishes smashed on the floor. Who puts ceramic dishes on a boat!? Thankfully, no one was in the kitchen when the latch came loose and all the dishes slid out. McKenzie had just picked up Ralphie and was in the hallway and Karen was up front near Dad. We put on our shoes and got to work picking up the thousands of shattered pieces. Ledger slept through the entire process in the back bedroom.
But the adventure was far from over. The wind continued to pick up as we tried to find a sheltered area to anchor for the night. We pulled into a crowded cove and got the houseboat stuck in the mud while still managing to twist sideways as the wind blew us around. The kids that were still on the houseboat (Erin, Nate, Meagan, Bailey) jumped off, found a few nice neighbors and pushed the houseboat out of the mud and then had to swim to catch up to us. We finally found a better spot in the same cove but protected from the wind by the rock walls. Eventually, Uncle Scott returned with Jennica, Pearce and Mark that evening and the wind finally died down.
Saturday morning was mercifully calm as we packed up and headed to the marina. We loaded up our cars and headed into Page for lunch before going our separate ways. It was easy going until about 5pm when one of the tires on the Expedition blew out. Karen, Dad, Pearce and I were in the car and Karen was able to pull over quickly and pretty seamlessly. Meagan, Jennica and Bailey were following us and joined us on the side of the road. We had no working spare since the tire that blew was the spare that had been put into use the day before after discovering a flat tire while returning the jet skis. Instead of all of us waiting for AAA, all of us kids piled into Meagan’s car and drove the 10 miles to Hurricane in search of a tire place. At 5pm on a Saturday. In Utah. Needless to say, everything was closed (and would be until Monday) until we found the WalMart at the far end of town. I’ve never been so glad to see a WalMart. The tires got replaced and we drove the remaining hour to the Virgin River Hotel and Casino in Mesquite, NV.
We headed out of Mesquite early to beat the Sunday Vegas traffic and made it home without any further chaos.