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The longest houseboating trip

Canyon Glen

Well-Known Member
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.


The End
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
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.


The End
Thanks. This was very enjoyable.
 

Canyon Glen

Well-Known Member
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
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.
We prefer open water without fetch if possible. Choosing a steep shoreline is helpful because we usually stayed on the lake for as supplies would allow(3-5 weeks) and as those who know the lake is an ever changing beast/lover. Most trips we have to back the boat off the shoreline every few days and readjust the lines as the lake slowly recedes. Inevitably the rain or wind would sometimes fill up that part of the lake and make our tight lines loose. In a storm in the middle of the night in the dark I use to think it best to tighten every line but in the morning when the water receded we'd be hard ashore. So letting her float was the new normal but when she would reach the end of her lines and bounce back was hard to sleep through.
A few years earlier we were in Popcorn that night of the October storm that pushed the Bullfrog Marina 70ft+ of kilter. I really thought the picture window was going to burst from the wind that night. But the myacht held strong! I checked later, sustained winds of 60-80mph in Bullfrog that night . Cant imagine what funneled through popcorn. Since, I've looked at the topography of popcorn and there doesn't seem to be enough canyon to allow winds that strong. A healthy reminder don't mess with the desert just because there's a lake doesn't make it any safer. But I digress.
With a months provisions we went to bed after parking. The next morning some of the guys launch the little boat(24ft Lund) while I cook the rest of the crew breakfast. As the grease sizzles and the bacon smell fills up the boat a deep rumble can be heard far away and slowly roars towards us. Focused on the grill I assumed it was another military flyby. All of a sudden my wife yells " Honey come look."
I look up and there's a huge cloud of dust every where on land. I took a geology class freshman year in college and I'm not sure why but I quickly shut down the grill and turned off all the propane valves. I was pretty sure an earthquake had just rolled through the canyon. By the dust that had been kicked up it must have been a big one. We didn't feel the shaking because we were on the water. But now my worst fear on the lake could become a reality of an underwater landslide causing a seiche wave to form.
That got me to action. I yelled to what crew was that was left on board to let loose the lines as I started the engines. I figured we would have a better chance of survival floating in the middle of the lake rather then near the shoreline if a wave forms. Luckily my trained crew got us under way in record time. Pulling out and scanning the horizon I see no rogue waves. After a few minutes we get to the middle of the lake and idle the motors. We start talking about what we witnessed and wonder how our buddies in the little boat are doing. Just then I can see their wake in the distance returning from striper city.
That's when I notice the boat "sliding" sideways. This usually only happens on windy days but this morning was still. So as on a windy day I turn the boat into the wind a idle to stay in place. But now we're sliding backwards. The boat in idle is pointed upstream but we're sliding downstream. So I give the motors a little gas and it holds for a minute. Then we slide some more. More gas. After playing this game for 15 minutes I'm at half throttle and still sliding downstream. That's when it occurred to me. The earthquake took out the dam. We are no longer houseboating on a lake. We're houseboating on a river in extreme flood stage!
We needed a plan. Head to shore immediately? If we did that we could be stuck in muck miles from anywhere. I couldn't be sure we could even walk out of the canyon from where we were. If stuck we could wait for a helicopter rescue but what about the boats? Another thought was to ride the river down towards Bullfrog and try and beach it there. We all agreed to go for the ride. So I turned the boat around and throttled up. By this time we are leaving Good Hope Bay. Couldn't help but notice 3 houseboats anchored on shore. You could tell they were already listing towards the channel. It looked like they were scrambling trying to launch their little boats.
The myacht was handling well we were floating steady at about 5 knots. Nobody said anything for a while as we watched the scenery float by. I had my hands white knuckled on the wheel. That's when I noticed my coffee on the galley table. "Honey" I broke the silence "can you pass me my coffee please?" Shocked she looked at me like I had just killed someone. Then her face changed to realization and she nodded and got my coffee.
That's when we heard a boat motoring up behind us. Our little boat. I'd forgotten about them. What should we do? Try and tie up? Never done it under way before. Probably best they stay on the little boat. The tank is topped of so they have plenty of fuel. The myacht has a little over half in each tank. I open the window as the little boat pulls up. The crew is smiling. They even have 2 lines trolling behind them. "Can you believe it" Rimrock shouts smiling from the little boat. "We're gonna try and beach near Bullfrog" I yell back. Rimrock nods in understanding.
Just then Gold Cup gets a hit on the line. Rimrock yells "We're catching! Boated 5 stripers just trying to catch up to you!" That's why they were all smiles. "You could probably catch some from the big boat" He wasn't done saying it when the crew on board ran for their fishing gear. Sure enough both boats were "harvesting" enough fish to fill the freezer. Big smiles all around. This is why we go to so much effort to be in the most beautiful place in the world. To catch fish!
As we floated towards Tapestry Wall we saw a houseboat with just its rear end touching the water. People milling about scratching their heads. That's when I noticed we were going a little faster. We were up to 10 knots and still catching fish. The little boat pulled in a nice 8 lb striper. Maybe the fish knew something was up and they rather end up in a freezer then rotting in the desert.
Another mile later we were at 11 knots. Some quick math, approximately 20 miles to Bullfrog. I'm gaining 1 knot a mile so by the time we get to Bullfrog we'll be going 20 knots faster than my current speed. Hmmmm. Has a myacht ever gone 31knots before? Maybe on a trailer on the highway! I wave the little boat closer and explain my math. Smiles turn to grimaces as the problem presents itself. "Throw us a some lines. We'll tie up and tow you out of the current when we get near Stanton" Rimrock yelled. The crew dropped their fishing gear and got to work getting the lines.
"Hey everybody" I said. "Let's all put our life vests on ok?" The guys on the little boat already had theirs on. Rule on the little boat: vest on always! The big boat was still riding smooth but now I had to throttle up more to steer. After another mile we're at 13 knots. Picking up speed faster then my prediction. Also I'm noticing rocks and reefs that can be whales at certain lake levels are now rock faces I'm looking up at 20ft or so over head.
As we round the bend at Moki we're doing 27knots and gaining. We have the little boat cleated tight to the port side of the big boat. Coming down the last straightaway before halls I try and edge the boat towards the Stanton side of the channel. About halfway down I can see a whale in front us and quickly try to maneuver back towards the main channel. Too late! SCRAAAAAATCHH. The starboard pontoon scraped over the whale. Oh oh. Instinctively I steer the boat back towards the main channel to avoid any more collisions. I look at my gps to help keep the boat in the main channel to avoid any more whales. Are we listing? Has the pontoon started taking on water? Hard telling. 35knots!
As Halls Marina comes into view you can see that the docks are listing near shore. Police lights are flashing on shore and there seems to be a fire somewhere behind the marina. Then a huge fireball with black smoke shoots up in the air. Halls Gas Dock! Then BOOM! The shock wave hits us from the explosion. Felt like the windows on the boat were going to shatter and all the rivets pop but the myacht held strong.
Are we listing. Are we in the main channel, looking at the gps? I look for Stanton, but it's not there? I mean its there but it's above us on a bluff! 42 knots. It's time to try and maneuver towards Bullfrog. I try to throttle up some more but apparently in Star Trek parlance "I'd given her all she got". I yell to the little boat to punch it. But Rimrock already has the peddle to the meddle and we aren't making any headway towards shore. 50knots. Are we listing? Realization sunk in. "Rimrock, cut loose. We'll never make it but you might be able to" Rimrock looked like he was thinking hard. He realized what I had too.
We're going to have to ride this out. All the way to Lake Mead? Through the Grand Canyon? maybe by the time we get to Wahweap we can figure something out. "No" Rimrock says, "I think the big boat stands a better chance with the little boat around" whew. I'm glad he said that as we drifted past Halls in a black smoky haze. More math, 55 knots 80+ miles to the dam? An hour or a little more? Are we listing? My coffee had gone cold
to be continued
........continued
"Honey?" ," Is there any more coffee in the pot?" We use an insulated French press made for camping on the boat and it can keep coffee warm for a long time. That's when Rimrock yelled from the little boat. "Permission to come aboard Captain?" I just shook my head in disbelief he would keep to protocol at this time.
