Posts Tagged ‘Lake Powell’

View across Lake Powell from Wahweap Marina. -- Photo by Pat Bean

View across Lake Powell from Wahweap Marina. — Photo by Pat Bean

“The power of the river is to flow wildly. The power of the lake is to think calmly. Wise man both flows like a river and thinks like a lake.” – Mehmet Merat ildan

Then Lake Powell before Dark

            After joining up with Highway 89 in Flagstaff, where I made a quick stop for gas and snacks — Cheetos and a Coke despite my resolution not to eat such road trip fare — I didn’t stop again until Page, where I checked into the Super 8 Motel.

Lone Rock as seen from the beach where I camped my first night in Gypsy Lee. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Lone Rock as seen from the beach where I camped my first night in Gypsy Lee. — Photo by Pat Bean

While the accommodation was definitely economy with no frills, the cost of my room, $150 a night, definitely wasn’t. I had gotten one of the last free rooms available in town when I had called five days earlier. The only room free at the Super 8 — and it was the cheapest of what was still available — had been a three-bed unit. It was a bit of overkill for me and my canine companion Pepper, for whom I paid an additional $10 pet fee. But I was thankful for it when I arrived because the people in the check-in line, both ahead and behind me, were turned away because they had no reservations and there were no vacancies.

This motel, one couple said, was their last hope. Page sits pretty much in the middle of nowhere on its northern edge with the Utah border.  Kanab, if the unlucky travelers were headed west was 75 miles away, and Flagstaff, if they were headed south, was 135 miles away. Little else was located in between.

Page, with only about 8,000 residents, has about 15 hotels – and sees about 3 million tourists annually. The town sprang up in the late 1950s as a housing community for workers and their families during the construction of the nearby Glen Canyon Dam, which backed up the Colorado River to form Lake Powell. The 17-square mile city of Page, land for which was purchased from the Navajo Nation, is perched atop a 4,300-foot mesa, about 600 feet above Lake Powell..

View from a scenic overlook near Wahweap. -- Photob y Pat Bean

View from a scenic overlook near Wahweap. — Photo by Pat Bean

It was still a couple hours before dark after I was checked in, so I decided to check out Lake Powell from the Utah side of the border. You can see the lake from Page, but the better views, I knew, were on the Utah side.

This would be a nostalgic trip back in time for me. I had camped at Lake Powell’s campgrounds several times when I was living in my RV, Gypsy Lee, and toured its lake aboard a boat before that. As an environmental reporter, I had also written about its controversial construction that flooded Glen Canyon, and its environmental impacts on the Colorado River. As in all things, there were two sides to the story. Actually, there were a hundred sides as I now recall.

But this late afternoon was not for thinking, just for seeing – and remembering. And the very best memory of all came when I looked upon Lone Rock. This unimproved beach was where I spent my first night in Gypsy Lee back in April of 2004.  What a great sundown ending to my first day of this road trip. To be continued …

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Blog pick of the Day. Check it out.

Bean Pat: The Open Suitcase http://tinyurl.com/nfg6823 This is a great blog for those of us who can’t afford to visit Europe, And if you don’t live in New York, you can even have fun trying to find Europe in your own backyard.

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Lake Powell, the setting for Nevada Barr's "The Rope," and one of my favorite places. -- Photo by Pat Bean.

Lake Powell, the setting for Nevada Barr’s “The Rope,” and one of my favorite places. — Photo by Pat Bean.

            “Uncertainty and mystery are energies of life. Don’t let them scare you unduly, for they keep boredom at bay and spark creativity.” – R. I. Fitzhenry

“The Rope”

I love Nevada Barr’s books. Not only is she a good writer, but I always learn something new about the places I love, this country’s wild lands  and our national parks.

Lone Rock at Lake Powell: I camped in sight of this rock on a Lake Powell beach the first night of my RV travels back in 20004. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Lone Rock at Lake Powell: I camped in sight of this rock on a Lake Powell beach the first night of my RV travels back in 20004. — Photo by Pat Bean

Her books have taken me from Texas’ Guadalupe Mountains to the South’s Natchez Trace, and from Yosemite’s high country to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty – and lots of other places in between.

But Nevada’s writing has a dark side to it. You can expect, at least somewhere in the book, to find her leading lady  in a deadly place that leaves her body ravished to the near point of death. The scenes fit her fictional character, Anna Pigeon, who is on the opposite side of the planet from Janet Evanovich’s  fun-loving Stephanie Plum.

While Stephanie’s biggest nemesis is a mother who wants her to settle down and get married and a grandma who gets her kicks at funerals, Anna fights against lost love, alcoholism and depression.

I can read Janet’s books in a day, but Nevada’s get stretched out over many days because I have to stop for a while so I won’t get too caught up in the tension.

