Lake Powell April 2004

Diary of Linda, Steve, Helen, Frank, Renee, and my trip to Lake Powell on April 2004

4/12/04 The Lake Powell trip got off to a terrible start as Frank was late 1 hour and 45 minutes. This stressed me out as I am a punctual person. I have instigated a new personal rule; if any one is more than 15 minutes late, I leave without them. The new truck hereafter called the LUGGER performed great going up the steep hills. We arrived in Las Vegas at Sam’s Town Casino RV Park at 5:00 p.m. Had dinner at Fellini’s Italian Restaurant in the Casino. The food and ambiance were excellent. Brought leftover’s home to the trailer.

4/13/04 Got on the road at 8:30 a.m. We camped over night at Otter Creek SP in Utah. It was on a reservoir in the mountains at about 6,000’ elevation and it was a bit brisk (41F.) that night. Linda and I walked Meghan for 1.5 miles before dinner. I cooked Costco bacon- mushroom-Flank steaks, with left over pasta, and a Costco Salad kit for dinner.

4/14/04 Got up at 6:30 a.m. and took Meghan for a 3 mile walk on the Piute ATV 72 trail along the reservoir and Otter Creek. Meggie got her paws muddy, which irritated Linda immensely. It was a beautiful drive into Glenn Canyon Recreation Area. It has beautiful red rock similar to the Moab area with large areas of slick rock. Got a nice RV site with hook ups right next to the desert. Linda and I took Meghan for 2 nice walks in the sand and slick rock. Steve, Helen, and Renee arrived from Las Vegas after 11 hours of driving. They got bad directions from Yahoo on the internet and ended up on the wrong side of the Colorado River causing 2-3 hours of extra driving.

4/15/04 Got up early and drove the trailer to the loading area. Two wheel hand carts were used to haul our gear about 2 city blocks to the houseboat boarding dock. We had to make about 20 trips as most of us did not travel light and we had enough food to feed an army. Linda was very upset that we were not allowed to board before 8:00 a.m. after I had awakened her at a early 6:00 a.m. I played captain and did the training walk through with the house boat rental company.They were very friendly and professional. We were happy with the boat even though it was old and the cheapest one offered for rental. They piloted us outside the harbor to mile marker 93 and I took over the wheel around 9:30 a.m. We traveled about 25 miles at 10 mph to a flat area along the river west at mile marker 68 and tied up for the day. Meggie loved the sandy beach there. Steve, Linda, and I took her for a 3 mile hike up to previous beach areas all the way to a Mesa covered with desert chaparral including blooming pear cactus. The Lake has been suffering a 11 year drought and there are huge areas for hiking that were under water 1 or 2 years ago. Meggie loved running up and down the dry stream beds and washes. Had to remove stickers from her paws a couple times. Weather was clear in low 80’s day and 50’s at night with gusty 5-20 mph winds. Had delicious hamburgers for dinner that night made with beef purchased from Loa, UT.

4/16/04 To Linda, Frank, and Renee’s chagrin I got everybody up early and was steaming south by 7:30 a.m. down the old Colorado River Channel towards Rainbow Bridge. Found the Forbidden Canyon entrance and started in the 4 –5 miles to the Rainbow Bridge courtesy boat dock. We found it OK with the help of Steve’s GPS and were the only boat at the dock when we arrived. There were huge carp and bass fish all around the piers. Linda, Helen, Steve, and I started hiking up the 1.25 mile trek to Rainbow Bridge National Monument. The hike up the canyon was as beautiful as the bridge itself. We took lots of pictures on this crystal clear windless morning. The best way to see this monument is by boat, as hiking in from the nearest road is an overnight back pack trip. We returned to the houseboat and found two other power boaters there. We exited out of Forbidden Canyon and went down stream another 8-9 miles to Dangling Rope Marina to gas up, spending about $200 on gas that cost $2.95 per gallon. We started out of the cove and decided to stay over night in a protected cove that had a sandy beach. Had lunch and then a nice 3 mile hike with Meggie and Steve. After returning to the boat we were all sleeping or resting, when the boat broke loose from one anchor. The boat being pushed by the wind was in danger of running aground on the opposite side of the cove which would have surely destroyed our props. Helen noticed it first and awakened Steve and I. I had trouble getting the engines started, but finally got them going and maneuvered the boat back into shore. Steve and I put a huge pile of rocks on the land based anchors to keep them from breaking loose again. I cooked my favorite dinner on the water this night; Shrimp Scampi, steamed white rice, grilled-egg plant-bell peppers-onions- and bok choy, baked garlic bread.