Resumed to our fate we again paid attention to the boats and how to keep them afloat under the circumstances. Phenomenally the boat rode steady in the channel. The worst of the rapids were up against the walls of the canyon. So it became clear, safety resided in the deeper main channel. During a safe lull past Halls but before Lake Canyon Rimrock safely hopped on board the myacht. "What do you think, Captain?" He asks. "What do you mean what do I think!?! We are going 50+ knots in a myacht!
"How much fuel in the tanks Captain" Rimrock asks, all business. I look down and the needle is wavering back and forth with the rocking of the boat. "Little over half but these fuel gauges have never been that reliable." I reply
"What's you depth?" Rimrock asked. Funny, all the time steering into the main channel by gps I never thought to look at the depth. What would it matter?
200dft I reply"
Rimrock gets that thinking face on again. "I think we can ride this out to Whaweap except for just after Slickrock Canyon there's two 90 degree bends in the main channel before the Rincon. At the rate we're going and the depth of the water I'm not sure we're going to make it."
Quiet descends on the boat. The noise outside the boat is a pleasant rush of current with a louder froth cutting along the canyon walls.
"Is anybody hungry?" The Boat Queen chimes in. "Nobody has had breakfast yet. If you thinks its safe I'll make sandwiches."
Nobody answered but all eyes said yes.
"So how should we handle the Slick Rock bend?"
Rimrock knew more about the Colorado River than most men alive. He'd paddled, fished, hiked, floated, crawled every nook and cranny of this rivers Canyons. If ever you needed someone onboard with his knowledge it was now.
Rimrock knowingly "Let's tie up the little boat with a long line. The little boat will go ahead to the up stream point of the bend. When we get there the little boat in full throttle will pull in the line and act as a pivot for the big boat." Gold Cup nodded immediately knowing what need to be done.
"Then the little boat will have to race a head before the next 90 degree turn before Iceberg" Gold Cup said
Rimrock smiled at Gold Cup "We can do this"
"Yes Sir" he smiled back
That's when I notice that we were slowing down a bit. The flood of water was getting backed up trying to get through the Slick Rock Canyon bend in the river. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad after all. Then we heard the roar. Passing Annie's Canyon it became clear we were in for a ride. The crew set to task. If Rimrock's plan didn't work we were toast.
Rimrock walked Gold Cup to the little boat. Beyond earshot the two of them had a short conference. I saw nodding and disagreement and then a finally nod of agreement.
Gold Cup and crew took off in the little boat with an anchor we were willing to lose. They gunned it downstream ahead of the myacht
(I don't know if you've ever had the fun of full throttle on a glassy lake, well picture the same but the lake is going 50 below you in the same direction. I was still on the big boat so you would have to ask Gold Cup about that)
The little boat set an anchor at a pivot point. Then boated the line upstream to a point where he hoped he could toss it to us on the big boat.
As we got closer to the cliff wall below Slick Rock we could see the why the flood had slowed down a bit. The water was flowing so fast it was pushing up the cliff a hundred feet higher than full pool, then tumbling back down in a froth of whitewater 30 feet high!. No way a myacht could get through that.
We see Gold cup with the rope ahead of the maelstrom. As we get closer Rimrock hooks his leg in a line just in case before edging to the starboard side of the gunnel to fetch the rope.
"Sandwiches are ready" The Boat Queen announces. She had proudly paid attention to the sandwiches she hadn't looked up in a while. Her jaw dropped to see the giant standing wave 100ft above her line of sight out of the galley window., hitting the cliff below Slick Rock Canyon.,
I've steered the myacht into perfect position to retrieve Gold Cups rope. Rimrock was ready with the gaff just in case. Perfect toss and a perfect retrieve. You could tell these two had spent a lot of time together and knew what to expect. (I blame how much time they spent chasing and catching fish on this lake. It takes a certain sort of folk to dedicate the life to the lake. When you find a fellow brethren the lake takes on a whole knew meaning)
Rimrock has us tie the anchored line to the port side cleat on the bow as we flow towards the white water. That freshman year in college when I took geology was on the coast and I spent more time surfing then studying. Surfing is 99% waiting, !% paddling and the remainder is surfing if your lucky. To surf you need the athletic ability but many who could can't. Because in that 99% of time surfing your "reading" the waves.
I read the wave. Keeping the line tight would bring us in to a rip current and certain disaster. Taking the turn wide heading towards Slick Rock and riding the wave, bouncing off the cliff made more sense to me. I yelled my concerns to Rimrock and after assessing the situation he agreed and let go of the line as Gold Cup looked on confuse but quickly accelerated the little boat to the next 90 degree bend before the Rincon.
We had slowed down to 30 knots as the water bunched up against the cliff. I had the throttle full forward as i waited till the moment I thought best hard to starboard and hit full throttle. The myacht eerily quietly slid up the face of the far left of the standing wave with roar of the froth not far away. When the myaht reached the apogee of it's flight int then the "surfed" down the wave again in calming silence as the flood's torrent roared nearby.
Every one on board took a breath, Not so fast. We have another 90 degree bend to contend with. Luckily what we call Owl Canyon is absorbing most of the energy of the flood in that turn. Gold Cup scouted ahead for another pivot point in the little boat. I'm reading the current and looking at the gps.
The little boat comes racing back after a recon. Rimrock and Gold Cup exchange a few shrugs and hand signals from a distance.
"Rimrock, Where should steer the boat?" Still a bit in awe of what the myacht just had been through it took a second for his reply.
"Someone catch Gold Cups line! And turn the boat full throttle upstream, Quick!"
Now I saw what they saw, a whirlpool that had been their concern.
"Take it wide " I said with the confidence of safely navigating the last elbow we had passed. With seconds to decide the taking it wide option offered many rocks and other unfriendly things to boat hulls.
"No, tie up the little boat and with all our might pull upstream and float into the middle of the whirlpool" No one argued. With both boats tethered but this time the Lund was cleated to our bow with 50ft of line.
It worked!! After a few circuits in the whirlpool it let us loose to continue downriver in relative safety towards the Rincon.
Are we listing? Nope. Knots? 35. Crew morale? "Big boat needs fuel I announce." The crew, again is up to the task and fills the tanks with the extra gas we'd brought for the trip while we "calmly" float past the Rincon
"Sandwiches'?" The boat queen offers. All the crew eats thankfully.
....A strange quiet settles over the boat as the crew eats their sandwiches. The flood had slowed down a bit with room to spread out in the broad bay below the Rincon. In the distance a motor can be heard. The sound was coming from down stream and getting louder. Looking out it's another little boat struggling to head up stream against the current. A bit closer we could see it was another Lund, a black one.
"Wasn't KBass and his wife and dog camping on the San Juan this week?" Rimrock asked. No one answered as the boats closed the gap between them. Sure enough it was our friends. Kbass's dog was on the bow barking at us, but when she saw Gold Cup she started wagging her tail. Kbass pulled closer and we threw him a line to tie up to the big boat.
"I wish I could say I was glad to see you because were almost out of fuel but not sure you're in much better shape" Kbass said.
We quickly filled him in on what we'd been through and what we hoped would happen next. Kbass listened intently rubbing his chin and thinking while listening.
"Well," he paused "We were up early fishing the mouth of Wilson Creek when the earthquake hit. Just for safety we decided to high tail it back to Bullfrog. It wasn't until we were in the middle of Cha Bay that we noticed the lake level falling. By the time we made it through the Goosenecks the current was really moving. When we got to the confluence the 2 rivers were crashing into each other creating a huge rapid as far downriver as I could see. We were just able to skirt by sticking to the shoreline. As we got up stream we saw a huge Somerset head into the rapids. They got swallowed up quick and I thought I heard aluminum meet rock in a unfriendly way. Hole in the Rock was easy to maneuver by. The confluence at the mouth of the Escalante wasn't too bad but a bit rough"
Noticeably the big boat started picking up speed as we left the Rincon. Nobody spoke for a minute.
"Let's top off Kbass's gas tank" Rimrock broke the silence.
"What if we try what worked at the whirlpool." my offer is met with silence.
Gold Cup chimes in "When we run whitewater rivers we try and float above the rapids, what if we tie the little boats tight port and starboard giving the houseboat maximum buoyancy."
"And all motors at full throttle" Kbass added with an encouraging gleam in his eye.
"That means 2 of us are going to have man the little boats helms" Rimrock added.
Silence.
"I'll do it" Gold Cup says. "Well it's my boat" Kbass volunteers.
With a task at hand everyone gets busy. Buoyancy. Hmmmm. What about all the extra gas/provisions? Should we toss them overboard? I broach the subject with the crew.
