Lake Powell Adventure 2006 – Intro

Synopsis: Preliminary and random thoughts, and travel to Utah.

Journey to Utah

Erin and I flew from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City, arriving around 11:00 AM local time.


My GPS worked well in the airplane so long as I gave it good view out the window.

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Somewhere over Wyoming.

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In Salt Lake, we rented a car (surprisingly straightforward and easy). The car rental folks put Erin as a second driver for free even though we weren’t married.

We went shopping for food and supplies and then headed south. We drove through Price and Hanksville and arrived at Bullfrog (ribbit) complex after dark. It was a little baffling: the location that my dad had given us (Family Trailers?) didn’t appear on signs anywhere, and the gas station we were supposed to ask at was closed.

We pulled into a parking lot to think, and a security dude in a minivan emerged out of the darkness. He was very helpful: it turned out that we were just around the corner from the trailers.

We proceeded along and as we turned the corner our headlights lit up Melissa and Petey. It turned out we were just in time for spaghetti. Score!

Cast of Characters

  • Reid— me
  • Erin— my sweetie
  • Bill P.— my dad and fearless leader
  • Melissa— my wicked stepmother
  • Petey— my little brother and the motorboat’s first mate
  • Kathleen— comic relief
  • Ginger— Thanksgiving cook extraordinaire
  • Karl— Ginger’s wacky New Zealander of a husband
  • Gracia— our resident Reiki healer
  • Don— fearless captain and Gracia’s sweetie
  • Martin— young whippersnapper
  • Bill K.— first mate and captain of the motorboat



Map of our adventure including all of Lake Powell. The dark line coming in from the north is our drive down Highway 276.

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Overview of our adventure. Colored lines are boating (each day is a different color), and black is hiking.

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Thoughts on Lake Powell

To be honest, using the lake for anything at all felt a little dirty. I believe firmly that it is a scourge against humanity: what was there before (a wild Glen Canyon) was far more valuable than what we have now (a modest amount of hydropower/irrigation, vast quantities of water wasted due to seepage and evaporation, and a playplace for obnoxious motorized “sport”).

I must admit that Lake Powell is quite scenic when it is full and/or if you don’t look too closely. However, it’s not full very often (it was designed based on erroneous riverflow assumptions) and the interface between lake and dry land isn’t particularly pleasant to be in. The open areas are sterile and populated by tamarisk, and the side canyons tend to be crammed with odoriferous muck and masses of driftwood, making it difficult or impossible to access what is beyond.

Glen Canyon Institute is an organization which advocates for draining Lake Powell. I agree with their position.

That said, while I won’t shed too many tears when the houseboat concessionaires go bankrupt due to lack of water, I did have fun and I would probably do it again.

Please continue reading on Day 1.

Copyright © 1999-2013 Reid Priedhorsky. Last modified: 2010-01-24 17:25 CST. Disclaimer.