July 1, 2013
When The Water Calls ... We Follow


June 20, 2013
New Adventures


May 31, 2013
Storing Our Shiny Red Tug


May 13, 2013
Viva La Difference


May 6, 2013
Swinging Free & Easy


April 15, 2013
In The Middle


March 29, 2013
On The Hook


March 18, 2013
Tinker Time


February 28, 2013
Jumping Into the Mix


February 15, 2013
Time Travel


February 6, 2013
Charlevoix - A Small Town With A World-Class Reputation


January 15, 2013
The Perfect Ending


January 1, 2013
Magical Weather & Mysterious Ports


December 15, 2012
Collins Inlet, Killarney, & Little Current


December 1, 2012
New Neighbors


November 16, 2012
What Makes a Perfect Anchorage?


November 1, 2012
Are We There Yet?


October 15, 2012
CHANGE OF LATITUDE


October 1, 2012
Womens Roundtable


September 15, 2012
Freedom to Discover a Southern Gem


September 1, 2012
Promises


August 15, 2012
Nice to Have Options


August 1, 2012
Go West!


July 15, 2012
The Perfect Boating Vacation Destination


July 1, 2012
Propane


June 15, 2012
Flagler’s Folly


June 1, 2012
Everglades Detour


May 15, 2012
Making New Friends


May 1, 2012
Something Old and Something New


April 15, 2012
Florida’s Wide Open West Coast


April 1, 2012
Life On the Water in a Trailerable Trawler


March 15, 2012
Becoming Second Nature


March 1, 2012
Last Dance


February 15, 2012
Call it Romance or Mystique


February 1, 2012
Natural Wonders Abound


January 15, 2012
Hardly a Care in the World


January 1, 2012
Wide-Eyed Anticipation


December 15, 2011
Winding Our Way to Lake Powell


December 1, 2011
On to New Cruising Grounds


November 15, 2011
Sharing the Love


November 1, 2011
On the Water Again


October 14, 2011
First Impressions


October 3, 2011
Possession is Nine-Tenths of the Fun


September 15, 2011
Getting the Show on the Road


September 1, 2011
Lets Dance!


August 15, 2011
Getting Our Ducks in a Row


August 1, 2011
Summer Without a Boat


July 15, 2011
The Water and The Boater Home


July 1, 2011
One Step Closer


June 15, 2011
Time Keeps on slippin’ Into the Future


June 1, 2011
Made in the USA


May 15, 2011
Making the Right Truck Choice


May 1, 2011
Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder


April 15, 2011
What Goes Around Comes Around


April 1, 2011
Wishing Star Interlude


March 15, 2011
Helping Hands


March 1, 2011
THE PERFECT BOAT!


February 15, 2011
Weighing the Options


February 1, 2011
Making a List, Checking it Twice!


January 14, 2011
The Science of Towing


December 30, 2010
The Upside of Downsizing


December 15, 2010
The New Plan!


December 1, 2010
Homeward Bound-The Final Leg


November 15, 2010
Somethings In The Water


November 1, 2010
Our Turn to Relax & Smile


October 15, 2010
Gem in the Rough


October 1, 2010
Whats Your Favorite Place on the Loop?


September 15, 2010
Reflecting Pool


September 1, 2010
Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder


August 15, 2010
Canadian Wonderland


August 1, 2010
"Low Bridge, Everybody Down"


July 15, 2010
One Day At A Time


July 1, 2010
Decisions, Decisions, Decisions!


June 15, 2010
Lets All Do the Rendezvous


June 1, 2010
On the Hard


May 15, 2010
Falling in Love With Key West


May 1, 2010
Helping Women Get On Board


April 15, 2010
Key West - A Repeat Performance


April 1, 2010
Unexpected Pleasures


March 15, 2010
Mom Cruise


March 1, 2010
Okeechobee Bound


February 15, 2010
Chance Encounters


February 1, 2010
Three Nights in Paradise


January 15, 2010
New Frontiers


January 1, 2010
First Time Experiences


December 15, 2009
A Friend In Every Port


December 1, 2009
Dealing With A Temperamental Lady


November 18, 2009
You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello


November 13, 2009
A Cult Following


October 15, 2009
Somewhere in Time


October 1, 2009
Unlocking Our Minds Eye


September 18, 2009
Its In My Nature


August 15, 2009
The RBS Antidote


August 1, 2009
Crab Crazy


July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay


July 15, 2009
Sights And Sounds Of The Bay


June 15, 2009
Our Last Leg North


June 1, 2009
Northern Migration


May 15, 2009
Priceless


May 1, 2009
Hello Goodbye


April 15, 2009
Let The Sun Shine In!


