Tandem, An American Love Story

Lake Powell Again

The last time we crossed Lake Powell was by the dam at Page, Arizona. Here, about 100 straight-line river miles above Page is a different world. Remote is the operative word here in all this high Colorado Plateau country. We asked a grocer in Hanksville about the nearest cash machine. She laughed. One-hundred ten miles was the closest bank, and she wasn’t sure if it had a cash machine or not.

Surrounded by burgundy rimrock, topped with hoodoos, and backed by blue sky, Lake Powell is indeed a lovely place, but I still would prefer the wild Colorado that it flooded. The lake gives way to wild river just a few miles above here, and the lake here is turbid from spring runoff, brown, unlike the turquoise at the dam.

We found a tent site on sand, next to a huge sandstone boulder on a beach area at Hite Marina. There was a fire ring nearby and lots of driftwood. We seldom have a fire, preferring stars and comets, to a small circle of flickering light and sparks. But, with fishermen camped all around us with propane lanterns and generators, we figured we would have a fire, and it was a great one. We heated our tortillas and can of refried beans beside it and had a rare hot meal in camp.

A small wren hoped around our camp, just curious, and ravens are everywhere, hungry as always.

It is warm. We had to drop all the way to 3,700 feet to get warm. It is due to be 68 degrees here tomorrow, but alas, we will be climbing back up to 6,500 feet at Natural Bridges National Monument. Elevation is everything here.

This is a big fishing spot. Most of the fishermen are off the water now. Men stand around boats and generators, hands in pockets, talking earnestly about internal combustion engines and their personalities. I sometimes think the aphrodisiac for the modern American male is not the scent of a woman, but the smell of fossil fuels being burned.

We stayed up way too late playing with our fire and got a late start. We stopped at the small marina store and got to talking to the second in command, a very competent woman of 28. Her husband also works for the company that contracts to operate the marina. They work hard and enjoy their work, but have already laid plans to have enough savings to retire by age 40.

I wonder why we run into so many people that yearn so much for freedom from work as our society defines it? They would probably travel, full time RVers, and work seasonally at recreation sites as they feel the urge. Sounds good to me. I wish them well.


Tandem, An American Love Story — 3 Comments

  1. Thanks for the memories, and the update on your own adventures. That last few days back to Sequim was bitter-sweet after more than a year on the road. We’ve never been the same; a good thing.

  2. What a marvelous and beautifully descriptive article about a simply amazing woman – Karen Landis. I’ve had had the serendipitous experience to create and nurture a friendship with Karen after I underwent a hip replacement and three hip fractures and realized I needed to request the local “Meals on Wheels” service. And of course, if she didn’t have enough on her plate, Karen serves the Chino Valley community two days a week by delivering meals to people in my circumstance.
    I loved Karen the first moment I met her. And when we started chatting I knew I had met a soul mate. I’ve been looking all my life for a role model, a hero, an amazing example of humankind. I don’t know if she realizes what an outstanding example she is of a strong, independent, intelligent, talented woman. Sometimes as women, we have a dentency to undervalue ourselves. But Karen, I want you to know you are the real deal. You are just so beautiful in your authenticity. And I a so appreciative of the value you have added to our environment by caring for the land and the animals under your watchful care. Your abilities and strength simply boggle my mind. And thank you for your loving service to me these past four months. You rock girl!

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