Take last night for example, when I settled down with an audible version of Nevada’s “The Rope,” a flashback novel that explains Anna’s National Park Service career beginnings. It starts off very dark. And when I put the book down and fell asleep, I also fell into a nightmare – which thankfully I awoke from before it got too scary.

Wahweap Marina at Lake Powell. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Wahweap Marina at Lake Powell. — Photo by Pat Bean

I admonished myself to stop it, then went back to sleep and had a crazy dream in which I was treated royally at a funky party by a gray-haired, but handsome, Arabian man.  It was definitely more inspired by Stephanie than Anna.

This morning, I listened to a bit more of  “The Rope,” because of course I have to know how Anna gets out of her hole – and because I love reading about Lake Powell, the setting for the book. I’ll eventually finish the book, but I doubt I will take it to bed with me again.

My nighttime mystery reading from now on will be cozies, where there’s more mystery than blood. Even Anna, in her thoughts about her seemingly inescapable situation in the opening of “The Rope,” decided she was living a Stephen King novel.

The Wondering-Wanderer's blog pick of the day.

The Wondering-Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Mystery Fanfare http://mysteryreadersinc.blogspot.com/ This is a good blog to follow if you like mystery books.

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“Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and they pass by themselves without wondering.” – Saint Augustine

Don’t Get Stuck in the Sand

Lone Rock at Lake Powell — Photo by Pat Bean

Just down the road from Lake Powell’s Wahweap Campground is Lone Rock, an undeveloped beach where RV-ers who can survive without water and electric hookups can spend the night for only $10, or half that with a Golden Age Passport.

It’s where I stayed my very first night on the road in my RV, Gypsy Lee. I remember the night well, beginning with the gatekeeper’s advice: “Don’t get stuck in the sand.”

I didn’t, but I came close. It was all part of getting acquainted with my new home on wheels.

Hard as I tried, I couldn’t find a clear path down to the water, where I saw half a dozen RVs parked by the edge. I finally gave up about halfway down, and stopped. The two RVs that had been following right behind me, as I zigged and zagged around like a sizzling snake firecracker, stopped, too.

I learned, when my canine companion, Maggie, and I went for a walk that they were two German couples who had rented RVs to tour America. Since I had Utah license plates, they assumed I had known where I was going.

Lake Powell” A blue serpentine lake that lies atop the scenic magic of Glen Canyon. — Photo by Pat Bean

We all had a laugh when I explained that this was my first day on the road in my brand new RV.

The sun went down while Maggie and I were taking our stroll. It turned Lone Rock into a golden treasure and painted an orange path across the reflective water. I drank in the wonders around me before Maggie and I trudged though the sand back to our new home.

Later that night, after Maggie and I had shared some tuna casserole, the first meal I cooked on Gypsy Lee’s three-burner propane stove, I watched the sky light up with a million stars through the vent above my overhead bed.

That night was eight years and 132,000 miles ago.

Maggie did 130,000 of those miles with me. My new companion, Pepper, is now my co-pilot. But nothing much else has changed. I still watch the stars overhead at night, and I’m still humming Dr. Seuss words: “Oh the places we’ll go and the things we’ll see …”

Bean’s Pat: http://naturepicsblog.com/I love this blog. It’s a daily bit of nature to start the day, usually just one photo so you don’t get distracted. Today’s was a single sunflower that had not yet opened. 

*This pat-on-the-back recognition is merely this wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps my readers might, too. June 15, patbean.wordpress.com

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“Bring me men to match my mountains: Bring me men to match my plains: Men with empires in their purpose and new eras in their brains.” – Sam Walter Foss

Looking beyond Lake Powell to Navajo Mountain — Photo by Pat Bean

And What Changes the Men Have Wrought

Environmentalists have long bemoaned the creation of Lake Powell by the Glen Canyon Dam. The lake drowned the canyon and all its magnificence, wonders that sadly I never got to see. It was done in the name of progress, which requires ever available water and energy.

Lake Powell is popular with boaters — Photo by Pat Bean

The brouhaha about whether it was a good or bad decision continues today – an argument in which I’m not going to take sides. My waffling, fence-straddling, journalistic mind knows both sides have legitimate arguments.

My comment today is just to note how the landscape keeps changing, both by Mother Nature and by men. I thought about this when I stopped to read the roadside marker that points out Navajo Mountain across the lake. This mountain figures prominently in the history and legends of the Navajo people and the ancient Anasazis before that.

Navajo Mountain from space with Lake Powell in the background. — Photo courtesy Johnson Space Center.

The coming of white settlers intruded on these lands, and boundaries were established and re-established until today, when the mountain is once again in the hands of the Navajo Nation. All others have to get a permit to hike the remote areas around the mountain.

Climbing the sacred mountain itself is forbidden.