"With pontoons this size that amount of weight won't make a difference." Rimrock jokes "Besides we might need it when we we get to Baja"
the boat queen hands Kbass and his wife sandwiches nobody noticed her making.
"Thanks we're starving"
After rigging the boats we put extra life preservers on Gold Cup and Kbass. then we rig 2 lifelines, one attaching them to their boats and another to the myacht so they won't get washed away but with quick releases if anything should wrong. What could possibly go wrong?
By now we are approaching the Escalante
I apologize for skipping over what happens next, My process is, I think it I write it and I just thought of this....
Amazed we made it past the confluence, Soaked to the bone Kbass and Gold Cup on the little boats were hootin' and hollerin' that we made it through. Even Rimrock shared his broad smile that made you feel all was right in the world.
For now.
We still had to potentially navigate the Grand Canyon!
After the rapids, the torrent was more manageable. More and more boats hanging above the shoreline could bee seen. When we passed Dangling Rope you could see the Aramark employees on the bluffs looking down, cheering at us as we floated by.
Unbeknownst to us at the time, the powers that be had sprung into action. Aramark called the Park Service who called the Forest Service who called the Bureau of Reclamation who called Washington who called the President.
"Who do we have down there we can trust?" The President asks.
All the senior staff assembled look quizzingly at each other
"Wayne Gustaveson, Sir" An aide whispers
"Wayne, Wayne who is Wayne" The President asks
"Sir" the aides superior interrupts. "Mr. President, Mr Gustaveson doesn't have the security clearance for such matters.."
"Nonsense get him on the phone"
In the morning when the earthquake hit Wayne happened to be in Big Water driving home from dropping a friend off who had spent the night after a long day of fishing. He was about to cross the bridge to head to his office in Page when the earthquake hit. Not sure if you've been in a "Big One" while driving, but your cars suspension absorbs the shocks so it feels like your truck has gone over speed bumps. So he wasn't sure what happened as the desert sent a cloud dust in the air.
Continuing to cross the bridge he made sure to look fondly to the right at the healthy fishery in the cool clear waters downstream. Also to take time to look the left to admire the dam like he had done thousands of times while driving across the bridge. But this time was different. A dark pattern like a lightning bolt was on the face of the pale grey concrete dam. Slowly like a Hollywood movie Wayne watched the dam of his beloved lake burst. Quick to think he pulled out his phone to record the devastation but then changed his mind.
"I need to get to the office!" Wayne thought. Putting it in gear leaving the destruction behind. Driving faster than normal he couldn't help but notice that the street lights were out and a few black smoke plumes around town.
Quickly parking and rushing to his office he could hear the phone ringing.
Fussing with the keys to unlock the door as the phone rings on, Wayne burst into his office and answers the phone.
"Hello", Wayne says, catching his breath.
"Is this Wayne Gustruvean"
"Yes" He was long past getting annoyed at folks mispronouncing his name
"Are you satisfied with you long distance carrier?"
click he hangs up.
The phone rings again
"To whom am I speaking" the voice says with authority'" and can you get Mr. Gustruven on the phone immediately please"
"May I ask whose calling please?" Wayne responds annoyed , wanting to free up the line.
"This is the White House,." Silence.
"The White House of America?" Wayne repeats.
"Yes, can you please get Wayne?"
"Well, I'm Wayne, Wayne Gustavenson"
"Please hold"
"Wayne is that you?" A familiar voice from the television comes on the line
"Yes"
"Thanks for taking the call, this is the President and apparently we have a situation in your neck of the woods"
"A bit of an understatement sir" Wayne answered
"No time for sarcasm son, I've got the smartest people I could gather in this room to deal with this situation and the best they came up with is to call you. This is how America works sometimes son. America is asking you Wayne Grustvesin. What would you do right now in this situation? I'm not asking as your president I'm asking as your country."
"Call McClellen. NOW!"
The president asked "Did I hear you right?"
"Scramble the fighters and drop ordinance on the cliffs where the dam use to be. Creating a temporary dam of what's left . The sooner we can stop the flood the better the chances of saving the dams downstream"
"Do It" Wayne heard as the phone line disconnected.
So, I'm kinda stuck on what to write next because I've been making it up as I go. I'd intended to make it to Baja then I heard about the book that already did that so I switched gears. Every thread to continue the story I think of doesn't bubble up to the level of wasting time to type and edit to share on a fishing related message board.. Notice I skipped the ride through he confluence.
So. I'll let it up to you, the bored out of your mind thinking this entertainment fellow Wayne's Worders to decide which story you want to be told next.
Should I:
1 Return to the myacht with Gold Cup, Rimrock and Kbass?
2 See what Wayne does next after the phone call?
3 Stay in the situation room with the president?
4 C.O.'s office at McClellan A.F.B.
6 other
Captain Tanner was in a good mood. He and his crew had successfully fulfilled their duties in the gulf and were rotated out. Besides their C-17 needed some long over due maintenance back home at Travis A.F.B. On this last leg of their journey after refueling in Grand Junction he was looking forward to giving his crew a chance to do an honorary flyby through Glen Canyon as has been a tradition at the end of a successful mission in the Air Force.
Skip Tanner grew up in St. George. His family always spent 4th of July on the Lake growing up. Soon other families joined too. He remembers as a teenager 5 houseboats filled with friends and family parked together with jet skis, inflatable toys, illegal fireworks, water skis(I almost typed wake boards but they hadn't been invented yet in the timeline of this story, writing fiction is hard) and more. One friend remarked "When we showed up we made Wilson Creek look like a trailer park!"
Back then jets would flyover their houseboat. Looking up Skip new someday he'd be flying for the airforce and buzzing his family's houseboat. In fact next month a big lake trip was planned with his family after he mustered out.
Unfortunately after getting approval from command the San Juan Arm was not on the itinerary. But, Skip asked for and got clearance to drop below the canyon walls. "100 feet minimum altitude, Captain" Tanner knew he'd go lower.
"Roger"
After the months in country he looked forward to sharing the beauty of the Lake and his crew looking "up" at the Tapestry Wall during the flyby.
But first he thought he'd show them Moab and the Canyonlands from above when the radio crackled to life.
"Scramble the fighters do it!"
"Sir" that's not how it works. The "fighters at McClellen don't carry the kind of ordinance needed for the situation and any asset we have with that kind of fire power would take hours to get in place"
The President scowled. "You mean to tell me that I have the ability to push a button and bomb without mercy any where in the world, Right Now, but I can't put a bomb in Utah"
"Well, that's why they call it the D.O.D. Department Of Defense"
"Sir", "We may have an asset in the area" An aide to the Air Force Chief of Staff chimes in.
The room goes silent and looks at the aide.
"Who is it?"
"Captain Tanner sir, Just returning from duty in the gulf on his way home. The log says he still has 2 M.O.A.B.s onboard."
"What's a M.O.A.B" someone asks.
"Mother of All Bombs!" the president answers.
"Get this Tanner on the phone Now!"
The second being when Japan fire bombed the Oregon forests in WWII in the hopes of setting them ablaze(mother nature pulled that off this year)
Captain Tanner quickly alerts his crew to the situation. The navigator and the bombardier coordinate. A discussion of ordinance ensues.
Bombardier : " I suggest we drop the 2 M.O.A.B."s on the cliffs on either side of the dam then circle around to empty every thing on board to what's left"
Navigator:" After that we could parachute out and crash land her into the rubble."
"Hope it won't come to that "Tanner says confidently" Let's make it happen.. That's when he saw the plume of white smoke in the distance. and asked his copilot.
"um, what do you think that is?"
"missile strike?"
"Unless they nuked page there are no missiles that can do that"
........"Start climbing" The long haired man yelled at the others who had stayed at the inn. The first froth of the deluge was coming down the canyon. The could see the cars on the bridge as they tried to flee get washed away with the bridge. The sound was getting louder but so was the roar to the south. Now it was clear. Lava was spewing high in the sky and flowing down hill towards them from a new hole in the earth's crust. quake had created.(look up sunset crater)
......."Whahweap is coming up" I said when the explosions' hit. Two big plumes of smoke carried into the air. Further downstream.
"How did they get a plane with ordinance here so fast?" Rimrock wondered out load. Not knowing his childhood friend from the Wilson Creek days was pulling the trigger.
"Do you think it will help?" Kbass asks
"Hard tellin" Me, Gold Cup and Rimrock all respond in unison. A moment of silence then the whole boat cracks up in laughter despite the dangers faced.
....."I don't like the looks of that" Jennifer says. looking at the lava flow heading towards them below a fiery smoke cloud.
"Climb higher" The Oldman urges every one who decided to stay at the inn. The water has left it's channel and is filling the basin below the Vermillion Cliffs.
