Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Lake Powell 2008

Actually we had in mind to leave for Lake Powell on the 26th.
I had packed the motor home already and Doreen was almost finished with her stuff.
After lunch we sat on the couch and Doreen said to me:" You are ready to leave".
So we decided to leave at 5:00 PM.
We were on the road at 5:00 PM and when we were on I-15 in Lake Elsinore, I remembered that I had forgotten to turn the refrigerator back on. Doreen walked back and as soon as she was ready to press the "on" button, we heard a terrific noise from under the motor home. Doreen said real loud: "I did not touch anything". It would have been real funny if it was not so scary.
I stopped on the side of the highway and started to investigate. The right rear, inside tire was without rubber. We had lost that. Steel wires had beaten on the inside of the wheel well. There was some damage and the high pressure hose for the right rear hydraulic leveler had come loose from the bottom of the motor home. I should have taken care of this right away.
Instead I called Good Sam for help. They promised us help in an hour. I still did not attend the problem with the leveler hose.
After the mechanic had removed the shredded tire and put the spare tire on, we took off.
We arrived in Barstow at about 8:00 PM. We filled up the motor home at Flying J, and I asked for a tire store. We were told that only the TA Truck Stop was open 24 hours. They did not have the right size and told us to buy the tire at Walmart and they would mount it. Walmart did not have that size too.
We could not stay the night at Walmart because of the city code. We went to the Elks Lodge and could not stay there because I could not use the leveling system. The loose hose had made contact with the hot tail pipe and melted. I was too tired at 11:00 PM to get the wood out and level the motor home. We spent the night at Flying J.

We drove down Main Street in Barstow and stopped at the first tire store. The manager told us that he had the correct size and the same brand, but he was not open yet.
We waited 45 minutes, until 8:00 AM, and 20 minutes later, we were on the road. I had called the manufacturer of the leveling system and they told me to contact Camping World in Las Vegas. Camping World wanted me to come in for checking the problem and order a new hose. This would not work for us.
We stopped for the night, in a small RV Park, in Kanab, Utah.

From Kanab it took us only two hours to get to Lake Powell. US-89 is one of the most beautiful, scenic highways.
The gathering takes place at the Lone Rock Campground. Most of the WIN group is camped at the beach. Since it is a weekend a lot of people with boats are on the beach, we decided to go to higher ground.

We did some sightseeing at the dam and at the canyon.
At 4:00 PM we had a meeting and made decisions how to handle chores on the boat.
I was surprised of how many WINs are here. We rented four house boats, with 12 people on each. There are twice as many members here.
The sleeping arrangements on the boats are something else. Out of the 12 people on my boat, we have one couple. There are six full size beds. I do not know how the remaining five beds will be assigned. I brought my sleeping bag and an air mattress.

After the 9:00AM meeting Doreen and I went to the Super WalMart to buy five pounds of ground beef, Spaghetti and Spaghetti sauce, and salad mix. A partner and I have to cook dinner on the sixth day. My partner will take care of desert and snacks. Two people cook a meal each day. For lunch the group bought bread and lunch meat. Breakfast is each person own responsibility.
Since most of us eat cereal in the morning we voted to do it that way.
After shopping we went sightseeing and then home to cook the meat and freeze it.
The weather is in the high eighties and cool at night.

At 8:30 AM Doreen drove me to the marina. Some members of the group parked their motor homes there. This gave us room to bring our motor home to the beach.
I feel better that Doreen is now with the Wins who are staying behind.
We had nice neighbors up on the hill. One couple came from Germany. They brought their own motor home all the way from Germany.
They will be traveling over here for the next 18 months.

We boarded the house boat about 10:30 AM, after the four captains and their crew were taught how to operate the house boats and the speed boats.
At 12:00 noon we finally took off. The boat number 4 had taken off earlier. At 4:00 PM we met them.

A WIN owns this little house boat. He followed us to our first stop. After an hour he went back to the marina.

The three boats were not even completely tied up when people jumped in the water.

Andrew Birkenfeld got a bucket of water, for wetting the slide, and was going down, without knowing the depth of the water. He announced that the water was three feet deep.
People with beer in their system seem to be brave.

People came from the other boats to use our slide. All boats have slides; they start from the upper deck.
After a swim I put air in my air mattress and claimed my spot on the upper deck.

We picked a beautiful spot. The beach and the boats are in the shade of high buttes, while the sun shines on the lake and the buttes and hills on the other side of the lake.
Dinner was mussels with a tofu salad. Since I never had mussels I had only four of them. I suppose the taste has to be acquired. Other people could not get enough.
After dinner we had a camp fire at the beach.
I tried to go to bed early. Since the lower part of the boat is carpeted, the upper deck was used as dance floor. I got up, got dressed and had to wait until the dancing was over.
When finally everything was quiet and I was in bed, Bagpipe Bob started to snore.
Andrew and I thought that we were the only members of the group to sleep in the open.
First Cherry Rath joined us, then came Randy Dolan and Bob.
Two women decided to sleep on the beach. After a while they came to Andrew and asked him to sleep with them. I suppose they got scared.
The boat next to us pulled in their gang blank during the night. A raccoon had come on board looking for food.

The stars last night were something to remember. There was no moon, but the stars gave enough light to see the outlines of the buttes on the side of the lake.

I got up at 7:00 AM and had my cereal. Andrew was up too, he did not sleep very well on the sand and had come back to the boat, leaving the two women unprotected.
He did sleep in the galley.
Later on somebody toasted bagels, and Joanne Jones, from boat 1 came with a pot of hot oatmeal.
At 10:00 AM we were cruising again. The colors of the buttes and hills on both sides of the lake are spectacular.

Boat 4 left us again. The remaining three boats stayed together.