4/17/04 Slept in longer today. Frank exploded verbally at Helen for making noise in the kitchen before his preferred wake up time. The group dynamics was beginning to settle out now. Mostly Frank and Renee stayed on board playing games, the most popular being Boggle, a word creation game using a 5 x 5 matrix of letters to create 5 letter or more words from any combinations of letters that are touching another letter. Renee was very good at this game. Linda, Helen, and Renee read allot. Stephen and I did most of the hiking, but occasionally Helen and Linda also participated. Every body did necessary chores except Frank who is basically immobile because of his weight and bad knees. Steve and I handled most of the seamanship chores of navigating, anchoring, and mechanical manipulation. Everybody loved Meghan and wanted to keep her happy in any way they could. Every night was spent gambling at Pan or Crates, playing for very moderates amounts which all could afford. I occasionally did not play or quite early because of fatigue or MS numbness. We sailed north to Annies Canyon where we found a nice area with lots of rocks on shore to load the anchor down good. Linda cooked Spaghetti with meat balls and a nice green salad kit from Costco this night. The wind was very strong 25 to 55 mph most the afternoon and during most of the evening until it rained around mid night. I was very nervous all night fearing that the anchor would break loose or that the anchor line would snap from the 55 mph gust. Everyone was instructed to check the anchors every time they got up for bathroom run. To my relief morning produced a boat still at anchorage with very little wind and broken clouds.

4/18/04 Had breakfast and a walk with Meggie before sailing north to Hall’s Creek Bay to a very nice sandy beach anchorage that was quite well protected from the wind. Halls Creek was near by and Meggie got several walks with all of us in this area as it was great for walking. There was little or no wind and this was the best day yet for weather. Dinner this night consisted of; oven baked potatoes, grilled mushrooms, barbecued fillet mignon, and grilled garlic bread. Broccoli was prepared but no one ate it as Linda bought an outdated package from Costco that was inedible.

4/19/04 The Biro’s got up at 6:00 a.m. and took Meggie with them on a 6 mile hike. Meggie came back with a big burr stuck in her chin, which couldn’t be pulled out, so Linda cut it out. Got up 8:00 a.m. and had a nice bacon and eggs breakfast prepared by Helen. We fed the resident Mallard ducks, Carp, and Big Mouth Bass our stale bread. Took few group pictures with houseboat as the back drop before departing. The way out was some what confusing, Steve’s live GPS mapping made it easy however. Arrived at Bullfrog Marina around 1:00 p.m. Arizona time. I called on the marine radio channel 16 and requested that a pilot come out to bring us back into the gas docks. This service was provided at no extra charge. The pilot was very good at handling the boat and it was a great educational experience for me, how he used both motors in opposite directions to position the boat on dock precisely where he wanted it without crunching anything. I realized that I had been trying to bring in the house boats too fast when in close quarters. Total gas & oil cost turned out to be about $400 for approximately 150 miles we sailed. No damage was found on check out; so we got our full $500 deposit back and a $165 promotional gas discount. Our pilot used a wagon and a 4 wheeler ATV to haul all our gear about 2 city blocks up a hill to our vehicles. We were so relieved that we did not have carry the gear up the hill that we over tipped the guy with $40 for the service. Was all checked out and on the road by around 3:00 p.m. Steve’s group headed for 400+ miles to Las Vegas and my group headed for 100 miles to Green River Shady Acres RV Park. Had a wonderful shower, shave, and then went to the famous river rafter’s beer bar and restaurant where we had fantastic hamburgers and the best French fries outside of the Owls Nest in Wisconsin.

4/20/04 Left Green River at 8:00 a.m. and arrived in Las Vegas about 4:00 p.m. driving 400 miles in one day. This is way too long for me. We stayed at the Silverton Casino RV Park. Had a honey mustard salmon dinner at the Casino Sunset Grill which was excellent.Linda had baby back ribs and couldn’t eat them all so, I ate over ½ of them and saved my salmon for lunch the next day.

4/21/04 Woke up today feeling terrible like I had a minor exacerbation of my MS most likely from driving too much the day before. Had an excellent special giant ham steak breakfast, eggs, potatoes, toast, and coffee for $4.75. I caught up on my diary and then Linda and I took Meggie for a 3 mile walk on & off leash, on a Red Rock Canyon trail called First Creek about 10 miles from the casino. Doug and Lana Willingham showed up in the afternoon on their trip to Idaho. They parked right next to us. We had a great time with a few cocktails discussing our travels and future Idaho camping plans. In the evening, we invited Renee Carter to join us for dinner at the Sunset Grill. We had a nice time reminiscing about the houseboat trip and also talking about online bridge.We all gambled ,except Doug, having a fun time at the casino after dinner.

4/22/04 Linda woke up at 5:30 a.m. in the morning and proclaimed loudly that she couldn’t sleep. Frank was snoring loudly keeping her awake. I suggested that we all get up, have breakfast and take off for home. We were sleepily on our way home by 7:00 a.m. reaching home at 1:00 p.m. The LUGGER ( my diesel) performed very well, going up all the hills at 65 mph. It felt great to be home and we got right onto the job of unpacking and cleaning up the 5th wheel.

Last updated on February 6, 2019