Thinking of the settlement of the west – I know, my brain hops around like it’s besieged by fire ants – made me think of the “men to match my mountains” quote. I thought Irving Stone, who wrote “Men to Match My Mountains (a really great book), was its author. Instead I discovered it was written by Sam Walter Foss, a 19th century Massachusetts librarian and poet.

Who would have thought? It’s not just fun to wander and wonder. It’s educational, too.

Bean’s Pat:: Hoof Beats and Foot Prints http://tinyurl.com/7ykh73n As a horse lover, I’m fascinated by this blog. But I simply enjoyed the message of this one.

 *This pat-on-the-back recognition is merely this wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps my readers might, too. June 13, patbean.wordpress.com

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 “How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof … it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make – leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone – we all dwell in a house of one room – the world with firmament for its roof.” –John Muir

Lake Powell — It was here that I spent my first night in my brand new RV, which I call Gypsy Lee — Photo by Pat Bean

I Chose Lake Powell’s Wahweap Campground

Make reservations or go with the flow?

The campground meets my desire for a scenic place for me and my canine traveling companion to take a pleasant walk. — Photo by Pat Bean

That’s a question often on my mind as my canine traveling companion, Pepper, and I roam the country in Gypsy Lee, our 22-foot home on wheels.

I actually do both.

Knowing I have a place to stay for the night lets me enjoy my dawdling sight-seeing ways without worry. Not having a reservation means I can go as few or as many miles as I want before stopping for the day.

There have been times when I’ve traveled as few as 15 miles before seeing an inviting place to stay and stopped. There have also been times when I’ve driven 400 miles because nothing captured my fancy – or there was nothing. I really hate the latter situation, but it’s happened to me both in Texas and New Mexico, where there are a lot of wide-open spaces with nothing appealing in between.

And Gypsy Lee, left, has a place to park with a view of the lake. — Photo by Pat Bean

What I want in a nightly roosting place is a scenic landscape, a hiking trail and internet access. I know I’ll find the first two at a state or national park, which are my favorite roosts, but the latter is iffy, especially if the campground is much distance from a populated area.

But that’s changed a lot during the eight years since I traded my Ogden, Utah, home for Gypsy Lee. I started my travels using my phone as the modem for internet connection, and often had to drive into town to make a connection. Today, I have my own Verizon hot spot and the times when I have to say “I can’t hear you” are getting fewer and fewer.

And the flowers were a bonus — Photo by Pat Bean

Since it was a weekday, I hadn’t called ahead for campground reservations the day I visited the Grand Canyon on my way to Zion National Park. Nor did I check my Trailer Life Directory for potential places to stay. I knew Lake Powell’s Wahweap Campground lay directly in path. It was the place I stayed my very first night on the road in Gypsy Lee. It had it all.

Bean’s Pat: 10,000 Birds http://tinyurl.com/6ogapq3Go birding in Namibia.  

*This pat-on-the-back recognition is merely this wandering/wondering old broad’s way of bringing attention to a blog I enjoyed – and thought perhaps my readers might, too. June 12, patbean.wordpress.com

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 “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.” Edward Abbey

It wasn't enough to just drive through this red-rock landscape, I had to sometimes get out and touch the ground. Pictured above, my RV, Gypsy Lee, is dwarfed by this giant landscape near where the Colorado River crosses Highway 95. -- Photo by Pat Bean

Travels With Maggie*

I had an amazing scenic drive this day through some of Southern Utah’s most spectacular scenery, the landscape to which Edward Abbey first introduced me to in his irreverent “Monkey Wrench Gang.”

I read it first, then fate offered me an opportunity to explore and write about this awesome landscape when I was an environmental reporter writing about Utah land issues.

I would like to linger over this blog today, fully describing my eye-popping drive from Monticello to Capitol Reef National Park for you. But I’m sure I would get a bit redundant with the awesomes, fantastics and panoramics I would need to use to describe my emotions about the landscape found along Highway 95 and places like White Canyon, Fry Canyon, Dirty Devil River The Glen Canyon Recreation Area, Lake Powell, the Colorado River and Natural Bridges — just for the big starters.

So instead, I’m going to leave you with a few of my favorite Edward Abbey quotes, which I suspect will bore you less than my constant oohing and ahing superlatives.

Red desert rock and snow-covered mountains, the perfect oxymoron. -- Photo by Pat Bean


“May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and about the clouds.”

“I pledge my allegiance to the damned human race, and my everlasting love to the green hills of Earth, and my intimations of glory to the singing stars, to the very end of space and time.”

“The idea of wilderness needs no defense, it only needs defenders.”

“What is the purpose of the giant sequoia tree? The purpose of the giant sequoia tree is to provide shade for the tiny titmouse.

“One final paragraph of advice: Do not burn yourself out. Be as I am-a reluctant enthusiast… a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So get out there and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains. Run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, that lovely, mysterious and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to your body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.”

*Day 10 of the journey, April 28, 2011 

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