April 1, 2009
Dont Worry, Be Happy


March 15, 2009
Bahama Bound


March 1, 2009
What Do You Do All Day?


February 15, 2009
Slow Motion


February 1, 2009
On The Hook With A Million-Dollar View


January 15, 2009
High Anxiety


January 1, 2009
A String Of One-Night Stands


December 15, 2008
Pushing Into New Tennessee River, Upstream To Adventure


December 1, 2008
All Together Now


November 15, 2008
Kismet in the Aftermath of Hurricane Ike


October 31, 2008
Our Love Affair With The River


October 16, 2008
Big City Lights


October 1, 2008
The Adventure Begins


September 15, 2008
Prepping For The Loop


September 1, 2008
The Space Ship


August 15, 2008
Jumping Aboard In Seattle


August 1, 2008
If We Knew Then What We Know Now!


July 10, 2008
The Second Time Around


July 1, 2008
Our Turn For The Great American Loop

   

Call it Romance or Mystique
By Kismet, Wednesday, February 15, 2012

By Lisa Targal Favors

I’m not really sure what happened when we picked a beach anchor site in Cottonwood Canyon; the atmosphere and character of our Lake Powell cruise seemed to take a turn. I began to feel a noticeable change in the tone and mood of our trip. Up to this point we were in awe of our surroundings and that aspect seemed to rule the day. I guess you could say we were so entertained by the scenery; it left us stunned and wanting more. However, as we got settled into a private little cove in Cottonwood Canyon, the ambience seemed to evolve and presented us with a quiet, although vividly serene, juncture to focus on and appreciate, not only each other, but also the wonders of canyon life. Call it romance or call it mystique, whatever you want to name it, we collectively welcomed the opportunity. Why not?

During one of our morning hikes we stopped on top of this cliff to enjoy the view.

Cottonwood Canyon, nestled not far off the Colorado River on Lake Powell, provided a stunning backdrop for the crew of Kismet to spend a few days alone in an arid, western paradise. Up to this point we have seen some incredible sights, traveled through canyons that would knock the socks off most boaters we know. Time flew by each and every day as we explored and learned how to boat and anchor in this heavenly man-made lake.

The air was so still there was barely a ripple on the water where we were anchored providing a photographer’s dream shot, rock walls perfectly mirrored in the water below. For more photos, visit: Davis Gulch–A Visual Delight

First of all I was impressed with the notion that we were literally alone in this vast stretch of rocky canyons, dried up riverbeds, endless valleys and plateaus, alone with my captain, in paradise… again. Our cruising life typically involves a lot of interaction between people, friends or other boaters; we spend a lot of time talking to people curious about our boat or our chosen lifestyle. We have always found boaters to be very friendly. You will never be alone in a marina with other boaters present. If you haven’t guessed by now, we love to share with others, so we always enjoy this exchange between people about the different aspects of boating, but when an opportunity presents itself, to escape the world and commune with nature, alone, together, we will always grab onto and cherish the moment.

Kismet beach anchored in Cottonwood Canyon.

We both like the yin and yang of life, the contrast of one thing to another, so when we’ve been actively social and surrounded by good friends and friendly boat mates for long periods of time, we seem to conversely crave opportunities to get away from the commotion to reflect and commune with nature, quietly, together. Another example of this would be when we’ve spent a lot of time docked at marinas; we’ll soon yearn for a well-protected anchorage close to shore for a few days. On the flip side, after a few days away by ourselves, we’ll again crave the companionship of others and the many opportunities for social get-togethers and parties, oftentimes revolving around food. This may not work well for everyone, but it does for us, it reminds us how important, not only our relationship is, but also how we enjoy the simplicity of time away, it’s a chance for balance in our lives. This longing may seem counter to what you might think a couple cooped up on a small boat, day after day, might yearn for, but it takes all kinds, as they say.

The rock wall across the water from us assumed the cool blue hue as the sun set and the night sky took possession of the canyon.

Secondly, we were moved by the golden orange, almost glowing, color of the canyon walls surrounding us, which changed from sunrise to sunset, almost radiating a uniquely, tangible warmth and intensity during the height of the day only changing at dusk to slowly acquire a cool transparent veil. This is so different from what we are used to, I guess you could say we are experiencing another spectrum of boating that is quite different to our east coat adventures which features more shades of green and browns. As they say, and we totally concur, “Viva la difference.”

The moon looked so beautiful coming over the rock formations Jim thought he would try to capture the moment on our iPad.

