So, I know it's been a million years (+ or - a century) since the last post. Other than the fact that we've been racing at faster than light, there's not much excuse. I am planning on someday (soon) to just post some pictures & highlights on what's been going from April to now (?!). Apologies -- to you and myself -- aside, I did want to put up some pics, a quick slide show, and a handful of bright points from our recent trip to Lake Powell on my parents' boat.
For those of you who don't know where or what Lake Powell is -- LP if you're into super cool lingo -- it spans the Utah & Arizona border north of the Grand Canyon...and is very much like what it would be like if they filled that wonder up with water. It's majestic with 200-500 foot red sandstone cliffs. Countless miles of serpentine canyons. Stars upon stars upon stars at night. A place that I've been going to for most of my life...and if you couldn't tell, a place that is very special to me.
In fact, I remember distinctly walking to the car in the hospital parking lot the day that we were taking E home from the hospital and thinking, I've got a son now. I cannot wait to take him on all the adventures someday. Jeeping in Colorado. Backpacking the Desolation Wilderness. Camping the redwoods. Skiing Taos. Costa Rica -- all of it. Scuba in Monterey. Slot canyoning at Powell...[you get the idea].
Anyhow, on this trip I got to do that slot canyoning with him. Three times we hopped on the zodiac and snaked as far back into a canyon as the water allowed and then took off on our own through the twisting, sunset colored walls. One time, in Anasazi Canyon, Lisa came too and we moved among the cattails (E kept picking the reeds, breaking them, and inspecting 'the structure' -- he might become an engineer :) and searched for tadpoles & polliwogs along the shallow stream. Another time, Papa came, but forgot his shoes and so he couldn't join us on the climb over the floor of Secret Canyon which was covered in river rocks of tans to burgundy. My personal favorite though, was Cathedral Canyon on a tiny off-shoot that's unofficially dubbed Fat Man's Misery (there are parts where, in the past, I've had to squeeze through sideways, with my chest on one wall and back on the other...and the sliver of sky 200 feet overhead). Of course, E and I didn't get that far...when it got too tight for him to fit through with a lifejacket, we turned around. Those memories are more precious than I can put into words. I'm teary-eyed just thinking about it. Now, we just have to get J a couple years older...
Actually, we did try to go with her and the dogs on one. However, sometimes in the very back of those canyons the water can get...ummmm...swamp-y? Bog-like? It's the backwash of rains and so there are a lot of tiny sticks and driftwood that just sort of sit there. Sometimes a dead fish gets caught (or a long time ago, we found a dead bat) and in combination with the dead vegetation and higher heats...well, it has a "distinct odor." Most of the time, the hike on the other side is well worth it. And most the time, it's a short jaunt and you're through it. THIS time, however, we had life-jacketed kids + swimming dogs + it got very, very narrow[single-file] + there was a little climb (ok, little for us...big if you're 3 and trapped in muck and it's your first time) = low probability of success.
Besides eating, sleeping, getting ice/gas/ice cream at the marina, and adventures, there's not a lot of structure to the days. We loved reading the kids their first chapter books, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY and SIDEWAYS STORIES FROM WAYSIDE SCHOOL (again, many memories from way back). The kids were so inspired by WAYSIDE SCHOOL, there was a running joke about dead rats...to the level that they even invented a band they called "Dead Rat Band."
Also, we somehow managed to spill wine every night. Well, technically Nana spilled beet juice getting a salad ready, but it's a pretty good equivalent.
Ok, I could go on and on and on about this trip. It's such a special place because it's so cut off from time. There could be thousands of people on the lake on a given day and with it's size and all the canyons, you see a dozen other people beyond those with you. There's approximately 6 spots on the lake where there's cell coverage...and a few of those are only good for texting or getting email. What it does is that it forces you to just be with the people and landscape around you. To make these memories of 'dead rat head' and Fat Man's Misery. In my life, I've spent 100s of days on those waters and even now, still tan from our last trip, I'm dreaming up our trip next summer.