Most of this trip has been unplanned. We came with an idea of a few places we wanted to make sure we got to, but only a couple of reservations, and nothing set in stone. That way, if something cool struck our fancy, we could easily make a detour and not worry about needing to be somewhere. Lake Powell was one of those detours.
The night before we were planning to head to Capital Reef National Park, I happened to read an article about Lake Powell—a cool oasis in the middle of the desert. Figuring it would be a refreshing change from the hiking and dirt of the past few weeks, we decided to hop over and spend a night there.
Lake Powell is the result of the Glen Canyon dam being built on the Colorado River. After the dam was built, it took 17 years to fill the lake to capacity, meant to provide enough water to 250 million people in places like LA, Phoenix and Las Vegas for 10 years of drought. Because it fills a canyon, it actually has more miles of shoreline than the entire Pacific Coast of the States.
When we got to Lake Powell and saw the deep blue water surrounding mound after mound of rock jutting out from it, we quickly decided to stay two nights instead. Our guide book gave us two options for campgrounds: one on the beach with no set sites or services, known for parties, and one a “posher” RV park, resort and marina. We decided to treat ourselves and stay at the more upscale one.
Shortly after settling in, we took the shuttle bus over to the hotel part of the resort, which the kids quickly declared made them feel like they were rich and famous. We spent hours in the gorgeous pool overlooking the crisp lake dotted with houseboats, yachts, speed boats, and jet skis. We had slushy drinks, we sat on couches in the shade, we chatted with other travelling families, and we get treats from Starbucks. It was a lovely escape, like we’d been transported into a tropical resort in the Caribbean, rather than an RV campground in Utah.
The next day was more of the same, with a boat tour of the lake between the Canyon walls, down narrow passages, and up to the dam. It was gorgeous, and Aiden declared he’d already learned more on this trip than he would have at school.
And after dinner, when the boys were asleep, I finally got the laundry done between sips of wine and sitting around the campfire enjoying the stars.