"Okay, hit it!"

“Okay, hit it!”

Katrina’s co-workers didn’t believe we had done it. She had to bring a picture to prove it, and even that looked unreal. Katrina was the reason we started going to Wahweap. Other summers we went to Bullfrog. Kyle got a job working with the park owners so a trip to Lake Powell now provided recreation and a visit with family. She worked at the dam giving tours, and seemed to enjoy it. Many she worked with had been there for some time and had never seen or heard of anyone doing what we did.

The initial idea came on Sunday. That day was not for playing on the lake. We never doubted Dad’s conviction it was important to him and we knew it. After attending church we drove to the dam and admired the feat. He had spent much time around construction and could appreciate the challenge of creating such a large structure. He was doubly appreciative because he had created many memories with his family on the water it held back.

After enjoying the dam Katrina brought us to a lookout over the river, “Horseshoe Bend”. Standing atop a sheer cliff we looked down to the river below. It had carved its way deep into the earth over the years leaving behind the mark of its power. Here however the ground proved to be stronger. The water was forced to go around and eventually found its way back to its original course. This left a massive impression that now resembled a horseshoe.
We were curious about the river and had more time to explore so we traveled further down for a look at the waters edge. We ended up at a small launch ramp. There was a tour company who used it to take groups up the river to see the dam. The fisherman also put into the river here and headed up to angle. We enjoyed the sights and then made an end of our sightseeing in exchange for playing cards at Katrina’s home. Dad was always up for a game of Rook.

Monday morning provided some good waterskiing. We had to wake early and get on the water for dad. He was always searching for the “glass”. The first few runs were pretty good, till the crowds came. The wind was also picking up so we decided it was time to head in. The boat needed gas so we trailered it, ate breakfast and headed for town; the gas on the water was much more than in town.

As we crossed the bridge near the dam we could see the water on the lake was getting worse and knew we had made a good decision. Andrew drew our attention to the water on the river; it was sheltered from the wind by the canyon and was smooth as “glass”. I thought nothing more of it but the idea must have intrigued Dad. After fueling the boat we headed not for home but for the ramp we saw on Sunday. If the tour and fishing boats could launch and travel the river then surely our small ski boat could.

The water in the river came from the bottom of the lake and was not to be associated with the warm water found at Lake Powell. We later learned that it was not over 50 degrees. But it was smooth and the river was exciting. I don’t recall who went first, probably Andrew. Alex who didn’t have a wet suit was surely the coldest. We took our turns and learned that if we were ready with rope in hand we could holler for the boat to go before we were in the water.
Finally it was Dad’s turn, it was after all his idea to be in the river and he was excited to get his ski on the water. Andrew climbed into the drivers’ seat as dad lowered himself into the water. Alex and I laughed as dad made that familiar shiver similar to a horses neigh. He waited for the rope to tighten then hollered those familiar words, “Okay, Hit it!”

He had tinkered with his old ski boat for years and it now pulled him out of the water with ease. He was up. We watched with smiles on our faces as we listened to the soft splashing as he cut back and forth across the wake. We passed fishermen with curious looks on their faces. The tour boats came from the other direction; they too seemed surprised to see us rounding the corner with Dad on the rope behind us.

As we neared the dam and turned around a smile stole across Dads face. Perhaps the smile came from enjoying the beauty of the river,the water and the dam. Maybe it was because he knew he would have to get back in the cold water eventually; he stayed up as long as he could to avoid that. He could have been thinking about the looks of the people on the tour boat as they passed a 50 plus year old man skiing on the river as their guide explained that was the first time he had ever seen such a thing. Maybe he was thinking of telling mom about our crazy adventure. Probably he was remembering how much he enjoyed being with family doing the things he loved.


Melissa said...

chapter one sounds fantastic! can't wait for more.

Hatch Family said...

great post. thanks

Mel said...

What an adventure!

colleen said...

I enjoyed reading about this adventure. There were many times over the years that I missed out on your outings, but this is one that I am glad I did not miss. I don't know how I got talked into climbing into that boat again after I was drenched on Utah Lake, but I did go and was seated next to this crazy guy-except for the time he was in the water--. It was an experience I am glad I did not miss!

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