Lake Powell 2014

Roy is usually pretty good at not making me feel stupid, even when I might be -- eh -- over thinking something just a little bit.  And when I began panicking at the thought of having our sweet toddler on a boat surrounded by water this summer, he just smiled and quickly consented to infant survival swimming lessons

So over the summer Camden learned how to swim to the step, and more importantly how to turn onto his back and float with his face out of the water.  He didn't exactly enjoy it, but it gave me peace of mind.  Without it, I would have gone straight up crazy at Lake Powell.



Looks like Roy could have used some lessons too. ^^^  ;-p

But something I didn't consider was just how much my mom and dad adore him.  Nothing so much as a stubbed toe goes unkissed by Grammy, and Papa is more cautious and protective than I ever realized. 



The fact that Roy was able to be there was an awesome surprise.  I thought I'd be doing the single parent thing, but at the last minute the pieces fell into place and he got to take time off work.  Hallelujah!  Plus we had Aunt Kirsten with us - the second mother of the summer.  And really everyone on the boat was happy to keep an eye on our little troublemaker.


The result?  A break from stress - also known as a vacation!



This year was the last Collett senior trip ever!  Zac was the last one to graduate high school, and we celebrated his accomplishments with his friends.  Unfortunately, unforeseeable circumstances prevented his buddies from coming.  But he managed to convince a couple of special girl "friends" to come, which was fun.

And then the McAffees joined us for the last three days of the trip.  Last time Andrea and I were together at this lake we couldn't touch our toes, much less wakeboard.


But this year that wasn't the case!!


Cam loved going out on the speedboat.  Mostly, I suspect, because the rocking was soothing.  Perfect napping conditions.  Roy and I competed for these sweet, sleepy snuggles.



But when Roy or I were out on the wakeboard, he was extremely attentive.  If we let go of the rope, or fell into the water, he would point and yell, "Uh-oh!  Uh-oh!" about a billion times, until the boat returned for us and he was sure that we hadn't sunk to the bottom of the lake.





Deeply concerned one minute…


Content the next.


Getting totally wild with the kneeboard…

Thanks to Andrea, who taught us everything we know

 Me, riding on top of Roy

Roy catching some sick kneeboarding air - haha!!!!

Kirsten had to be taken to see all of the classic Powell sights, of course.  So one day early on in the week Roy, Dad, and I took Kirsten out on the boat.

Hole in the Rock.  Where my great {x3} grandfather passed through the canyons with wagons like a boss.


Dangling rope.  Where we cooled off with ice cream and also shared some bread with a couple of kids to feed to the nasty fish.

And, of course, Rainbow Bridge.  Which I'd been told my entire life was "one of the seven natural wonders of the world" only to have my reality shattered by Kirsten.  Rainbow Bridge is not on any wonders of the world list.  But I'll probably still tell Camden it's one of the seven wonders… 


We've been there a few hundred times, it seems like.  But what I'll always remember about this trip to the bridge is how Dad and I raced to the arc.  It was hot, I immediately formed a blister from my Chacos, but I totally beat him.  I was feeling pretty good about myself.  Until right after we took our picture, and Dad's like, "Okay, race you down!"


He won.  I walked.

For the fourth time, Roy and I celebrated our anniversary on the lake.


We're lucky that every anniversary so far we've been able to spend the whole day together.  Oh, and we always have a delicious, home-cooked meal delivered to our own private deck of the boat, with a perfect view of the sunset.  Doesn't get better than this!



We got to take a kayak trip, just Cam and I.  It was peaceful.  We looked for fish, he pointed out crows and lizards, and we both looked up at the majesty of the cliffs above us.  That boy didn't want to go back to dry land.



I mean, he really didn't.  If his water shoes weren't on, he had an absolute meltdown on those sandy beaches.  Something about sand is still terrifying.


But with his shoes on, he was happy to search for seashells and deposit them in his plastic dump truck.



Having these boys together was beyond adorable.




As adorable as they are, we were stoked to leave them behind with Papa and Grammy to have our own adventures.


Adventure is out there!!!







What I love about exploring canyons is that you never know what you're getting yourself into.  At the start, every canyon looks the same.  It could dead end after a few bends, or it could stretch on and on for miles, branching off into different canyons filled with water or rocks or both.
Our very last canyon was a gem.  Started out looking normal…


Got tighter and tighter...


And then we had to decide: back ourselves out, or brave the unknown.

We opted for the adventurous route.  But the water in this narrow canyons often goes stagnant and disgusting.  So the boys avoided it.




And so we girls are like, "Cool, we got this!"


Ha - nope!  None of us are going out for American Ninja Warrior anytime soon.  BUT we would have done fantastic in Fear Factor.



In case you don't realize how disgusting that is, let me describe it in detail for you.

I slid off the nose of the jet ski and plopped down into the muck, immediately feeling sludge slide into my lifejacket and hearing the girls behind me gag/squeal.  I tried to keep my feet up as high as possible, because it was eerily cold down below.  Decaying wood was everywhere, and trying to stay up on the sides of the canyon was slippery and impossible.  I was forced to paddle through the sludge, trying not to breathe through my nose.  It smelled like dead fish and rotten trees.

But you know why it was worth it?  Because I got to watch Kirsten have a squealing, gagging panic attack.  I never thought I'd see that in my whole life.  I was laughing so hard I couldn't stop the tears.  Or the pee.  Just a little pee.



And the canyon went back forever.







Time was ticking, and we needed to get back to the houseboat.  But the canyon just got more and more incredible as we walked/swam/waded/climbed deeper.  It's incredible to see such a rare beauty of nature, knowing that few others on the planet have ever seen it.

We were debating whether or not we should bother to make it back for dinner, when a little rattlesnake made the decision for us.


Kirsten was leading, and she heard a slight rattle under her stride.  Sure enough, a baby rattler was coiled between a boulder and the canyon wall.  That made us wonder whether we were heading into a nest!  So now that we were all feeling good about heading out of the canyon, the only problem was Kirsten.  Stuck on the other side of the rattler.


Everyone had different suggestions.  Distract the snake with a life jacket?  Throw a rock at it?  {The rock missed.}  And finally the snake decided we were boring and slithered further under the boulder.  Kirsten made a leap of faith, and lived to tell the tale over taco salad.  


You know… after we made it back through the stinky wood water.


We were happy to be back with our sweet, sharing boys.





Popcorn Popping was a huge hit that week



When the sun was up, we were out in it.  When the moon was up, the kids slept and we played Catch Phrase and watched movies.  Roy took to hoarding Oreos, which I discovered in the closet by our bed. I tried cross-stitching but remembered I don't have the patience.  Or the ability to count squares.















Must have more seashells!  Dig, servant!


And I'll leave you with my favorite imagine of the trip…
Roy, Kirsten, and Grammy perfectly planking on the anchor rope.


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