Sunday, October 3, 2010

Lake Powell, Day 11. Oak Canyon to Dangling Rope and Back

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our friends Bill and El from Halcyon joined us aboard Daydream for a leisurely breakfast - pancakes with lingonberry jam. Boats began leaving to enjoy the rest of their time on the lake. A few stayed on the beach at Oak Canyon, some left by themselves or another boat, and a group was headed with Chris on Rana Verde to Explorer Canyon on the Escalante River.

Our first year on Lake Powell, 2008, we cruised with Chris, who is the designated "cruise leader," but as Chris says, leading a group of C-brats is like herding cats! Chris will make sure that the group sees all the "must see" sights, such as Cathedral in the Desert, Rainbow Bridge and Defiance House. They will also enjoy Bill's running commentary over the radio from Halcyon on the geology of Lake Powell. Bill is a former professor and the author of The Geology of the Great Basin, a geology text that is still in use. Since we have seen all these sights, twice, we elected not to go with that group. We are having too much fun playing!

We spent the morning fishing from our kayaks, which we just love - they are perfect for Lake Powell, both for paddling up narrow canyon creeks and for fishing. Again, fishing, no catching. Tex somehow manages to catch three fish twice a day, but I am pretty sure I could be standing next to him casting exactly the same lure and still come up dry while he catches fish. Oh, well.

This is Navajo Mountain from the bay at Oak Canyon. Navajo Mountain is where the cell tower lives. Cell phones, iPads, and aircards all come out when we can see the mountain. A sad commentary I think.

We decided to head down the lake to Dangling Rope Marina to top off our water and buy some more beer and a loaf of bread. It is about nine miles, which is a bit over an hour at our usual 7.5 knots.

Dangling Rope Marina is more or less halfway between Wahweap, near Page, Arizona, and Bullfrog Marina, which is about 100 miles up the lake in Utah. It is unusual in that it is a completely floating marina, and is not served by any road - everything comes in by barge, Still, they have a pretty full range of services, including fuel, water, pump out, garbage disposal and a store. The pickings were pretty slim at the store though, since apparently near the end of the season they let stocks run down.

Dangling Rope, we are told, was in a canyon originally named "Dangling Noose," but that did not seem very appropriate to the National Park Service, so they renamed it! We got our water and made our purchases in the store and talked about where to spend the night. Some of the scenery in the main channel was interesting.

On the way down to Dangling Rope, Jim and Marti from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, passed us in C-Idaho.

We thought about a few places but slow cruise speed and our style of anchoring Traveler and rafting Daydream imposes a few limits. There is a nice pool near the end of Oak Canyon creek, so we decided to head back there. There were some folks on the little sandy beach with jet skis waiting for their houseboat to come in, but we were able to get anchored with room for the houseboat to get by.

Naturally we fished. Success! I caught another little small mouth bass casting off the bow! This is an old trick - make a small fish look little bigger by sticking it way out in front! But in general, the fishing is nothing like last year for anybody, anywhere - last year it seemed like there were striper boils everywhere, and the fish were nearly jumping into boats. There are lots of explanations apparently, but it is definitely an off year for fishing. We will keep trying though!

Shaving, as you can see, was not high on my priority list!

We finished off the evening with drinks, a dinner of spaghetti and meat balls followed by a movie on Traveler. I could get used to a Ranger 27 with a flat screen TV! The Ranger Tug has clearly been the "buzz boat" on Lake Powell this year, drawing crowds everywhere. The movie was The Bucket List with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, with ice cream with Ryan's Irish Cream over it for dessert during the movie. Not bad!


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