Both David and I had been to Lake Powell once, each in our younger years before we met. It is a beautiful place. While we lived on a boat for several years... we have never been lake boat people, or all that that entails as far as water sports. So this was a very new experience to us.
First on the list of preparation: Enlist friends to join us! That was not too hard to do. The scenery of Lake Powell was enticing enough.
Second thing to do: Book a houseboat. We rented a 70 foot houseboat out of Antelope Point Marina. There was plenty of room for the 16 of us. 4 staterooms for adults and small children, and a large flybridge for all the other kids to sleep under the stars (and sprinkling rain). Had a 75 foot been available for our time frame, I may have rented that. It most likely would have been a little nicer. Our boat was okay, but maybe a little tired. The engines for sure needed work. It was terrible to drive. I could not get it to drive straight, so a 3 hour trek to find our anchorage was tiring and frustrating to constantly steer as the boat zig zagged it's way up the lake.
Third thing to prep: Food. I knew I invited the right friends, because we had sooo much food! Next time, I'd bring less. Or encourage the friends to bring less. It was all delicious! But we had enough food for an extra 2 days!
Lake Powell is a 100 mile long lake, with canyons stemming off of it like fingers. It's absolutely gorgeous and we enjoyed our trip there. We left thinking "when can we go back?". We spent 5 days there and easily could have enjoyed another 2 days.
On our way there we dropped our oldest 2 children off at a youth conference at BYU Provo for the week. They did not get to enjoy this slice of heaven with us, and we missed them! However we knew they were having an amazing time on campus at BYU, meeting new friends and growing their spirits.
We arrived in Page Arizona and stopped for dinner and a quick trip to Walmart (for more food of course!). Then we headed to the marina where we were met by the dock service. At Antelope Point dock service shows up to your car to load all your gear, food, toys, everything you brought into a golf cart and trailer. Then they chauffeur you to your boat and unload. If it takes 5 trips, then they do all 5 with you. This was a great service, otherwise the walk to the boat is like a mile.
Once we unpacked and checked out our home for the next 5 days, it was bed time! Since we were plugged in at the dock with the AC cranking we let all the kids sleep inside in the living area. Tomorrow night that would not be the case.
In the morning we did a run through with the boat pilot and went over all the systems. After an hour we were on our way. The pilot steered the boat out of the Marina breakwater and than handed it off to us. David rode back with him to go get the day boat and planned to meet up with us only a few miles up the lake.
However he had a few boat problems that took awhile to fix, so we steered the zig zag boat up the lake to Last Chance Canyon. 3 hours later we were still waiting on the 2 day boats to find us and I was not prepared to anchor the house boat with just me, one other couple, and all the kids on board. If only it was simple to anchor in Lake Powell. This process requires you to beach the front of the boat and then use 4 anchors (2 from the bow, 2 from the stern) to secure the boat to shore. You can either tie your ropes to rocks as anchors. Or dig a hole and drop your anchor in and bury it. This is a lot of work!
So we stopped at the mouth of a small canyon off Last Chance to wait for the others to show up. With no current, and hardly any wind, we just floated in the same place. The kids had been begging to "arrive" and get out and swim. So I agreed they could get in the water as long as they stayed close to the boat, and listened if we needed to get out of the water immediately. They had sooo much fun on the slide and cooling off in the water!
Finally the others arrived. David had rented a day boat, and so had the Gardners. Once they found us just floating in Last Chance, they took off to check out where we should anchor the house boat. They decided the next small canyon up Last Chance had a great open spot to anchor, so we slowly followed them and in 15 minutes pulled into our awesome cove. There was a slight breeze that made beaching the boat straight in a little tricky. And the engines were wimpy. David had hopped on board, to help with this. I tried to warn him how terribly the boat drove, but really you have to just experience that for yourself.
We eventually got the boat beached and hopped off to run anchor lines and start that process. Once we were secure enough and the engines off, we tied up the day boats alongside and further secured the house boat to shore. Parker worked his tail off, and then when the anchoring was done, he worked on blowing up all the play toys for the kids. Rock star teenager.
The water was absolutely perfect! Clear, clean, and 82+ degrees! And the fact that it was fresh water instead of salt was the cherry on top! The kids spent everyday swimming, kayaking, SUPping. And then there were the day boats. The kids learned to knee board; the adults learned to surf. We all had fun on the tubes. We checked out a few narrow canyons, and even hiked to Rainbow Bridge. It was a fabulous week and we are looking forward to going back!