...The M.O.A.B.s left the bomb bay with precision. They are laser guided bombs, so once the bombardier pushed a button locating a target the bombs would follow to the target. Perfect strike every time! These hit their targets successfully. As Tanner maneuvered for another run to empty the planes munitions on the rest of the dam a shock wave rattles the c-17. Skip noticed it pushed his plane 30 feet side ways and 10 feet down. The C-17 held strong. His first thought was who has anti aircraft assets nearby. "Your not in country Skip, no-one is shooting at you" he thinks to himself
"Captain, you gotta see this" the co pilot says.
Out of the copilots window he can see the volcano forming.
Keeping to task he orders "Gentleman we have a job to do, let's stay focused"
The M.O.A.B.s had done their job they were designed for. Blowing things up. Unfortunately the rock that fell wasn't enough so the flood continued but now the dam was a big waterfall which the myacht was heading for.
"Captain, ready to launch what's left" As the plane sets up for it's 2nd bombing run. This time heading upstream.
"Fire away" Tanner orders Focusing his eyes on the river and what's left of the dam.
The familiar low sounding thump and corresponding jerk in the plane as his plane does what she was meant for and what he trained for, he notices a houseboat in the deluge about to go through the falls of the remainder of the dam.
"Jesus, I hope nobody is on that boat" Tanner whispers
...."I don't have a good feeling about this " I say to the crew of the myacht as we approach what's left of the dam. As an angry military plane looking all business is bearing straight down on the boat. BOOM!BAM!CRACK!BANG! the plane looks like a Fourth of July barge giving every last fire work during the encore as it buzzes overhead. The canyon walls crumble under the onslaught as we float by. A couple boulder almost crash into the deck as we pass by.
The lava flow that the inn folks had been watching was increasing in viscosity. It seemed it wouldn't be long before it filled the valley and swallowed them up. The only thing between them and it was the flooding river.I thought I was done with tellin this story then this jumped into my thoughts.....
Deb and Jennifer were familiar faces at the inn below the Vermillion Cliffs. For the past 20 years they had welcomed guests in the stark beauty below Lee's Ferry bridge.
When the earthquake hit they were serving breakfast for their guests. The pinelogs brought in to build the inn 100 years ago held strong under the tremors. But the tables inside had bounced around tossing the plates and silverware astray. Some of the customers were still sitting in their chairs others were on the floor next to their toppled seats.
"Everyone outside now" Deb said. Worried for the safety of her customers.
Quickly the restaurant emptied. As they gathered their wits outside in the dusty parking they heard a rumble.
The rumble accompanied the ground shaking again. It was coming from the south across the canyon
"Deb, what's going on" Jen asks?
"Earthquake fer shure " An old long haired gray bearded patron of the restaurant in the parking lot offers.
Deb says, "I been in earthquakes growing up in california, but they usually rumble through then all gets quiet."
"I'm scared " Jennifer says. Looking in the eyes of others in the parking lot you could see many felt the same way too.
Then a plume of white smoke shot in the air not more then ten miles south of where they were. No one moved or spoke. Shortly the shock wave hit them and knocked every one of their feat.
Dazed and confused they slowly regained their footing but were having a hard time hearing each other. The plume was shooting higher and higher into the atmosphere.
The long gray haired named Dreamweaver said." I think that shaker may have taken out the dam, might be best if we head for higher ground. above the inn."
Folks made their own decisions. Some ran back to their rooms to grab their stuff, some ran to the bluff above the inn, some jumped in their cars and drove to the bridge. some drove downstream to higher ground.
The ones who ran to higher ground above the inn for safety heard the second rumble first. This was coming from the canyon of the Colorado river to their left. The old man had been right. The dam had burst and the fury of a river impeded for 60 years was coming down the canyon.
Busy looking upstream waiting for the flood they hadn't noticed another blast from the south. It hit stronger than the first and knocked them off their feet again.
Looking south they not only saw smoke but fiery lava shooting up into the air thousands of feet.
...Rounding the bend Rimrock could help but notice that the 3 smokestacks he had used as a kid to navigate on the lake weren't where he expected them to be. Granted he Kbass and Gold Cup stopped going to the south end of the lake yeas ago he was sure his memory placed the stacks but they weren't there.
"Gold Cup, shouldn't we be seeing the smokestacks by know?"
Before Gold Cup can answer a C'17 flyin below the canyon walls buzzes over head. It's engines rattling the houseboat frame.
"What the hell was that?" Gold Cup asks.
"The Calvary?" I suggested limply
"
....."You want me to do what?" Captain tanner asks in disbelief of his orders, much less who their coming from. In the situation room "As the Secretary of the Air Force I'm ordering you to bomb what's left of the dam!"
From above in his pilots seat he had no idea there had been an earthquake much less the dam had burst. When the quake hit they were at 10,000 feet and the lake looked fine.
Back in the situation room the president rips the phone of the Secretary's hand. "Tanner, this is the President! You'll do it and you'll do it now!!"
That's when the proper authorization codes came through. Drop a bomb on Utah as the president had said. But in this case it was Arizona. Skip couldn't help but think of his history books.
No one has bombed the continental U.S. soil. Ever. Except 2 times. The first coincidentally in Arizona the site of the first bombing by Patrick Murphy(wiki link cuz I ain't got time to embellish:patrick Murphy (pilot) - Wikipedia
en.wikipedia.org en.wikipedia.org
>>>And lava is flowing up from the south from Sunset Crater
sorry I was lazy in the flow of creativity that I didn't differentiate from what had happened in the past and what was happening in my story
But the new fumarole was located across the river from the Vermillion Cliffs
"Climb higher!!" Deb and the old timer Dreamwever said in unison as the river of lava oozed closer to the river and where they stood. It was a box canyon above them but being near the inn there was an easy path to head away from the river higher into the canyon.
The houseboat collectively gasped for breath after what they had been through, Some looked back at the ruins of the dam and the leftover smoke from Captain Tanner's efforts.
Rimrock was the first to say:
"Gold Cup, looks like we're going to run the "Canyon" with these boats. You've run it more than most what's the plan?"
"More than most?" Gold Cup says "Nobody has run the river ever like this. How can I be more than most?"
as the myacht approached Horseshoe Bend. Noticeably the river behind them isn't quite as tumultuous. Maybe the airforce's efforts helped slow the tide?
Deb took a minute to look behind her. She was the the last in line as the guest and employees ran up the trail. Nimbly the old timer led the way. Making sure no one tripped on a stray rock on the trail.
The lava flow had hit the river. The eerie sound of lava flowing through the parched desert meeting water is a sound Deb will never forget.10,000 steam locomotives couldn't replicate the sound she heard that day.
The old man leading the way uphill stopped to turn around too when he heard the sound.
The rest ran past him, leaving him and Deb standing still in awe, marveling at the geologic phenomenon they were witnessing.
Back on the myacht morale was low. It seemed our destiny was to run the Grand Canyon at flood stage. Some argued that was a good thing.
"We'd float right over the worst of it..?"
Others thought we'd best "Divide us among the little boats and hope we can ride it out or make it to shore?"
The boat queen quietly made more sandwiches while no one was watching.
VROOOOOOMMMMM
As Deb and Dreamweaver were affixed on the river a low flying airplane shook there bones and snapped them out of there trance.
"Higher the old man yelled" to Deb
"Captain",
"There's people down there"
Skip Tanner had seen it too. Flying south his copilot had only seen the civilians scrambling away from the flooding river and lava, what his copilot couldn't see off to the left of the cockpit was the houseboat they had seen survive passing the dam. Heading towards the lava!!
"Get me channel 16! ASAP" Tanner barked, cursing himself for not thinking of it before.
Deondre his radio man new exactly what the Captain meant. His family had gone back generations crabbin' and shrimpin' in Lake Pontchatrain where communication on the water can mean life or death. Channel16 was in his blood
Before he said yes Captain, Skip Tanner was broadcasting on 16
"Mayday,Mayday Houseboat myacht do you read"
crackle of static
"Mayday,Mayday Houseboat myacht do you read"
Everyone one the myacht freezes and looks at each other. Except Kbass's wife. She quickly grabs the mic and responds "Mayday Mayday, Yes we're in a myacht!"
"This is Captain Skip Tanner of the United States Air Force, We saw you make it past the dam. An amazing feat but your heading to worse trouble...."
Just then a huge fireball shot in the sky from the new opening in the earth. Tanners aircraft felt like it was getting flac. Alarms were buzzing and the plane wasn't responding properly so he steered his plane away from trouble.
Deb and Dreamweaver and the guests they had saved were knocked to the ground for a second time form the volcanoes' belch

