Lake Powell is amazingly beautiful, but it is not docile and you can never take it for granted.
An incredible reservoir on the border of Utah and Arizona, Lake Powell helps manage the water of the Colorado River for much of the southwest.
This summer was our second visit. The first two days were calm, clear skied affairs, with a blistering 110 degree heat in the afternoon and a mellow 85 or 90 overnight.
Our third night in, a storm came up.
At first, it was just lightning dancing joyfully in the distance, illuminating the incredible landscape that had once been Glen Canyon.
But the desert can be deceptive and it wasn’t long before the cooling wind grew surprisingly strong, and shifted so it was hitting our rented houseboat directly on the side, turning the whole thing into a makeshift sail.
I saw the results of the shift before I felt it. Our friends’ houseboat appeared to sail into view, the only thing visible in the absolute dark of a moonless and stormy summer night.
But it was our houseboat that the hot winds had unmoored, and then began a mad rush to get everything back in order.
My wife quickly grabbed the powerboat that was attached to the stern, and piloted it out onto the pitch black lake, where it tossed her to and fro, her only landmark our frantic flashlights on the shore.
We spent an hour getting our behemoth tied up and more firmly grounded, burying the anchor with many hundreds of pounds of rocks.
My fearless wife, who has piloted power boats since she was 12, returned, shaken by the wind, the waves and the enveloping darkness.
The kids slept through the whole thing.
The rest of the trip was uneventful but when it came time to leave we were all more than ready.
We stopped for the night at an America’s Best Value Inn in Green River, Utah, and ordered take out dinner from the Tamarisk Restaurant.
And there, next to the hostess’s station and cash register, among a surprising amount of Utah “The Beehive State” themed memorabilia:
Ellusionist Super Bee playing cards, which are now, for me, forever connected to this excitement filled trip.