Happy Place

Hey Kids,

Sitting in the dark, with the wind to my back, and the kayak bobbing up and down in the waves one has time to think.bullfrog sunset

The water was too rough to head out so I tied the boat to the string of large tractor tires that form a wind break around the marina and took advantage of the artificial reef it also created.

Between the fish that fell victim to the jigs I threw out, I watched the full moon rise. It reflection and the lights of the marina flickered across the rippled surface of the water.

My thoughts focused on the beauty of it all. The smell of the lake, the warmth of the air, the coolness of the water, and the pull of the fish. There’s a simplicity to it. There’s a complexity to it. There’s a feeling of being part of it.

That is my happy place.

 

Post 3-162

Filling it.

Hey Kids,

18 feet in 22 days. That’s all I need.

Nearly 10 inches per day from now until the end of the month. Mother nature do me proud.

I entered a contest and that was my prediction. I stated officially that Lake Powell would be 509 feet deep at the dam on July 1st.IMG_0103

I’ve been watching the water flow daily. I’ve watched, experienced, and can witness to the nearly 30 feet of rise so far this spring. But I may have outpaced the run off in my last and final prediction.

It’s currently filling at just over 7 ½”, as of yesterday, which would leave me shy but I’ll hold my ground. I’ll stick to my earlier math. And if my total is right and I am randomly selected against any that may have tied me, I’ll use the winnings of one day’s boat rental with pride.

Yes. I am that type of geek.

Sometimes.

 

Post 3-159

Four-ish Seasons

Hey Kids,

In the valley, it was somewhere around 90°- summertime temperatures. Everyone is already enjoying the heat and some even complaining how hot it is and how quickly summer rushed in upon us.IMG_20170604_145045-1

We visited the mountains this afternoon. At 9,000 ft. elevation, summer is still yet to hit its stride. The hilltops still cling to their collected snow, the leaves struggle to stretch from their buds, and the grasses are nothing but green hue on the ground.

A great advantage to living near a range of mountains as great as the Wasatch, if you miss the start or end of a season, just drive either up or down the steep canyons and relive it all over again.

 

Post 3-155

Fuel

Hey Kids,

3500 was the number I believe I heard. 3500 cyclists. That’s how many riders were to participate in today’s event.

Every year, riders chosen by qualification and lotto converge onto the small town of Lewiston, Utah. Each is there to ride their choice of multiple courses ranging from 27 miles to 100 miles.

There is no race, no trophy, or even a way to judge their performance against any other. They do it just for the fun of it. Some dress up in fun costumes, others are as professional as an Olympic athlete. Actually the only thing they share is that they are all women.PART_1496529003754

I also participated, but not as a rider. Obviously. But instead I volunteered as course marshal. I rode along with the many riders who chose to ride the 100 mile course. I followed along, I blocked traffic, checked on riders pulled off to the side, and played cheerleader- minus the pom-poms. There are worse things than spending all day on my motorcycle, being a watchdog over 3500 women, and enjoying the backroads of the Cache County farm country.

And although I volunteered for this duty to show support for my wife and daughter who were part of the 3500 riders and expected nothing in return- I accepted the $20 of gas money offered.

Gas money is gas money, you know.

 

Post 3-154

A Stately Lake

Hey Kids,

Never ask a local about the Great Salt Lake, because most have never been there. It’s bigger than the state of Delaware, and yet hidden in plain sight.IMG_1175

Unlike the places described by Yogi Berra as “so crowded, nobody goes there any more”, the huge lake occupying a large part of the northwest corner of the state of Utah is an unpopular and unknown destination among Utahans. Most will tell you that it stinks and that there are too many flies. And if you press for directions anyway, even more will have no idea where to access the lake. Surprising to again even more, the lake hosts two of the top 5 visited state parks; the Marina and Antelope Island- visited, just not by locals. We went to the marina today.

The small marina is home to a small community of sailboats who set out onto this Inland Sea and find open waters and little traffic. The occasional motor boat is alone in its class, and kayakers, like we were today, have the lake’s shores and shallows to ourselves.IMG_1163

The slight breeze seemed to sufficiently fill the sails of the three sailboats we watched disappear into the horizon and yet it gave us little to no resistance in our paddling efforts. We stopped only when we found a sandbar emerged from the waters where we could beach our kayaks and get out to let out toes sink into the cool sand and warm water. It was as if we had found our own tidal atoll in the Florida Keys.

Part of me hopes that people learn of and enjoy this little big lake, in view and within 30 minutes from literally millions of people. The other part loves having this little salt water heaven to myself.

And in the lake’s defense, most can’t point out Delaware on a map either.

 

Post 3-148

So Far, So Fast

Hey Kids,

The lake calleth anew.

The weekend has come that we are about to head down to Lake Powell and get our boat training. At one point, this day seemed so far away and despite our numerous trips, I thought it would never come.

And now, the night before we leave, what have I packed? Nearly nothing.

By tomorrow morning, I’ll be rushing around trying to get ready, pushing the clock, and panicking that I’ll forget something.

But I’ll never wish I had more time to get ready.

 

Post 3-124

“What’s on Your Mind?”

OK, this might seem more like a Facebook update than a blog post but here’s the story.

The day started out early, around 4:30. I got up did the morning routine, got me and my bike to the day job, did my full day there, got back home, packed the 4Runner, and got out of Dodge, er, Salt Lake.

Most of my pontificating will be done within the echos and cobwebs of mind as I watch the little dotted lines of the 300 miles of roadway fly past us. I’ll sing a little, cuss at other drivers a little more, and count down the miles as we roll through each town on the way.

In the morning, I’ll wake up floating atop 100′ of liquid happiness, other wise know as Lake Powell.

I love being where I belong.

Post 3-104

Wet and Dry in the West

Hey Kids,

For as long as recent memory serves, the warning sirens have been sounding. It’s a shortage here, water restrictions there, and “one good year does not a drought end” everywhere.

In the western US, water is always a concern; there’s more of us than there is of it. For most of my life, the threat of sudden death (exaggeration) has always been the water forecast it seems. The number of good years are few and far between and the memories faded by endless reports of dead fish, dry swimming pools, and brown lawns.

powell

Stolen from: Friends of Lake Powell

This year is a good year. The reservoirs are full or filling- big Lake Powell has added four feet already; the rivers are flowing to excess, and the snow is still falling in the mountains- nearly two feet of new snow this weekend alone.

There are no reporters talking about new city restrictions, low snow packs, or crops drying in the sun-dried and cracked fields. In fact it seems this year may be one of those years that not only erases a multiple year drought, but postpones the begining of another for a few seasons. My hope is that everyone remains in conservation mode, that we all learned how valuable water is and not to waste it anymore in a year of plenty than in a year of little.

It’s truly a year to savor, void of the water doom and gloom warnings and alarms.

Flooding excluded.

 

Post 3-099

Perfect-er

Hey Kids,

Our last scheduled day at Lake Powell arrived and we spent the day kayaking and biking in this super beautiful day. The sun warmed the blue sky to a perfect temperature and kissed our skin red. If there are limits to the amount of perfect days in one’s life- we just used one.17796511_1412362068824577_7133037606732464184_n

Sitting on the back of the boat, eating sandwiches and enjoying the warmth, dangling out feet in the cool water, and watching the bass swim underneath and the ducks cruise by looking to see if we had any more bread offerings; we both bemoaned how sad it was that we would have to leave today.

And then one said to the other, “what do you have to be back for?”

And the other replied, “nothing specific.”

So the first one gave the look. And the second agreed.

A few phone messages later, both were set for another evening spent on our little floating happiness.

 

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