Goochy Goo Lake Powell May01

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Goochy Goo Lake Powell

The morning we left Monument Valley we were in a bit of a rush. Outside the wind had lessened a little, but it was snowing and Ali and I do NOT like to drive in snow. The joke we share with each other is that we’re like that cute kitten who’s getting it’s belly tickled by 2 big hands and then the person stops suddenly, says boo and the kitten throws it’s hands in the air in panic. Ali and I are the kitten getting tickled, Mother Nature is saying goochy goochy goo, we’re happy and everything’s fun, then she says “SNOW!” and we panic.

So we got dressed, made coffee, skipped breakfast and got right to the tear-down tasks which luckily didn’t include loading the scooter that morning since we’d done it the night before. I thanked us for that small moment of brilliance many times as I blew on my frozen hands in between poop tube holding, hose winding, and stabilizer cranking.

We were in the rig, headed west and sipping on our second cup of coffee by 9am. One of the roads we needed to travel to get to Lake Powell was a two-lane rough and tumble thing that took us through a couple small towns and then into a stretch where there were no services for many miles. I was very nervous for a while, the worst-case-scenario side of my brain was trying to muscle in once again, but even though the snow was sticking to the sides of the road, it was melting and turning to slush on the pavement. Phew. Panic retreated gradually, wide eyes returned to a normal state of open, and blood found it’s way back into my veins diluting the adrenaline, with the exception of my hands. They kept their firm and bloodless grip on the steering wheel as if to say to the rest of my body, “No, no, it’s cool. Y’all relax now, we got this.”

Church Rock in the snow storm

Church Rock in the snow storm

The isolated snowy road

The isolated snowy road

Soon enough we turned onto beautiful AZ-98, the clouds cleared and the sun shone while it kept snowing for a few miles. We looked for a Mamma Rainbow, but since we were driving toward the sunny weather, the rainbow was probably behind us and anyone who’s driven an RV knows you don’t really get to see behind you so much. It took us nearly 4 hours to get from Monument Valley to the Wahweap RV Park which was right on Lake Powell inside the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.

The view from our camp site

The view from our camp site

Boats on the lake

Boats on the lake

Our beach, 15 minute walk from our camp site

Our beach, 15 minute walk from our camp site

A view from Page, AZ

A view from a hill in Page, AZ

Because we left so early that morning, running from the snow, we arrived at Wahweap with plenty of time to get the rig set up and head back out that afternoon to visit the Glen Canyon Dam which we had crossed on the way in, and do a major grocery run. Oh Safeway, we missed you. The Navajo market had been the only store available to us for the past 3 days and it was short on a few items (like all vegetables except corn and iceberg lettuce and booze) and since we planned to spend 6 days (7 nights) at Lake Powell, we were going to stock up.

Road bridge allows traffic to cross the river

Road bridge allows traffic to cross the river

Steel into rock

Steel into rock

No railings, no trail really, just beautiful rock leading down to the edge

No railings, no trail really, just beautiful rock leading down to the edge for a view of the dam

Going around the bend

Going around the bend

2nd tallest dam - 710 feet

2nd tallest dam in the US – 710 feet

First we toured the Visitors Center and watched 2.2 of the 3 movies on the history and construction of the Dam (by the 3rd movie so much of the info was being repeated, we were quoting it out loud during the show like Rocky Horror fans – we were the only people in the theater). We walked across the bridge and then hiked out to an overlook a mile down river for a different view of the dam. It was (is) a stunning feat of engineering and beautiful in its power.

Then onward to Safeway!

All stocked up for the week

All stocked up for the week

Winter biking

Winter biking, still smiling

Not quite the Lake weather we were hoping for

Not quite the Lake weather we were hoping for

The afternoon turned grey and chilly, but not chilly enough to keep us from a bike ride around the park. After dinner that evening we got out all the travel books, the maps and brochures from the park ranger and the laptop and set about making our Lake Powell plan for the week. A tour of Antelope Canyon was already booked for a couple days from then (next blog post), we also scouted out several hikes, one to the Toadstool Hoodoos of Paria and another to Horseshoe Bend (2 for one in the next, next blog post) and we hoped in our hearts for warm sun and the potential to be on or in the lake somehow – we were staying optimistically open at that point.

Happiness on a hike to Hanging Gardens

Happiness on a hike to Hanging Gardens

A friend of mine shared a quote from John Lennon on Facebook that I just read while working on this post. John said, “When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy’. They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.” The post went on to say that we can only define success in relation to what is happening, and the only thing that is happening is the present moment. If right now is all that there is, what could be more successful than being happy?

Throughout our lives, Ali and I have measured and judged our success in many different ways and we came up short far too often, not always, but often. What is so clear to me now, is that the problem was not so much in us as human beings, but in the rulers we were using. Stupid rulers! We get it now!

We’re still working on letting go of old expectations and some strange pockets of guilt, there are still a few of the stupid rulers we need to let go of, but we’re gettin’ damn good at happy. SUCCESS!