Thanks. This was very enjoyable.AFTERWORD:
After the houseboat was back in the water it took a bit to get everyone safely to shore. "Shore" was 100+feet up and in some places a mile away. The muck prevented stranded boaters from walking to dry land.
Wayne had made some calls and all the lumber yards emptied their plywood in stock. Slowly a make shift plywood ramp stretched down to the water. Our houseboat acted as a temporary marina and triage center at the end of the path to help stranded boaters ashore.
Captain Mondo circled above the lake in his C-17. He was able to communicate with stranded boaters throughout the lake and guide the incoming helicopters to the priority emergencies first. It took a few days to retrieve everyone but many of the rescues-ees had food and water on their houseboats to survive the wait.
After the rescues, discussion turned to how to retrieve the stranded boats. Some with means were able to copter some of the smaller boat out of the canyon but many remained.
More importantly what to do about the dam?
The new volcano had stopped erupting violently but occasional lava flows continued making it too dangerous to enter the area. It slowly added to the height of the lava dam.
That winter had been one of the biggest on record. Then the monsoons came early, heavy and hard. By August the runoff had refilled the lake to the height before the earthquake so many boats that had been stranded floated again. A quick rush was made to get them before the lake rose more.
The following winter was even bigger than the last. By mid May when the runoff hit the rising lava dam the lake made it to full pool when the Glen Canyon Dam had stood.
But the runoff kept coming! Again the monsoons hit hard and heavy.
Soon both Wahweep and Bullfrog were under water. Unable to inspect the lava dam engineers had no idea how high the water might get.
By July a lake level of 4000ft wasn't out of the question.
That's when many of us learned that Moab(4,026ft) 100 feet lower in elevation then Page(4,117ft)!
The City of Moab quickly mobilized and filled huge sand bags that helicopters would place on to the make shift levee.
The new lake did make it to 4,035 in August but levelled off there. Moab's levee's held. It didn't take long for boaters to take advantage of the new launch point on the lake.
After losing Bullfrog and Wahweep, Ticaboo(4,265ft) and Hanksville(4,295ft) and Page became new areas to launch from as well.
The next few winters were fairly dry and the Colorado Plateau experienced another dry period. This kept the lake around the 4,200ft mark for several years.
Upstream with no releases to the lower Colorado the powers that be decided it was best to keep the upper watersheds dams as full as possible until something could be done.
Downstream had it worse. For 5 years the Colorado failed to deliver it's load downstream. The result the whole of the Lower Colorado River Basin joined together in a new effort at conservation. Along with other measures, Lawns in Vegas, Phoenix and LA were torn up and replaced with xeriscape. Farmers learned to be less wasteful with greater yields.
The volcano finally went dormant. The river with a little help from the airforce cut through the dam. Mead was almost empty at that point so there was no worry of it being compromised.
The Bureau eventually rebuilt the dam. But with all the new conservation downstream the lake was kept at full pool most years from then on.
So we tied up our myacht in a favorite place at the head of a canyon at the top of Good Hope Bay. We had learned to prefer parking the houseboat in deep water near the main channel. Not sure if you've experienced pulling into a prime spot deep in a canyon only to find the still water that has the last houseboats urine and other what not polluting the water.Mr Canyon Glen, is there a way to see the whole story from start to finish, I as well enjoyed reading it and would like to reread it
Thanks. I appreciate your efforts.Notes from the author:
Wow what a ride. I'm glad it's over!
I can't thank you enough for taking the time to give your feedback and Wayne' Words for allowing me to post on this excellent forum. I had never written anything beyond the minimal required in school or a 2 paragraph email until last year.
I grew up on a healthy diet of Clancy, Ludlum, McPhee and Cussler but never imagined how to write like they do.
Then I read a book called "Reacher said Nothing" By Andy Martin in which he follows Lee Child around for a year as Lee writes his next novel.
A year later over coffee with the Boat Queen, I mentioned a reoccurring dream. She casually suggested I write it down.
So I did. Instead of being intimated by the thought of "writing" I just plowed ahead not worrying about the results. Besides, who is ever going to read it?
When I do write, I start with a general idea and a few specifics about the next chapter that usually occur to me as I'm falling asleep. The story evolves as I go. When I started I expected the houseboat to end up in the Sea of Cortez and there was no volcano, plane crash or flying boat!
When I write, 90% is made up on the fly. All the dialogue is made up on the spot as I go. I try not to slow down for spelling or grammar.
Usually I go at it from 1 to 4 hours and edit it at least once before posting. Then days or weeks can go by before inspiration hits again.
Now I know my style is a complete rip off of others I've read but it makes me happy. We'll need a team of lawyers when the book gets published and the movie gets made...
I tried sharing this story with non-Lake Powell people and it doesn't translate well. A little to Powell specific. So I'm working on a western that hopefully can reach a wider audience.