Back on the myacht they were safe from the blast deep in the cliffs but above the roar of the flood they heard and saw the fireball shoot in the air.

"MayDay Mayday," Now Rimrock is calling on the radio. He recognized his old friends voice. "Skip this is Rimrock, do you read? over"

Silence.

"Mayday mayday, Captain Tanner this is Rimrock, do you read? Over"

Silence

Everyone on the boat had been staring at the radio when Kbass said.

"We still need a plan. Keep the boats together? Or split up in the little boats?"

"I vote sticking together" Gold Cup said "More hands on deck the better..."

We all agreed.

My geology classes reminded me that hot cinders could be falling from the sky from the last blast. Even though the boat was mostly aluminum there was lots of rubber and fiberglass on the boat that could ignite easily.

A few years back we installed a custom cooling system for the boat. On the hottest days in August our 2 rooftop ACs couldn't keep the boat cool. I remembered my swamp cooler at home .So I piped and attached a 12v pump that sucks lake water to my canopy and hoses down the boat. We even have misters up top so we can enjoy the top when it's hot.

"Grab a broom or whatever, turn on the roof water and remove the misters. We need to flood the roof and sweep off any hot rocks or ash that falls on the roof!" I say "Hook up the hose up there too to put out any fires, grab extinguishers too!!"

"What about the extra 20 five gallon cans of fuel up top?"

"DUMP IT OVERBOARD!!" I yell

"Better bring as many as we can down here then dump the rest just in case" Rimrock says calmly.

The crew gets busy

"I have an idea" Kbass mumbles. He grabs some lines and hops on his little boat. While others are busy he cleverly ties lines to each of the aluminum little boats tied to the myacht. The lines were then fed into the houseboat. Giving a way to steer the little boats from inside the big boat.

