Breakfast was incredible. I know I said it in the last post, but I have never eaten that well in my LIFE. Everything was so fresh, flavorful, and so, so healthy. I swear, I had died and gone to foodie heaven. After we ate breakfast, we signed up for some excursions that would be following our morning discussions.
Monday's excursion was a kayak trip up Cathedral Canyon, and beautiful does not begin to describe what we saw that day. We took about a 30 minute ski boat ride out to the canyon and hopped into our kayaks to start on the journey. It was a beautiful, sunshine-y day, but the wind was not going to let us get off that easily. No complaints here, though. I needed the extra burn to make up for all the food I was about to eat.
If you think this is beautiful, then you are right, but you are about to be blown away by what we came to next. The farther we paddled back into the slot canyon, the narrower it got. The walls were tall above our heads and our voices echoed all the way back. It got to the point where we couldn't even use our paddles anymore; we had to put them inside the kayaks and use our hands to maneuver ourselves through the maze of sandstone.
After a couple miles of kayaking, we reached the shore inside the slot canyon and we continued our excursion on foot. This was the most captivating part because the colors were so vibrant it almost felt like the reds and oranges and purples were the glowing coals of a hot fire.
I look at these photos and truly cannot find the words to describe how awe-inspiring this hike was. I didn't have a camera with me because I didn't trust electronics in the kayaks, so I was really able to take in the entire experience without looking at it through a screen. The beauty of this place is indescribable and nearly incomprehensible unless you are there to see it in person.
Once we got back, we ate a big lunch and we were all feeling like we need to chill for a few minutes. Landon went to take a nap and a few of us went up on top of our house boat to sunbathe. It was only a matter of time, though, before we were cooking in the sun and decided that it was time to break in the water slide off the back of the boat. We killed a good amount of time by going down head first, backwards, and trying to land on a floaty in the water before we noticed a party going on off the back of the house boat next door. They were on this contraption that looked like a tricycle built for water. We had to swim over to investigate what this device was. Upon arrival, we learned they were on the Aqua Skipper which we quickly renamed The Awkward Skipper because it was SO AWKWARD to try to operate. The premise was to push off the boat and get a good glide on the water going before you started to bounce up and down on the stand and push the handle bars down every time it popped back up out of the water, this up and down motion would keep the Awkward Skipper afloat and moving forward. The thing was, though, if you didn't keep up the momentum it would sink and you would have to swim it all the way back to the boat because you have to start it outside of the water. It felt like a prototype of some sort; like an idea that had good intentions, but still had a lot of work to do before it was ready for production. It was infuriating and addicting because the motion was so hard to get good at that most of us could only go 10 or 15 feet from the boat before it would sink and we'd throw a rope to each other to pull it back in time and time again.
We were there for probably about an hour and a half before I could get 40 feet from the boat. We decided to call it at that point, because we weren't good enough to keep it going for as long as we wanted, but we were good enough to get far enough away that the rope wouldn't reach us and we would have to swim it back ourselves. And the thing just wasn't that hydrodynamic and it was hard. Like I said, it's a good idea, it has a lot of potential, but it still has a lot of work. Can't say that we didn't have a great time failing over and over on it, though.
Once we had admitted defeat to the Awkward Skipper for the day, we heard people calling for a game of beach volleyball. I was more than excited to play despite the fact that I haven't played volleyball in years. We started playing with four people on each team, and by the time we finished the last game we had eight people on each team. It definitely was out of control, but I can honestly tell you that I have never had a better time playing volleyball in my life. (And not just because my team won every time.) (but also, my team won every time.)
By the time we had worn ourselves out via kayaking, hiking, swimming, skimming, and volleyball-ing, it was time for dinner. I will try and try, but I will never be able to express to you just how (clap) good (clap) the (clap) food (clap) was (clap)! We ate and ate until we thought we were going to die, and then we ate dessert. You think that much food would be enough to put us into a food coma, but you are wrong. All it did was give us sufficient energy to karaoke our hearts out for the rest of the night.
Just like volleyball, it had been years since I was on stage singing karaoke, and boy had I missed it. Landon is not one to do karaoke; in fact, I don't think he has ever done it before. But somehow, someway, Shawn was able to talk him into it. I think it was mostly because he just signed him up without his permission and let the peer pressure from the rest of us do the work. It was genius because it got him up. I had never seen Landon sing karaoke, and according to him, I will never see it again. So I will cherish the memory of him singing Tenacious D's most famed song, "Tribute" until the day I die.
We shut down karaoke night with the entire boat passing the microphone around and air guitaring to Bohemian Rhapsody, which I think is arguably the most bonding experience any group of humans could ever hope to have. We all sat about for another minute or two after the song ended and took in the feelings of friendship and contentment before all agreed we should probably call it. As we all dispersed to our boats, we were told that our boat's generator had gone out and that it was going to be a toasty night indoors without any air conditioning. I seized this opportunity to beg Landon to let us sleep on top of the house boat under the stars. That's how we always did it when I was growing up and he agreed when he saw the excitement I was able to muster up despite being utterly exhausted. We hauled our blankets and pillows up to the deck and got settled on the deck mats that were being disguised as couches. I was able to spot a satellite or two before my eyelids were too heavy to keep open and I drifted off into a deep sleep. But even though I was all but dead that night, my subconscious woke me up at 3 AM so I could look at the stars for a few minutes. Those stars are a glimpse into heaven and I smiled up at the sky before I inevitably slipped back to sleep.
And so concludes Day Two in Lake Powell, and this story is just beginning...