I swear, one day I'm going to wrap up this recap of Lake Powell. Today is not that day, but we are at the halfway point here on day three. Unlike the day before, I had multiple alarms set on the worst alarm setting; you know the one that sounds like a fire alarm and basically gives you a heart attack? Yeah. I set that bad boy 4 different times just incase subconscious Whitney tried to sleep through surfing again. She did not, though, and Landon, Shawn and Stacy, and I were in the ski boat before the sun was up. One of the best parts about Lake Powell is that the water is so warm, so even at 6:30 in the morning, it's like getting in a bathtub. I had never tried wake surfing before, and I was eager to give it a try. Great news, people, it's super easy. Landon and I both got up and were surfing on our first tries and we loved it. Landon says he likes it more than wake boarding, which I don't know if I agree with, but I definitely had a blast.
We all took turns surfing for about an hour and a half before we went back to the house boats for a legitimate breakfast of champions. I have dreams about that food, you guys. It was out of this world. After breakfast, we broke out into discussions for a little while before we split up into groups to go on some hikes. There were two options for hikes, one was only 2 mile hike to Rainbow Bridge and the other was 9 mile hike to the Broken Bow arch. We opted for the short hike with all of our friends so we weren't out hiking and missing out on other potential activities. Also, I had never actually seen the Rainbow Bridge in real life before, and I wanted to.
We all piled into the ski boats and went for about an hour boat ride to the docks at the Rainbow Bridge trailhead. The hike was not a strenuous one, it was all paved and didn't have hardly any incline to it, but it was gorgeous. It didn't take us long before we were standing in front of the arch, and I can't tell you how incredible it was. It is massive and it almost doesn't even look real; like you're looking at a giant painting, or something.
Have I mentioned how much fun we had with this group of people? Because we had so much fun.
Once we were done taking a million jumping pictures in front of the arch, we hiked back to the ski boats and drove into a cove down the channel a little ways to stop and enjoy our lunch in some shade. After eating our fill and tossing apples, orange slices, and bags of cookies between boats, a group of us jumped ship and swam to an island in the center of the cove to do some quick cliff jumping. The jump was only about 20 feet or so, nothing too big. The hardest part was actually getting out of the water because the moss was so thick and slippery right at the water's edge. Once at the top, we made a great effort spell out, "HELP!" with our bodies for a shot from the drone. It took more orchestrating that one would think to spell out a four letter word and an exclamation point; most of the focus on how to shape the "E." Shawn and Will ultimately decided to lay butt-to-butt to create the letter, and the rest of us had a good laugh while we watched and listened to them come to that conclusion. Even funnier was that Will's spot was on smooth, even rock, while the rock where Shawn was at was substantially rockier and sharper and we laid there for nearly five minutes. They were the real MVP's, laying there butt-to-butt, I'd say that it was totally worth it, though.
Landon and I were the "H" and clearly this isn't our first rodeo. Well- it might have been Landon's but speaking for myself, I've had many opportunities to form letters using my body.
Despite the perfect execution of our call for help, the neither the National Guard nor the Navy Seals showed up to our aid and the only way down was to jump.
We jumped a few times before we decided we should head back to the houseboats, but not before we stopped at the Dangling Rope Marina to gas up the ski boats and get some rootbeer and orange soda floats. We all sat in the shade with our treats while Will and Ryan fed half a loaf of bread to the fish despite the blatant signs that said not to.
The marina fish at Lake Powell are OUT of control because they know that people will feed them, so they just hang out there and there can be dozens of them will pile on top of each other just to get a crumb of whatever people throw to them. It's disgusting and my worst nightmare, but I also can't look away.
The boat ride back to camp was rough; the winds kicked up and the waves were huge in the channel. We could tell storm clouds were rolling in and we needed to get back as soon as possible. Landon and I were up front with Oswaldo, the rep from Mexico. I was laying down on and leaning against Landon, and every time we hit a big wave my entire body would come off the seats and I would scream with surprise every time. And if it wasn't that, then it was a wave coming over the bow, drenching us, that would make me scream. We were going so fast that I didn't think anyone in the back of the boat could hear the racket I was making, but when we pulled up to camp after an hour, they all were laughing really hard at me. Looking back on it all now, I think they probably were so entertained by it that the driver was trying to make me scream.
We got back just in time before the thunder started rolling and we decided to go inside our boat and watch a movie until dinner. We had spent so much time in the sun the last few days that it was nice to chill inside for an hour and a half. Landon picked Rango, that weird animated movie about the lizard played by Johnny Depp. Landon and I had seen it before I remembered it being a really strange movie, but we were with the right group of people because we laughed and laughed through the entire thing.
