One of the most beautiful things about my life is the freedom I have to travel when I feel like it, and not even have to worry about taking vacation days. I mean, it’s not like I don’t have to deal with logistical details and financial budgets, but it’s the fact that I can go whenever I want without asking anyone’s permission or coordinating with other people’s schedules. And if necessary, I can take my work with me. It’s a wonderful thing.
Now I know a lot of you are buried under snow right now, so I thought I’d share some photos of where I was not too long ago: Lake Powell.
More on this in a minute.
Because before we got to Lake Powell, it wasn’t all roses and sunshine. My happy band of gypsies left on a Friday night from the mountains of central Arizona, and then cruised up to… wait for it… Mormon Lake.
The location we stayed at was described on their website as thus:
The quaint Mountain ambiance of this remote 300-acre retreat is the perfect backdrop for an intimate gathering of family and friends.Mormon Lake Lodge
Sounds lovely right? This is what we saw when we first got there:
There were two parties in our group: myself and my wolf pack and my friends with their trailer. We all praised the powers that be that we got to park near each other:
We spent one glorious night in this bastion of privatized camping beauty, before taking off at the speed of light first thing in the morning. But not before quickly pausing to capture the essence of the place that we certainly did not take one moment to experience:
After a short stop in Flagstaff to drop off a body, we traveled the last few hours to get to our REAL campsite, at Lake Powell:
This place is really beautiful, and I highly recommend it: Wahweap Marina and Campground. Absolutely spectacular, and only $350 for full hookups for seven nights. Fantastic! Believe it or not, we paid more than that for the environmental wonder that was Mormon Lake.
We arrived on a Saturday, quickly threw down our RVs, and hightailed it to the beach. We took both our vehicles, however…. almost only one made it back.
You see, at Lake Powell, they have this stuff called sand. And it can be really, really soft. They have signs ALL over the place warning people not to drive on it if you don’t have four-wheel drive, which both of our vehicles did have… just some better than others. 😉
So we whizzed ourselves over the beach to find the perfect spot, which we didn’t, but that wasn’t a problem. We were just so happy to be there. Being a Saturday, the place was crowded, but we knew that wouldn’t last beyond Sunday afternoon, so we took our lumps for getting there later in the day than we might have liked.
Turned out to be quite entertaining.
There is nothing quite like watching people ignore warnings, get their Saturn sedans stuck in the sand, get out to look in utter astonishment that they are, in fact, stuck, and then do everything in their power to make it worse. More sand has found itself airborne at the force of spinning wheels than any dust storm could ever even attempt.
My only shame is that I completely forgot to take pictures. I was so spellbound that the thought simply escaped me. Go ahead, let me feel your censure. 🙁
Actually, that’s not my only shame: I myself got stuck. Argh! Maybe that’s why I didn’t take pictures. 😉
It was a hot day, there was beer involved…. and no attention was being paid. Unfortunately, being able to get to the beach will give a person a false sense of confidence. Getting back is a whole other story.
By the time we were ready to make our move, tents had popped up around us, there was little room to maneuver, and by some amazing act of amazingness, my truck seemed to have sunk further into the beach than it had at first appeared. When it came time to start rolling, I found I wasn’t getting very far. And, so I did what everyone else was doing with zero success: I spun my wheels.
Fortunately, I didn’t do it for very long, since my friend’s husband started yelling at me and calling me a giant hypocrite. That’s a great deterrent. Thanks Jay! I fell silent in remorse. Poor Gorgeous. She was really doing her best. I just was giving her absolutely no useful help at all.
So out came the ropes, the tie downs, the Dodge Rams, and the testosterone. Men can be so awesome sometimes! One bright star educated us on the bewildering fact that if you significantly let the air out of your tires, you get more traction on sand. We did not know this. So rampant hissing followed, as we reduced my tire pressure to ten pounds per wheel.
I admit, I was a little nervous. I mean, I might have been stuck in the sand, but at least the wheels were still operating at attention.
After a few spectacularly snapped tie-downs (evidence still lurks on the axle), and a bit of a scare when the transmission light blinked, we were free from the sandy ditch. A couple of near-misses from plowing down some wayward tents, and Gorgeous was on her way.
Never to return to the beach again. I don’t think she minded.
She certainly has earned her badges this year. Maybe a few medals too. 😉
The rest of the week flew by in a collage of beer cans, steaks grilled on the Weber (um… yes…. Jay brought his own… for which we were eternally grateful!)…
… arguments over the merits of country vs. 80s music (country won by one vote, but 80s will always ROOL), and lazy days on floaties. It was a good time.
Even George thought so.
And that’s it for today! I hope all of you on the east coast are enjoying sledding to work. 😉 I’ll leave you with this to brighten your days.
Until next time!