We left for Lake Powell Wednesday around lunchtime. Zach got off work early and we got my car all loaded up an were on the road just after noon. 30 minutes into our drive Sloan passed out. I’m grateful she got a nap in, because we had a 6+ hour drive ahead of us. We only stopped TWICE, which will go down in the record books as the most efficient drive to LP…ever. We made it to Antelope Point just as the sun was about to go down. We managed to flag a cart and get all our stuff loaded on our houseboat in less than 30 minutes! We unloaded all of our gear and got Sloan ready for bed in our room. At the genius suggestion of my friend Lindsey, we brought an inflatable sleeping bag/mattress for Sloan to sleep on (the pack n play was too large to fit next to our bed in our room). It worked like a charm and she was down for bed before the other two families joined us on our boat.
We unloaded the rest of the food and all of our coolers while the sun was setting. Sunsets at Lake Powell are incredible.
Everyone soon arrived (8 families total) and we all settled in for the night at the marina.
The next morning the two houseboats, along with Zach’s brother Tony’s boat with his family, made our way to Face Canyon to our camp site where Mark and Jeanene were waiting for us.
It was nearly a 3 hour ride to Face Canyon – but Sloan was completely entertained being in a new environment. When we arrived all the men worked on getting the houseboats anchored. Not long after Zach decided use one of the jet skis to teach Sloan how to ski. He was the driver, I was on the back – ready to jump in when she inevitably would fall. I’ll admit: I was a nervous wreck. The handle bar Zach had made using PVC pipe seemed to keep Sloan really sturdy, so that eased my worries a bit. I used our GoPro to film her first attempt. Her uncle Sean sat in the water with her until it was go time, and with no trouble at all she popped right up on top of the water.
She wouldn’t stop smiling, and it was apparent how much she loved it. I screamed obnoxiously the entire ride. I still can’t get over how well she did. My biggest concern was her falling, and she didn’t even flinch. When we had made a few laps around our little cove we whipped her back around to the beach and her uncle Sean was right there to catch her.
Her cousins were pumped for her and everyone wanted to take a turn! So afterwards her cousin Jake took a spin. He did great, but upon falling into the water took the PVC handle bar with him. It sunk to the bottom of the lake – and if you’ve even been to Lake Powell you know how unpredictable it can be in terms of depth. It was down and it was deep. I was disappointed. I knew she wouldn’t be able to ski anymore. Zach convinced me to let her try it with just the rope handle bar that came with the ski. I was even more nervous the second time around, especially without the “sturdy” handlebar. Well wouldn’t you know it…she got right up again, without that stupid PVC handlebar.
I think this whole experience made me realize that I am a wuss parent. I always worry so much that I find myself holding her back from things like this. I’ve decided that I’m going to be the safety manager in this parenting partnership, but not keep her from doing things that she is completely capable of doing. She is a thrill seeker, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Except pray REALLY hard that she stays safe and that I keep a life jacket/pads/helmet on her and whatever else it takes.
The rest of our first day was spent swimming, eating, and being together with all of Zach’s family. The kids used all the cheese flavored snacks to catch fish – and they were nothing but successful!
After dinner we bathed Sloan in the lake for her first time. I’ve dreamt for a long time of the days when I could snuggle my own baby in a lifejacket on a rocking boat, or shampooing their hair out in the lake. I grew up at Lake Powell – every summer for almost every year of my life. The fact that Zach’s family also has this tradition makes me heart so happy, I can’t even tell you.
We got Sloan tucked into her blow-up bed and spent the “golden hour” together. Zach and I took a jet ski out in the sunset. We brought the baby monitor again, and Zach’s mom was kind enough to listen for Sloan while we played in the evenings.
Day two brought us more skiing for Sloan. We did it almost every day we were there (except Sunday) and she couldn’t get enough. She would cry her eyes out when someone else wanted a turn and she had to wait to ski again. Zach’s brother Tony recovered the handle bar down deep in the water with some scuba goggles and Sloan was back in action.
Sloan loved being with her cousins, most of all. She enjoyed playing with them, eating with them, spying over their shoulders to see whatever they were doing on their iPads. It was non-stop fun and excitement for her.
During Sloan’s nap time Zach got to go surfing with his brothers on Tony’s boat.
When Sloan woke up from her nap, she was treated to a kayak ride with her dad, aunt Gina, and cousin Charlie.
We ate dinner and after we got Sloan all ready for bed and tucked in, Zach and I went on a sunset paddle board ride.
Once we got back and all washed up, the adults played a Henderson favorite, “Wolf”. Hendersons LOVE their games. (I had never heard of Werewolf until I married into Zach’s family…)
The next morning a group of us went out for a spin on Mark’s ski boat to do some wake boarding. A few of us, including myself, got to try our hand. I haven’t wakeboard since I was 21 weeks pregnant, so it was really enjoyable to get out there again.
Later we all loaded up in the various boats and made our way back to Antelope Point for some dinner at the marina’s pizza restaurant. We all left with ice cream – even Sloan got her own min swirl cup.
By the time we made it back to our campsite, it was time to get Sloan bathed and ready for bed. She had had a long day and was totally beat.
I tucked her into bed and she was out within minutes – and continued to sleep through all of the excitement of our adult game night.
The next morning we started off with a jet ski ride to a shady spot nearby our campsite. Despite Sloan’s expression, she loved every second. Until we stopped. She wanted to keep moving. She has a need for speed, I guess.
Sloan and Zach also had a little swim sesh afterwards to cool off [Sunday was by far the hottest day].
We also got a family photo – with our whole crew – before Tony and Katie and their kids left to go home. Can you believe we all survived with this many people?
It got windy and overcast later in the afternoon – so I strapped Sloan in the Ergo and the three of us went on a little hike for a good view.
Soon it was time for dinner, Sloan’s bedtime routine, and her last sleep in her blow-up bear bed. She went down like a champ.
The next morning, bright and early, we pushed off shore and headed back to the marina. It took a couple of hours to drive back – so Sloan enjoyed the view and the wind in her hair while I packed us all up and organized all of our gear to return home. We all got loaded up and started our way back home.
Sloan was fantastic all the way home – up until the last 20 minutes. Poor thing had WAY too much iPad time and was sick and tired of the same episode of Daniel Tiger over and over again.
We all hit the sack early that night – even Zach and I were out before 9:30 pm. Sloan must have missed her own bed, because I had to wake the poor girl up at 9:00 am the next morning! All the fun and sun wiped her out.
We are so grateful for this tradition with the Hendersons. Yes – it is a lot of work, but as always MORE fun. Another successful Powell trip in the books. Thank you Mark and Jeanene for all the memories!