The road to Lake Powell

Richard Charpentier Arizona, Notes from Rich, Photography 5 Comments


North of Flagstaff a road curves off into an oncoming monsoon.

The disappearing act (a whole two days) is over.  I’ve returned.  A little battered, a little red (more than a little), somewhat dehydrated, and really needing sleep.

Since you’re a smart reader I know you’ve already figured out where I went.  I spent my time on a road near Lake Powell……..

Okay, all cheesey jokes aside, I spent two days at Lake Powell, AZ & UT.  My business partner and his family spend time at Lake Powell each year, and I took two days to go along with them.  They’ll be there for the rest of the week, but I didn’t want to go too long.  Just feeling the trip out.

I will of course return there.  Amazingly beautiful.  However, I’d like to see the lake by Kayak or Canoe.  For those familiar with the place I’m sure you’re laughing at me now.  Choppy water, tons of motor boats, lots of beer on the water, etc.  But I think it’s a doable proposition so long as you stick to a shoreline and take your time.  A place like Powell needs to be taken in a little more slowly than you can on a motor boat.

The whole Lake Powell story will take some time to put together.  For the moment, this update is getting posted to let folks know that I’ve survived the trip, although I’m walking pretty funny.  We’ll get into that later, in another post.


The funny thing about the middle of the road is you're exposed to oncoming traffic both ways.....

The next few days will find me back at the gallery, sorting photos, answering a slew of voice mails (seriously, gone only 2 days), trying to “de-cramp”, and sorting video from the Powell trip.  I’m hoping to have a podcast up this week to give everyone a peek at Lake Powell.  In the “Photographing Arizona” category this place is a must see right up there with the Grand Canyon, Sedona, the Sonoran Desert, Coyote Buttes, and Antelope Canyon.

Speaking of Antelope Canyon….drove right past the entrances to North and South Antelope Canyon.  Given the amazing photos from the canyon I was pretty surprised by the “non-event” parking areas for it.  My mind said, “Really, it’s there?  Hmph!”  That’ll wait for a return trip too!

Before departing, I’ll tell you a few things about the trip.  No big surprises, just the beginning of the excursion.

Lake Powell isn’t a huge distance from Prescott.  As a matter of fact, it’s about a 4 hour drive tops.  That includes side trips to take strange photos of roads and monsoonal clouds building.  4 hours isn’t that long of a ride, especially when you consider what you can see.

The ride reminds me a great deal of the ride to the Connecticut Lakes in New Hampshire.  That’s an old favorite spot that I miss dearly.  The ride time there was about 3.5 hours give or take side trips like the ones mentioned above.

Where Lake Powell and the CT Lakes differ has a lot to do with power boat usage.  The CT Lakes don’t see jet skis, wave runners, or big honking house boats.  They’re large lakes at the northern border of NH, but none of that activity exists there.  You do see canoes, kayaks, and fishing boats.  You see everyone running around with fly rods.  And you don’t see any sets of water skis on the lakes.

With Lake Powell, you can certainly get remote.  You can go on forever, as it’s a huge lake.  But it’s crawling with people.  And the people are in every size and shape of power boat imaginable.  Lake Powell in this way reminds me more of Winnipesaukee, NH.

As I got to look around the lake, the marinas, at the big house boats, etc., I thought of the massive weekend migration to Winnipesaukee that takes place during the summer.  Hundreds and hundreds of boats in tow to the massive lake.  Route 93 clogged up, and then emptying out at the lake.  I think Lake Powell is similar.  However, it’s much longer, full of cool canyons, and plenty of opportunities for a slower form of exploration.

So, there’s a few random thoughts.  Probably don’t even tie together as a coherent blog post…….That’s ok.  I’m operating on little sleep, spent hours driving home, and after looking in a mirror I realize that I didn’t use my SPF 50 often enough…….oh yeah, tenting on hot sand is exhausting.  Just too hot to sleep!

Well, I’m through rambilng.  I’ll post something sensible tomorrow.  😉


The portable home, stars and all

A surreal teaser from Rainbow Bridge

A surreal teaser from Rainbow Bridge

Comments 5

  1. Rich, I spent two weeks on that water in a small boat. It was a great adventure. Towards fall the place will empty out and that for me was the best exploring time and it was at a temp I could handle. That was pre Nathan – over 13 years ago.
    Go back in the Fall.

  2. If you rent a houseboat, you can go into all kinds of nooks and crannies and not see another soul. When I went, we found all kinds of petroglyphs on our various hiking trips. Very cool place.

  3. Holy cow! Rainbow Bridge is now officially on my “To Do”! Good luck getting caught up.

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