When Houseboating Agents Visit Lake Powell

Author
Heather
Category
Destinations, How To, Things to Do, Tricks of the Trade

When Houseboating Agents Visit Lake Powell

Working in the houseboating industry has its perks. When our team was invited to experience a team houseboat trip first hand, we jumped at the chance to travel together. So we picked a date in late September when the air temperature had cooled off but the water temperature would still be nice and warm.

In the weeks leading up to our trip, we had collectively decided on a meal plan, and sent one person to the grocery store for all of the ingredients. Each person pitched in their share of the grocery bill, and brought snacks to share amongst the group. We also prepped some of the food like the taco meat for our taco salads ahead of time so all we had to do was warm it up. Pro tip: freeze the prepped food flat so it doubles as ice in the cooler for the drive. We also divvied responsibilities on a sign-up sheet we kept on the fridge door, where we signed up for cooking and clean up tasks for each meal. 

Finally the day came, and with a truck bed full of our belongings, two stand up paddle boards and more food than we could eat in a week, 6 girls set off on a 7 hour drive from our office in Salt Lake to Wahweap Marina in Page, AZ. 

We finally arrived at the marina at about 11 in the evening after first stopping for dinner in Page at Fiesta Mexicana and grabbing last minute essentials (bottled water, milk, eggs, etc) in town. The boat rental office left a note on the door for houseboat renters arriving after office hours, which told us the houseboat number and where to find our 62' Journey on the dock.

It took 6 girls several trips with overloaded wheeled bins to unload everything from the truck onto our houseboat. And finally, after an exhausting day of travel, we slept on the houseboat in the marina that night.

We awoke to a beautiful sunrise at the marina, and got an early start to the day. After breakfast, we all headed to the boat rental office to sign the passenger manifest and rental agreement. Since we were already loaded and ready, a member of the marina staff met us on our houseboat to go over instructions on how to operate everything from running the generator to flushing the toilet. We were shown our powerboat and were instructed on its operations as well. A couple of us drove the powerboat out of the marina to the water break to wait for the houseboat, and the rest of us on the houseboat were piloted out of the marina by a staff member, then we took over driving it on open water.

In the houseboat, we followed the others in the powerboat who were driving up ahead to scope out possible places to moor, all the while communicating via radio on a channel previously decided upon. After driving about 2 hours, we ended up at Kane Creek Canyon off of Padre Bay on a long stretch of sandy beach to call home for the next few days. We pulled up to the shoreline and buried the land anchors connected to the houseboat to secure it to the shore. All of us immediately got into the water, by way of the slide off the back of the houseboat. We brought floating devices to hang out on, while others jumped onto the paddle boards to explore our little canyon.

The next day after breakfast, a few of us packed a lunch and boarded the powerboat to make a day trip to one of the most popular sightseeing opportunities on Lake Powell -Rainbow Natural Bridge. A 27 mile/1 and a half hour's powerboat ride took us up the main channel of the lake and off into the long and winding Forbidden Canyon.. At the end of the canyon was a small dock for small motor crafts (powerboats/jet skis). We realized taking a houseboat through the winding canyon would be problematic enough, but to tie up at the dock would be ill advised.

Up to the trailhead we went, and an easy mile walk (part of it paved) took us to the Rainbow Bridge National Monument**. We stood in awe as close to the arch as we could, our necks craned upward. And there we sat on the edge of the crevace in the shade of the arch and ate our lunch, basking in the natural beauty. We met a friendly chipmunk who politely asked to share our lunch, which we obliged with some crumbs.

**2022 access to Rainbow Bridge is limited due to lower water levels. Please be advised that access to the trail will likely require going through mud, sand/water before reaching the established trail.

We got back to the houseboat and took turns going off the slide and swimming until dinner, then enjoyed the sunset from the hot tub on the top deck. While we were gone, the other girls dug an impressive campfire pit where we assembled smores and talked until way past our bedtime.

It was already time to head back to the marina the next day, so we had breakfast and got our last swimming and relaxing time in until we had to go. We had a little trouble getting un-wedged from the beach, but had luck after moving the wheel all the way from side to side while in reverse, thus "wriggling" off the beach. In retrospect, we realized we forgot to move the houseboat back a little bit every day to accommodate the receding shoreline. Alternatively, if you visit in the springtime, be sure to move the houseboat forward a bit each day with the rising waterline. Be sure to keep an eye on the lines off of your houseboat throughout your trip to make sure they haven't shifted or loosened.

On the way back to the marina, we cleaned and packed, an enjoyed the extra time on the water before we had to head home...and back to work the next day with renewed enthusiasm to help our clients plan their own trips. :)

 

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