First Time for Everything – Houseboating on Lake Powell

I seem hear endless stories detailing the beauty of the Glen Canyon from people far and wide. It’s hard to put its glory and grandeur into perspective until you’ve had the opportunity to see it first hand.
I was graciously invited to experience this awe inspiring place thanks to a very generous family that I have come to know over the past several years. My journey began in a fully loaded “Minnie Winnie” motor home that nearly carried us flawlessly all the way from Idaho to the Utah/Arizona border where we boarded the sixty foot double-decker houseboat. The floating condominium has proven to be the only real way to explore this vast expanse of the stopped up Colorado River and its various tributaries. These forgiving boats allow you to plow through the wide channels and maneuver in the narrowest nooks all without leaving the basic comforts of home.

Only three days in and I have seen natural arches, Anasasi Ruins, and slot canyons. One of our stopping points had us tucked into a spectacular dead end cul-de-sac off of the Escalante Arm. It was a perfect base camp for exploring the sites and casting a few lines

Narrows, Reflection Canyon - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona Narrows, Reflection Canyon - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona Narrows - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Camping spot of the House Boat on Lake Powell up the Escalante Arm Houseboating - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Today we’re headed up toward one of the seven natural wonders of the world, Rainbow Bridge. I look forward to the change in scenery. There is word that the weather is to shift from sunny skies and 90* temperatures to cooler thunderstorm ridden days. Variations in the weather may offer up more dramatic skies to photograph. I don’t know though, I’m pretty content with the way everything has been thus far. Only time will tell.

It’s now Saturday and we’re a mere five hours from being back in Boise. These last six hours of driving have allowed me to reflect on the last half of Lake Powell adventure.
The weatherman’s predictions ultimately came through and left us with a crisp 45* morning when we decided to jet to Rainbow Bridge. The skies proved to be dramatic as hoped. Wispy clouds lingered against the lightly snow dusted Navajo Mountain in the background as we made our way to massive natural arch. Our boat was the first to arrive at the National Park docking site, which, made for a pleasing change to the typical overcrowded famous park sites. The hike was short and sweet, S-curving up the river channel that over time carved the arch out. I had seen numerous pictures and postcards of the miraculous sight but never seem to do justice to the real thing. The Bridge rose regally through the same fog that we had seen on our drive in. I eagerly busted out the camera to snap some shots of the spectacle. My stomach dropped as the battery flashed rapidly before going dead… I couldn’t fathom how the battery could have gone out so quickly. I took the battery out and gingerly placed it into my pants to give it some warmth and what do you know, a solid twenty-minute session of pictures were cranked out. High-five to the old crotch warmer. The time spent up at the arch was definitely one of the major highlights of the trip for me. One natural wonder of the world down, only six more to go.

Rainbow Bridge - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Rainbow Bridge - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Our return journey had us heading back toward the marina that we originally put in at (Bullfrog Bay) as four people from the group were departing a day earlier than the rest. Stormy skies and harsh winds made the push up the canyon a difficult one. We took refuge at a nice nook in Annie’s Canyon. It was a tight squeeze but provided ample shelter, cliff jumping, bouldering and fishing all in one package. I was able to hike up to one of the ridge-lines to get a better-elevated perspective of our spot.

Houseboat - Annie's Canyon - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Camp Fire - Mckenna Belzer, Ahsley Binder - Lake Powell

The next night and day we occupied ourselves with various outdoor activities when the weather permitted and opted for some friendly indoor competition in the form of Yahtzee, Hearts and Golf. As the final night grew near, we made a last minute decision to make it as close to the marina as we could to save time and daylight on our journey back. Steep sheer cliff walls gave way to rolling sandy hills as we neared Bullfrog Bay. Our stopover point was setup without any tribulations. Consistent rain showers prevailed throughout the night echoing a soothing sound on the roof of the boat. For some reason this sound was so welcomed that I spent the better part of the evening listening to the pitter patter instead of sleeping. The following morning came quickly and I was sad that this was to be the end of my time at Lake Powell. Our drive back has left me with fond memories to add to my book of life.

Bruce Waterskiing - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Jen Belzer Wakeboarding - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Waterfall - Lake Powell, Utah/Arizona

Thanks to everyone who made this trip so rad. I was able to meet some great people, really get to know others


~ by skier2435 on May 28, 2008.

5 Responses to “First Time for Everything – Houseboating on Lake Powell”

  1. 🙂 plain and simple. Hell of a job kid.

  2. Hi Ray, nice bio and pix of a stunning lake and environs. Flat water is a blessing on certain shores. I’m envious.
    not surfing yet…..ribs are kooky, they resist healing.
    Cheers. Kim (El Sal)

  3. Nice pictures. I love the black & white waterfall.

  4. I came here the first time as a child back in the late 60’s and early 70’s as the lake was filling. In 1991 I relocated to Big Water, a small town on the shores of Lake Powell. Currently I spend my time playing music in the summer for the tourists and doing real estate. I am running the Lake Powell Real Estate Blog and having a blast at it. Just wanted to stop by and say “cool – cool photos and story” Cheers!

  5. Siked you all are enjoying the photos.

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