After dinner and our evening discussions, we went back to our boat to play Settlers of Catan. This game is famous in Utah Valley and Landon and I had never played it before, so we were excited to give it a try. Much like Horseopoly, it's a long game that you have to devote at least an hour to. Jaime claimed to be undefeated and Will refused to play with her because he says she plays dirty. All was confirmed and she kicked our butts. She only wanted to play one game though and she went to bed after she destroyed us. The rest of us were up for round two, though.
Midway through our second game, we could hear our boat captain, Doug, out on the bow of the boat talking to someone we didn't recognize. We all looked at each other and wondered out loud who he was talking to. The next minute, Doug came inside with a stranger following him into the kitchen where we were playing. This man was wearing waders, a camoflauge coat, a red trucker hat and thick glasses with red frames. His hair was long and he was wearing misfitted dentures that muddled his speech as he begged Doug for food. He had a really bad stutter and he flinched and twitched as he spoke. He told Doug that his cooler had blown away in the storm and he didn't have anything to eat. He begged for cereal or hot dogs, anything we could spare. We were all silent and growing increasingly more uncomfortable every time Doug told him we didn't have food on our boat and that it was all on the big house boat. He offered him a chocolate bar from our snack basket and the man grew frustrated as he said he didn't want candy. Doug opened our refrigerator and showed him the only food we had was a large amount of raw broccoli to go with our dinner the next night. He perked up and moved towards the fridge as he told Doug that he liked broccoli. We continued to glance in each other's directions trying to figure out what to do. Clearly, Doug didn't want to give him the broccoli, but this crazed man seems set on getting it from us. Right as this was happening, Travis, a guy from a different boat came in the door and asked Doug if he had untied our kayaks. The stranger stopped mid sentence and guilt flashed across his face. Doug said he didn't untie them, and Travis said our kayaks had been loosed and were blowing across the lake in the wind. Doug turned to the strange man angrily and asked if he had been the one who untied the kayaks. The man started stammering that he needed a kayak because his chair had blown into the lake and he was trying to get it. Doug started to raise his voice and telling the man that he couldn't just go around taking stranger's things without asking. The man began to get defensive and the tension in the room was tangible. We were all looking at each other nervously, not knowing what to do. The next thing we knew, the man whipped his head in our direction, and he yelled, "What the hell are you looking at me like that for?!" at Shawn. We all froze as he lunged in Shawn's direction, and Shawn looked away from him and said, "I apologize, sir." I was terrified in that moment, I thought he was going to attack Shawn and Landon thought the same thing as he shot up from his chair and slammed his hands on the table and yelled, "Hey, man-" as he was about to jump to Shawn's aid. Right before Landon could say or do anything else, the guy took the dentures out of his mouth (which I thought he was doing so he could fight without breaking them) and started laughing. And then Doug started to laugh and Travis did too as he doubled over. The guy took off the hat and the glasses and we realized it was Sam, one of the guys in our group. Relief flooded over all of us as they continued to laugh as we processed that it was just a joke and that we weren't going to have to fight a crazed man who was trying to steal our kayaks and broccoli. The tension dispersed the room as we all started to laugh, but my laughter turned to stress tears and anxious giggles. All the adrenaline pumping through my body made me shake like a leaf. It was so, so funny to me; I wasn't actually crying, but it was how my body was reacting to the whole situation, which actually made it even funnier. I seriously thought I was going to watch that man hurt Shawn, or that Landon was going to jump across the table and strangle him, which truly would have happened if Sam hadn't taken his (grandpa's) dentures out right when he did.
He played the same prank on every boat in our group. He got all of us so good. At the boat next to ours, he grabbed a chick's purse and ran off the boat only to be tackled to the ground by her husband. Someone has a video of him saying, "Don't punch me! Don't punch me!" as he was struggling to get away! haha Honestly, I haven't been pranked that good in such a long time. He was so committed to his character that nobody questioned him at all. We laughed about it for the rest of the trip and we used the, "I apologize, sir." line as often as we could.
They left and Doug came back inside to assure us that he would never actually let someone like that on our boat. We tried to forget the whole thing as we finished our second game of Settlers, but my hands would not stop shaking from the whole ordeal. I'm telling you guys, he got me good. We finally finished the game and called it a night at 11:30 since we had signed up to go surfing again at 6 am the next morning.
And so concludes day three in Lake Powell.