At 12:00 noon we stopped for lunch. After lunch we went by speed boat to West Canyon and investigated.
Stepping in the small boat I twisted my left foot ankle. That takes care of dancing and hiking.
The captains decided to stay here for the day and the night.

For dinner we had chicken and a lot of vegetables. Nobody is going to starve on this trip.
After dinner we could see the women on boat 2 make their beds on the upper deck, all ten of them. This boat has ten women and Pete Bonine and Larry Larson, those poor guys.
Yesterday they went to bed at 7:00 PM. Today they planned to stay up an hour later.
At that time the party starts on our boat.
Bagpipe Bob did sleep in the little boat last night. He wants all of us to have a good night sleep. I was surprised that they did not throw me overboard, I usually snore too.

We took off at 9:30 AM and stopped at the Dangling Rope Marina for fuel, to empty the holding tanks, and to get rid of the refuse.
We continued on while the other two boats stayed near the marina for lunch. We ate our lunch while cruising.

At 2:30 PM three members of our boat went ahead in the speed boat to look for site for tonight. It is not easy to find a good sandy beach for three house boats. We have to stay fifty feet apart, in case a boat loses anchor and swings around.
Andrew informed us via CB that he found a good spot in Oak Canyon. Oak Canyon is rather large and has several islands. We parked the three house boats on one of the islands.

Boat 4 heard the conversation between our boats and informed us that they were on the shore across from us.
By 3:45 the women on boat 2 were in the water, floating on their air mattresses and noodles.
Pete handed them drinks. After a while you could hear them from a mile away.
Lasagna was on the menu for dinner on our boat. Sherry Rath and Randy Dolan did a good job. They had a very good salad and even baked brownies.
The turnout for the camp fire was very good. We shamed the women from boat 2 to come. We hollered several times until they arrived.

After breakfast we had a stone skipping contest. All three boats participated. I made it to the finals with eight skips. Larry Larson , the captain of boat 2, won. His ten women cheered him on.

At 10:00 AM the three speed boats took off for Rainbow Bridge. The people who stayed behind went by kayak to Secret Canyon. When we came back from the bridge we had lunch and the people who had gone to Secret Canyon went to Rainbow Bridge, and my group took the kayaks out.

I stayed behind. My ankle problem is better thanks to an ankle brace from Francine Grayton.
At 4:30 PM we had Happy Hour. After that Bertie turned her boom box on. Dancing on soft sand is not easy. Sherry prepared S’mores on the fire. They are made from marshmallows, chocolate and Honey Graham Crackers.

The upper deck of the boat is only partially covered. When it started to rain last night, we jumped and pulled our sleeping gear under the roof. We were lucky, only a few drops fell.
Yesterday evening I tried again to contact Doreen, even Verizon works very spotty out here.
This morning we went to Reflection Canyon. I was in the second group to go. We were lucky, Nancy, who piloted on of the speed boats in the first group, came along to guide our boat. She made us aware of Indian ruins in the walls high above the water.
This was a very beautiful, exciting excursion.
We left Oak Canyon after lunch, at 1:00 PM. The sky is now full of clouds and there is also wind blowing through the main channel canyon.
We stopped at Rock Creek Canyon for the night. Boat 4 was already there. I do not know whether we met by accident.
We had hamburgers for dinner. After dinner we had a pajama dance party.
A few people from the other boats joined us. Dancing was not easy on the moored boat. The waves moved the boat from side to side.
My foot is fine again and Francine is wearing the ankle brace now. Her pains have come back.
During the night the wind picked up again.
At 6:45 AM it started to rain. We jumped up and moved our gear under the roof. It rained only a few minutes.

When we left Rock Creek Canyon it was raining and it was cold. There were white caps on the lake, and it was difficult to see the markers in the channel.
At 12:30 PM we stopped at Kane Wash for the day

I can not complain. We had five wonderful days. The beauty of the lake, its canyon, and its buttes, is difficult to put in words.
Andrew entertained us and we had many laughs.
Thank you Chuck Bothwell for organizing this cruise. And thank you WIN family for making an outing like this possible.
Today was Andrew’s and my day to cook dinner. Andrew has been sick the last few days and Tom Chisena helped me. Tom is a professional cook. He and Sharie Donavan treated us to tasty crepes one evening.

Tom took care of the spaghetti while I tried to heat the meat sauce on the outdoor BBQ. Both of us had trouble with the flames on the stove and BBQ. After we were done we found out that the propane tank was almost empty and the propane had no pressure. When the other tank was turned on, the stove worked fine again.
We had to use the BBQ because the two big pots for the spaghetti covered the three burners.
While we were cooking the crew was watching The Bucket List. After this movie we saw Mama Baby.
We had to sleep inside, because it was cold and damp on the upper deck.

Before breakfast we were attacked by pirates. The ten women and two men from boat 2, came to our boat, trying to get the men from our boat. They wore pirate outfits. We gave them hugs and they left.
We left Kane Wash at 9:00 AM and arrived at Wahweap Marina shortly before noon.
Doreen was waiting for me. She had problems with the heat: she got a rash and had to see a doctor. She was told to get out of the heat.
John Clairmont was very helpful and moved the motor home from the beach to the Wahweap Campground.
Doreen was to follow him in the car. She thinks she left the lights on, because when she tried to start the car nothing happened. Somebody gave her battery a boost. She eventually caught up with John.
Doreen’s condition improved with being able to use the air conditioner in the motor home.
When we arrived at the campground I emptied the holding tanks, hooked up the car to the motor home, and we took off for Albuquerque.


Barbara and Ron said...

What a GREAT account of the houseboat trip! I really enjoyed it - you have a concise writing style and just the right amount of humor. Terrific job!

against big brother world government said...
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