To further heighten the feeling of being somewhere quite unique, our first night in our cozy cove presented a very spectacular lunar show. We had finished dinner and a quick game of Liverpool on the back deck of the boat where we nicely faced a sheer rock cliff across the stretch of water behind our aft deck. The rock walls surrounding us were starting to take on that cooler hue as the sun slowly set over the western wall; then, much to our surprise, a resounding full moon emerged from behind a dip in the rock formation to the east and threw a whole new cool, but bright, light on our environment. It completely commanded the attention of the canyon and us, the transient boaters snuggly nestled in for the night on Kismet. Rising in a slow arc over another mountainous cliff, whose profile we soon dubbed Martha Washington, (her face pointed upward with a little protruding nose shape on top). I guess we named it after Martha because, like the stately sculptures on Mount Rushmore, she looked presidential, however different, more a natural occurrence, softer, sweeter and more organic.

The moon slowly made its way up between the dip in the rock wall just behind Kismet back deck (that’s Martha on the right). This was just the beginning of a spectacular evening performance.

The moon slowly made its way over the entire Cottonwood Canyon and our chosen campsite for the night. To say we were mesmerized is a complete understatement. We simply could not tear ourselves away from the scene to retire. We spent hours watching the moon make its way over the massive canyon changing the color, vibrancy and character of the rocky cliffs on its trek. I’d have to call it a “moon glow,” it was so bright and the canyon was incredibly still and accepting of the moon’s command performance. The next day, completely blown away from the previous evening’s lunar display, we knew we needed to extend our stay another day; I could have stayed longer, but we still had more to see and do during our short stay on Lake Powell.

Kismet looks so small in this photo taken during Jim’s morning hike up one of the cliff walls.

I watched Jim tentatively climb down this rock face, which is easier to climb up than to descend.

The next morning, Jim decided to take a hike on his own while I cleaned up after breakfast. After a bit I walked out on the cockpit and spotted him, a little speck on the side of a craggy cliff and looking a little tentative about his descent. Apparently, when rock climbing, it looks easier going up than it does coming back down. Jim was moving slowly and cautiously planning his next foothold with each move. We yelled back and forth, I got out the binoculars to see if I could gauge his progress but if it looked bad by eyesight, trust me, it looked even worse through the binoculars. We were both happy when he finally reached the canyon floor and lightly sprinted back to the boat. Later, we both went for a hike on the flat top of some of the lower cliffs that surrounded our boat. Stunning vistas appeared below and around the river bend below us and still no other boats in sight.

This dried up animal feces was about the size of a baseball cap, a little unnerving to say the least.

During these walks, we saw some ominous remnants of wildlife presence that had, at some time, visited the top of the big hill, just above and not far from our campsite. Large, dried up, animal feces spotted the surface. This made us wonder about what type of wildlife we might encounter – up to this point I think we may have been a little naive about this aspect of our trip on Lake Powell. Luckily, we never saw a snake, tarantula, scorpion or spider but we did see several lizards, a few birds and lots of fish. We were surprised with the scarcity of animal sightings but somewhat happy we didn’t chance upon something that may have wanted to join us for dinner on our small boat. Other native inhabitants of the canyons include kangaroo rats, coyote, dessert bighorn sheep, ravens, eagles, hawks, owls, sparrows and this is where canyon wrens sing their unforgettable song. Predators in the area include bobcats, mountain lions and coyotes (black bear are very rare). These mammals avoid humans, but their tracks and scat show their presence in the area.

Another aspect of our two-day stay was something we learned about the rock formations surrounding us. Having time to crawl around the cliffs by our boat, we began to see how fragile the rock formations actually are. While cruising through the canyon passages the walls look solid and rock hard. Near our campsite all stages of porous sandstone erosion were on display, from solid shapes to crumbling rock and finally the fine orange sand that make up the beaches boaters love to camp on.

The water had risen over this old campfire ring located just off Kismet’s port side.

Since Lake Powell fluctuates from season to season (in 2011 it fluctuated 50 feet in depth) we tried to imagine how the campsites must appear at different stages of water levels where the whole contour of the water line must change dramatically when the depth changes. For example, where one year there was a big beach at one spot it might now be higher up a cliff or lower down a gulch in the canyon. An example of this is the campfire we spotted, a ring of stones in the water, next to our boat. It obviously was above the water, at one point in time, when the water pool was lower.

We took many hikes in the morning or late afternoon when the sun was not at its full intensity, we enjoyed the many views from different angles around our campsite. We even caught up on some chores like paying bills and boat maintenance; we ate and played games and relaxed. Cottonwood Canyon was a special, and yes, romantic interlude for us during our Lake Powell adventures. I think I left a little bit of my heart there, I hope I can go back someday soon to retrieve it.

For more information visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Powell