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

   

Last Dance
By Kismet, Thursday, March 1, 2012

By Jim Favors

Lake Powell is rated right up in the top five places we’ve boated. Like most of our boating adventures our time on Lake Powell seemed to vanish before we realized it, ending much sooner than we wanted it to. As we slowly motored westward and out of the narrower canyons of the lake and back toward Wahweap Marina, I couldn’t help but compare the dwindling time we had left to how Lisa must feel when a night of dancing is coming to an end and the “Last Dance” song is played. We were glad for the experience but also sad to have the time soon coming to an end.

The palisades, shown here in Dungeon Canyon, give a good size perspective compared to our Ranger Tug.

It’s been said that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder and this could not be truer than when talking about Lake Powell. For some folks, Lake Powell is no more then a large body of water surrounded by rocks – lots of rocks, and represents little or no beauty to them. There’s nothing wrong with this sentiment, they’re not right or wrong it’s just born of their personal experience or opinion. At the other extreme you have folks, like the woman from Page, Arizona, who cut my hair just before our trip into the lake. She claimed she came to the Lake Powell area from Seattle, Washington because she loved the beauty of the rock formations, wide-open landscape and seemingly endless supply of sunshine. Whether you fit in one camp or the other, or somewhere in between, our feelings are that to be truly objective one should experience Lake Powell first hand, in order to more accurately evaluate its breathtaking beauty. Maybe this sounds like a Chamber of Commerce pitch, it’s not, we just love this place as evidenced by it being one of our top five cruising destinations.

Another vantage point, this time the view is behind our boat in Dungeon Canyon.

When we left Oak Canyon, our first stop after Cottonwood Canyon, we had three days left on Lake Powell; I had visions of beach anchoring in Mountain Sheep Canyon. My research claimed there were many small coves for beaching our boat. Entering the canyon early in the day, we had anticipated a short cruising day with plenty of time to enjoy the new surroundings. It was a beautiful cruise, with an ever-narrowing gorge and stunning rock formations, but we finally had to give up on spending the night there and exit the canyon. With the 50-foot rise in water level this season the beach anchorage possibilities had dwindled down to only one and we basically watched as a quick, little scout powerboat nabbed it for its houseboat crew waiting just outside the canyon on the main channel.

The tiny spec next to the waters edge is me heading off on a climbing adventure.

Not to be deterred we went to our Plan B, we always feel it is important to have a back up plan when boating. Our Plan B was Dungeon Canyon where we knew they had numerous beach anchorages. We had spotted the sandy beaches when we passed by on day two of our Lake Powell excursion. Having made note of this spot at that time, we altered our day’s cruise to include Dungeon Canyon and once anchored, we were so pleased with the results, we decided to stay for two nights.

Once settled into an anchorage I’m usually ready to get off of the boat so I can stretch my legs and explore the surroundings. Our beach site had an entire open valley to explore but I had my eyes on a small butte that looked like it might be a promising trek. Although you would have thought I’d learned my lesson the first time I ascended a steep cliff, in Cottonwood Canyon, off I went, working my way up the ragged rock formation, never thinking about the trip back down. From waters edge the butte didn’t appear to be that tall, that is until I started to make the climb. I did make it to the top and the views of the Dungeon Canyon, Lake Powell and the Colorado River were well worth the effort. After a few minutes of reflecting on Nature’s beauty I had to face the reality of having to work my way back down the small butte and

back to the boat. Trust me it’s a lot harder going down. Cautiously, I slowly meandered down, trying to retrace my steps by carefully testing each foothold and making sure the rocks I grabbed with my hands were secure and wouldn’t crumble under my grasp.

Binoculars up to my eyes in search of Moki steps.

Lisa pointing out the elusive, prehistoric Moki steps, still useable after all these years.

Making it back to the boat with only a few body scrapes, I felt compelled to continue exploring, in the opposite direction. I stopped by the boat and asked Lisa if she’d like to venture off in search of some reported ancient Moki steps that should be nearby. Moki steps are believed to have been carved into rock canyon walls by the aboriginal people called Anasazi, who inhabited a large area of Lake Powell in prehistoric time. It is surmised the steps were carved in the rock in order to make navigating to the riverbed or up to higher pastures easier.

We struck out, heading south, along the base of the palisades that surround Dungeon Canyon, we’d walk for a while and then we’d look through the binoculars trying to scout out the illusive Moki steps. We must have walked two or three miles, trying the binoculars every few hundred feet to scan the surrounding rock walls when we finally gave up. As we made a u-turn back to the boat, we decided to hike back by way of the shoreline. Working ourselves away from the palisades base, we had to descend over some ridges and rock formations in order to make it to the waters edge and wouldn’t you know it, when we least expected it, the Moki steps made their appearance in a very unexpected spot close to the water, nowhere close to where we had been looking.

When we left Dungeon Canyon after two days, we only had one day remaining on Lake Powell and the reality started to set in that our time in this marvelous paradise was coming to an end; the Last Dance was near. We decided to spend our last day/night where we started our adventure, in Padre Canyon.

This is our Padre Canyon campsite.

Mother Nature couldn’t have made a nicer spot to beach anchor than this, our last stop on Lake Powell.

During our first visit to Padre Canyon, as we were cautiously scanning the shoreline for a spot to try out our beach anchor skills, we had spotted a natural sand beach, with a well-protected slip-sized cove that had the perfect dimensions for one vessel to beach anchor. During our first visit this spot was taken so, we were happy to see it was available when we made our approach. Surrounded on two sides with smooth rock ledges, this pint-sized cove was surrounded on all sides by high canyon walls. We knew this was the perfect place for us to end our Lake Powell experience.

After 10 days on Lake Powell our garbage collection was rather large and odoriferous.

After 10 days of sensory overload our eyes and brains were filled with limestone rock formations, featuring names like Gunsight Butte, Llewellyn and Davis Gulch, Cathedral, Cottonwood, Twilight, Driftwood, Dungeon, Rainbow Bridge Canyons and so many more we found ourselves trying to figure out when we might be able to return. I've often heard you can never quite experience something the way you do the very first time. With that said I’m thinking Lake Powell could be the exception to the rule. With 96 named canyons and 1960 miles of shoreline and the constant changing seasonal water levels, my guess would be that a second cruise would be just as rewarding as our first.

Getting ready to haul our tug from Lake Powell we’ll head east to Chattanooga, Tennessee, to store our boat for a few months while we head home for the holidays, one of the advantages of a trailerable boat.

Lisa and I walked the beach around our anchorage on the morning of our last day and while doing so we verbally reflected on our Lake Powell adventure. The brilliant star littered, moonlit, night sky, magnificent sunsets and corresponding reflective colored light shows off of the canyon rock face along with all of the unique anchoring possibilities brought this cruise right up to the top of our boating experiences. It’s my contention that at the end of our ten day cruise of Lake Powell, when we were having our review in Padre Canyon, that it was just the Last Dance for this trip, we feel certain we’ll be back.

Story End Check out this ramp in the new BoatUS Ramp Locator