"We leave them throttled up and we can steer from here" he announced when done

Others had finished their tasks too.

"Sandwiches?" the Boat Queen offered






"Captain Tanner we've been hit" the copilot reported

The cockpit sounded like a busy Vegas casino. Lights were flashing. Multiple alarms were buzzing. The plane wasn't responding to his efforts to fly to safety.

"Status report" Captain Tanner calmly said to the crew

"Radio is dead"

"Nav is a no go"

"Engine 2 is on fire and 1 is smoking"

The copilot was good. He had to be to make it Skip's team. He assed the situation as fast as his Captain had. Reflexively without saying anything they both stretched out of their seat took look out of the cockpit windows for a place to set their bird down in a hurry.

Skip knew the area. He remembered there was some reasonably flat clear desert right below them. But that was the last time he was here. Now it was filled with either lava or water.

"Dump the fuel" he ordered. He wasn't worried about ordinance because they had dropped it all on the dam

The copilot gained confidence in the situation. His Captain had a plan.

"It would be wonderful if you get the radio working again.." he added calmly

Brrrrinng riiinnnng(I don't know how to type the new fangled iphone ringtones)

Tanner's personal phone rang in his chest pocket. He remembered they had a direct sight line with the cell tower on Navajo mountain..



Deb and Dreamweaver looked at each other on the ground. Then back at the volcano.

"Run" they said at the same time.

The group from the inn made their way up the box canyon.

"Quick, make it under that ledge. Lava is gonna rain on our heads"

They gathered under the cover of the sandstone ledge and looked back.

The lava flow had crossed the river bed. Meeting the flood. The flood flowed over the top of the hot lava cooling a layer. Then more lava, more cooling. It seemed the lava and flood waters were building a dam.

That's when they heard the sound of an airplane in distress.

The military plane they had seen earlier was on fire and smoking as it flew over head again.

Then it disappeared into the steam created by the flood and lava.


On the myacht everyone was looking at Rimrock calling his old friend from The Wilson Creek days on his cellphone.

"It's RINGING!" Rimrock's eyes lit up. It was a miracle. The were getting close to Lee's Ferry.

Kbass and Gold Cup were manning the rigging steering the little boats at full throttle heading down river with the flood.

Up top the crew was brushing off embers and hosing down hotspots while the 12v pump soaked the boat.

"Uh oh" Gold Cup says.

A stone size flaming rock slams into the little boat he's steering

"Cut her loose I yell" As the flames grow. How much gas is left in her? I waste a moment to think about.

The crew reacts and cut the lines. Now the boat, aflame, throttled up and no one steering it decides it wants to steer into the big boat.

Kbass has the gaff. Instead of pushing the boat away he grabs the steering wheel. The boat jerks so hard away that he didn't have time to let go of the gaff and gets pulled into the water.

Up top the crewman that had been hosing down to roof had been hosing down the little boat when he saw Kbass go overboard. Quickly he threw his hose where he thought Kbass could grab the hose.

Flying of the big boat Kbass first thought was. "Dang, that was a good gaff."

Then he realized his situation. Before he hit the water he saw the hose coming of the roof and lined up his shot to grab it once he resurfaced.



In the cockpit Tanner's phone had stopped ringing. He hadn't a chance to pull it out of his chest pocket. He didn't dare take his hands off the helm.

"How's my radio doing" Tanner asks

"No go, Captain."

Skip turns to his copilot. Would you mind pulling my phone out and seeing who called. Straining to circle the plane back.

"Brace for impact gentlemen" He orders on the comlink

The copilot does as ordered. "It says Rimrock?" The copilot looks questioningly

"Call him back!" Tanner smiled


Rimrock had hung up when the little boat caught fire and exploded not too far away from the big boat. Thanks to the crews efforts we were all safe.

Thankful Kbass was back on board we were shocked when Rimrocks phone rang.

"Skip" Rimrock said. Not "Hey, Skip how you doing? It's been awhile" More hesitant hope in his voice.

"Dave, My plane has to land now." His tone was all business with a hint of Wilson Creek days

Skip and Dave had taken the runabout when the were 13 year old's together, A storm came up and the 2 had to use what wits they had between them to survive. Funny, the same storm hadn't hit as hard at Wilson that day. When they returned they thought their families would have been worried about them. They weren't at all and they never shared what they had been through. Mostly if they had they might not be allowed to use the runabout unsupervised again.

"I thought that was your voice on the mayday call" Rimrock said

"I have people on board" Captain Tanner said. Worried for his crew.

"Copy" Rimrock got it. "Where do you want us?"

"Remember the old Vermillion Cliff inn? I'm coming from the south. Gonna try and put her down there if I can"

"Negatory, Negatory!! Head up stream in the middle of the channel if possible. The edges of the flood are a no go!"
"Copy?" Rimrock" yells into his cellphone.

Silence. The rest of the houseboat crew looks anxiously on.

"Skip! Skip!?"



Our we safe here?" one of the guests who had scrambled uphill from the inn to shelter under the alcove

"Hard Tellin'" Dreamweaver said. His grey eyebrows looking concerned at the maelstrom below.

Hot rocks and spherical bombs of lava started raining down below them. Anything that could burn in the dry desert quickly set aflame.

Deb and the old man observed that after the last eruption the lava flow seemed to subside. For a bit.

Also the flood waters meeting the newly formed lava dam seemed to slow from a flood to a stewy cauldron where the magma hissed meeting the flood waters.

"We should run to higher!" one of the guest said under the ledge.

"Stay put" Deb said with authority

It looked from their vantage point that the lava flow and the flood waters had reached their peak after the last blast.

Flood waters were starting to back up against the current. As more water poured in and turned to hot vapor against the new formed obstruction in the rivers path a whirlpool started to form.

Again they heard a plane in distress. But they couldn't see it behind the cloud of steam.


"Where are we? I ask"

I didn't recognize Lee's Ferry because I hadn't been there but once.

"100 feet over the Lee's Ferry bridge." Rimrock says in awe.

Exiting the canyon is when they saw the 10,000 ft cloud of steam ahead of them.

(this is awkward but I can't think of a clever way to fit this in)

Being the myacht had started at the top of Good Hope Bay when the earthquake hit, she was at the "top" of the flood. So when she reached Lee's Ferry the bulk of the fury was ahead of them cooling the lava dam. Captain Tanner's M.O.A.B.'s dropped on the remainder of the Glen Canyon Dam held back back a measurable amount of flood waters behind them.

"Oh My" The Boat Queen broke the silence as the houseboat crew collectively gazed in awe at the cloud of steam in their path.


"Hey! Look there's a boat!" Jen points out from the safety under the ledge.

Clearly visible a houseboat was exiting the canyon
"There's the plane!" Deb shouts.

Sputtering and flying at an awkward angle the C-17 emerged from the cloud of steam.


The myahct was still staring at the cloud the Boat Queen had pointed out when they saw the plane emerge.

It was heading straight for them!!!

Rimrock shouted "Hard to port, full throttle!"

I steered the big boat while Kbass tugged on his rigging to steer his Lund to the left

The boats weren't responding. As the flood met the new dam a whirlpool had formed and was pulling the boat to the right.

The plane was getting bigger in their windshield.



"How's my radio" Captain Tanner asks

"Still no go Cap"

"Brace for impact" Tanner says

His copilot noticed a small bead of sweat fall from his captain's brow as he struggled to hold the disabled aircraft "on course"

There was nothing to look at outside the cockpit window but steam flying past. Streaks of moisture formed on the outside of the glass.

Suddenly they emerged from the cloud.

"Oh SHEEP!" Tanner said. He had miscalculated. He had perfectly maneuvered the plane by memory to a course flying in the middle upstream but he had calculated his altitude according to where the Lee' Ferry bridge had been. Not where it was now. Under 100ft of water.

"Captain!" The copilot said in shock. He wanted to point out the house boat in there path but it wasn't necessary because the both could clearly see it.

There wasn't much Tanner could do at this point. He tried pulling up to expose the belly of the plane to the water rushing underneath them. They had kept the landing gear up so the fuselage would mimic the hull of a boat upon impact.

Thankfully the houseboat started to veer off their course to the left. Tanner took a quick glimpse to his left. He thought he saw a group of folks huddled under a ledge high up the canyon above where the Vermillion Cliffs Inn had been.


"They're going to crash in to that boat" Jen exclaims

The group under the ledge watched in awe as the plane was heading right for the boat.

Dreamweaver wondered aloud

"Can you imagine? Surviving the flood on a houseboat only to get hit by an airplane?" shaking his head

But ever so slowly the boat seemed to get out of the way of the smoking plane


"Starboard Starboard!!" The boats quickly respond. Barely getting out of the way As the plane roared by splashing into the water behind them

"Kbass, take Gold Cup and some life lines and life vests and cut your little boat loose from the myacht" Rimrock added "You're going fishing"

"Cleat our longest anchor line to Kbass's boat" I suggest.

No one asked why, They all knew what I was thinking. With a line between both boats we would have a better chance of rescuing any airmen floating in the water.

"Is it getting hot in here" The Boat Queen quietly asks

As the boat floated closer to the dam of lava, the water temperature was increasing. The heat easily transferred through the aluminum pontoons.
"Prepare for evac,, starboard" Captain Tanner prepared his crew. He had noticed the whirlpool and thought it best his crew were behind the plane while exiting than in front if it got caught in the current.

The houseboat was getting closer in their view out of the cockpit. Tanner thought about trimming the aerloins a bit left or using what remained of his tattered rudder , but with what power he had left under his wings he didn't dare make a move.

"C'mon, C'mon Rimrock! MOVE THAT RUST BUCKET!"

The copilot looked astonished. He had never heard his captain yell before.

It was clear a collision was imminent. Even if miraculously they missed the houseboat they still were going to hit the water in a way his plane had not been engineered for.

Hoping to avoid his wing tips catching in the water and setting the plane in a sudden spin threating his crew safety he kept the line he had chosen as the last of the planes velocity finally gave up the ghost and let gravity take control.

Tanner's efforts were perfect!


"Oh My" Dreamweaver whispered..

From their vantage point under the safety of the ledge the survivors from the inn looked as the plane raced to a collision course with the boat.

From where they watched it looked like the plane would hit the boat but it had soared just inches above it.

Next thing they witnessed brought back memories for Deb, Jen and the other guest gathered. Dreamweaver was the first to vocalize what they all had learned as a kid.

"The plane looks like a skipping' stone!"

The 100,000 ton piece of heavy metal looked like a stone skipping across a still lake. The more it skipped the more it slowed down. By habit Deb counted the skips as her uncle had taught her. One , two, three, four, five......skips.

Then the plane settled down into the water as more flames engulfed the wrecked aircraft.

"Oh my" Jen said out loud. Although safe from the threat from fire from the volcano, Dreamweaver and Deb noticed the lava although not explosive was still flowing against the flood. It seemed their ledge of safety would be compromised soon by the rising waters


"Steer towards the middle of the whirlpool" Rimrock yelled. The closer to the center of the centrifuge the less velocity. The less stress on the the myacht. And, hopefully keep the boat cool from the transferred heat.



Tanner and crew safely hopped into the swirling waters. ( I could elaborate and I will but for now lets assume they were rescued but we all now our heroes saved the day.) Kbass and Gold Cup rescuing decorated servicemen and women with luck and ingenuity?



All of the air crew accounted for and aboard the myacht it was obvious the temperature had increased.

"Close al the windows and fire up the generator " Skip Tanner says. Taking command of the vessel.. There was more than steam in the noxious gas cloud hissing where the water met fire.

"We've never turned the AC under way before" I point out.

Gold Cup and Rimrock don't hesitate. Even though it's my boat I gladly relinquish command under the circumstances.

The crew fired up the generator and the rooftop AC units as Captain Tanner and his crew watched as their beloved bird sank beneath the waves.

No Nonsense Tanner says.

"Deondre where's my radio?"

without being told he already has channel 16 to the park service open. They had been hearing everything.

"Relay our status to HQ" he said calmly

"I saw folks needing to be rescued above the Vermillion Cliffs Inn" Tanner added

Rimrock spoke up.

"We can't beach in this torment. Maybe Kbass in his little boat can get a few at a time but there's no way we can beach this boat safely'


Under the ledge Deb and Dreamweaver looked at each other. There wasn't much higher they could lead the group to safety.

After watching the houseboat and little boat collect the fallen airmen they gained hope. But hope was fleeting as the waters rose behind the lava dam.
"Hmm" Tanner thinks. "You're right! Get the life vests, rope and lifelines and we'll use the little boat to get as many of those folks out of danger as we can."

Kbass and Gold Cup get to work and set off on the black Lund.

"We should refuel." Rimrock says. Thankful he had decided to keep as many gas cans as possible. "Save a can for Kbass's boat"

The myahct was a bit crowded now with the crew of the C-17 on board. The ac units struggled to keep the cabin a comfortable temperature as the boat strained against the forces of the whirlpool.



"Look!" They're coming for us!" Deb pointed to the little boat coming towards them.

The water was slowly rising towards the temporary safety under the ledge. The whirlpool was moving too swiftly for the little boat to beach. Dreamweaver assessed the situation.

"Quick. hop on top of that boulder!" Having explored every inch of Glen Canyon he had a lot of experience boarding little boats from precarious lakeside ledges.

Instead of beaching the boat sometimes you just hopped on the boat without the boat touching shore. That's what he hoped for now.
The Inn's survivors did as they were told and gathered on top of the rock.

"What the heck are they doing" Gold Cup said as the pulled closer to the folks gathered.

Close enough to make out faces Kbass says" Is that Dreamweaver?"

From a distance they see the old man waving and motioning his arms trying to give direction from afar.

"Look like he's waving in a 747" Gold Cup joked.

Kbass understood the plan. he would maneuvered upstream against the current and they could slide down the boulder into the little boat. Avoiding swimming in the water.

"Think we can fit them all?" Gold Cup wondered out loud.

"Kbass, Gold Cup! Am I sure glad to see you!" Dreamweaver yells as they approach the rock.

"What's a girl like you doing in a place like this" Gold Cup makes an awkward joke that falls flat

"Slide 'em down when I get there" Kbass yells. He expertly put the boat in perfect position. One by one the survivors slid down the boulder into the Lund.

"Boats full" Dreamweaver said from up top. Only he and Deb remained.

"We'll drop them off and come back for you." Kbass said.

"Throw me 2 vests and a lifeline" Dreamweaver yells ."And a FLARE!"

Gold Cup ties 4 vests to a lifeline and throws the line up to Dreamweaver. Deb catches it and pulls the vests up.

"Be right back!"

Deb and Dreamweaver watch as their rescue boat disappeared into the steam. Struggling to hear the last of the motors whir in the distance.

Then they were alone. In the desert. Next to a rising flood. Near a lava dam. With no where to run.

"Hope they make it back in time?" Deb said

Dreamweaver was looking for safer higher ground. Not much to be had.

"Put on 2 vest." He said. Deb watched as he tied on end of the lifeline around the boulder making sure it was secure. Then he tied the other end to his belt buckle then with 10ft left he tied the end to Deb's belt buckle. Felt his pocket just to be sure his knife, he always carried was there. Just in case.

Deb understood what his plan was. And could only hope the little boat would be back before they had to use his plan.


"Here they come" Someone on the myacht shouted. The windows had fogged up on the big boat as the temperature difference between the air conditioned cabin and the steamy whirlpool they were sailing in. It wasn't till the little boat was almost on top of them when they appeared.

"Get them on board" Rimrock says. Captain Tanner was busy on the radio.

His command was easier said than done with 2 boats under way. The air force crew were a great help. Strong arms held the 2 boats together as the survivors disembarked.

"Tie up the little boat" I say. As I put the last red, 5 gallon can of gas in the Lund

"No" Kbass yells. "We got 2 more"

"Drea....." Gold Cup yells as they pull away but I couldn't make out what he had said.

"Inside, everyone"

Now with the extra passengers, we were definitely exceeding the manufacturers recommended weight capacity. I always wondered why I used up storage space on 8 life preservers I thought I'd never need...

"What can we do to lose some pounds?" Rimrock asks

"Toss the grill"

"Empty the freezer?"

"Drain the potable water tank." I recommend.

Not a simple task. The tank is under the guest bed. the guest bedroom is now filled with a mixture of air corpsmen and Vermillion Cliff's survivors. So it takes a minute to clear out the room and turn the valve to empty the tank.


The water was lapping at their feet. Deb noticed how calm yet determined Dreamweaver was and relaxed a little in the stressful situation.

Stretching their ears into the mist waiting for the soothing sound of a outboard humming. To no avail.

Dreamweaver broke the silence:

He raised one brow and looked Deb in the eye "My friend called to tell me he changed his name to spinal column. I had to call him Back"

Before she could figure out what he had said he broke into a big smile. Then a hearty laugh.

Was this guy crazy? Deb thought. Then she repeated the joke in her head. She smiled and started laughing too.

Now their feet were getting wet.

She added: "What's the best way to hold down a frog? RIVETS!" and laughed louder

Dreamweaver was slapping his knees in full guffaw. The water was at their ankles.

Through the comfort of their laughter a hum of a motor could be heard in the mist. They stopped laughing and looked at each other.

The water is up to their knees and the current will soon sweep them off the boulder.

"Now I'm going to cut us loose if we run out of line. If worse case scenario I'll have to cut you loose from me. I hope it doesn't come to that."

Deb nodded.

The sound of the motor got closer. They struggled to stay on their feet as the current had gone above their knees.



Kbass was glued to the map on his fish finder. He followed the path back to where they had been by gps because they couldn't see a thing through the steam

"Do you thing they're still there?" Gold Cup asked

"Hard tellin'" Kbass replies.


Deb is the first to lose her footing and float downstream. Dreamweaver absorbs the yank on the rope as the 10ft plays out but can't keep his footing for long. Thankfully Deb swims to the edge and is able to grab a hand hold relieving Dreamweaver. A big push in current sweep him off his feet. There's no time for him to grab anything. He calculates Deb's precarious hand hold won't hold them. "I hope the lifeline holds" he thinks.

Deb watched Dreamweaver lose his footing. They were going swimming. Before she went in the drink she thought she heard the sound of a motor boat.


Kbass steered the boat to the exact spot where the others had slid down a boulder to board his boat. But there was no boulder. And more importantly no Dreamweaver!

Gold Cup pointed downstream without saying anything.



"Fire the FLARE!" Deb yells to Dreamweaver as they float away from land. He was ready. He waited until he thought the lifeline he tied would get taught, he pulled the trigger. Then the rope grabbed. Deb floated by 10 feet then she to was stopped against the current. The lifeline held.

For now.

"Did you see that" Gold Cup said. A red glow lit up the steam further down stream. Kbass realized his friends plan an maneuvered a bit down stream from where he thought the lifeline would stretch to.

"Grab the gaff!" Kbass yelled.

After firing the flare Dreamweaver looked at Deb as they both fought the current tied to the lifeline.

Deb grew up in and around the Glen Canyon. In here fear it didn't take a second to realize she was holding on to a ski boat tow rope. She had learned to waterski barefoot by the time she was ten and quickly hopped up to "ski" the current. One body in the current would be less force on the life line. Dreamweaver hadn't water skied in years and after a few attempts he was going to give up trying when the rope snapped. Setting them free and dropping Deb back in to the water.


"There they are!" Gold Cup said. "Is she water skiing?"

That's when they saw her fall in the water and the floated with the current towards the Lund.

"Gaff 'em" Kbass yells, noting they might only get one chance to grab them safely.

Gold Cup gets the gaff within reach of Dreamweaver who grabs it but the force of the current and waves pulled the gaff out of Dreamweavers hands. "Circle 'round" Gold Cup yells as Deb and Dreamweaver float past. Gold Cup noticed that they are teathered together.

"Drive in between them!" Kbass wondered why Gold cup would say that but followed his instructions as he watched Gold Cup cleat the bow anchor with 5ft of line.

Standing on the bow like a whale boat harpooner, Gold Cup held the gaff in hopes to save his friend.

Sure enough, Kbass split the rescuees and the anchor line grabbed their life line. With the gaff they were able to get them safely on board.

"Back to the myacht" Gold Cup said. Dreamweaver raise an eyebrow.

Kbass throttles up back towards the big boat. The engine sputters.

"Uh Oh" Kbass says tapping his fuel gauge.

That's when Gold Cup remembered the 5 gallons of gas in the boat.


"Roger, Over" Tanner acknowledges the voice on the radio and signs off.

"Switch to channel 64" Rimrock says. Hoping Kbass's Lund would contact them



Kbass followed his gps to where he had met the myacht before but in the mist it was hard to to see. When they got there the myacht was gone.

"Call them on the radio" Dreamweaver suggested.

"Kbass to myacht, Kbass to myacht" He spoke into the radio.

Tanner grabbed the mic out of Rimrocks hands." Head towards the Lee's Ferry Bridge! Copy, Over!"

"Lee's Ferry Bridge, Copy. Over"


On Tanner's request a set of gears were set in motion. His nephew worked for the Fulton Drafting Co. The famous Fulton Skyhook rescue system was invented where his nephew worked. To stay relevant and continue to get contracts from the military the company kept innovating ways to save soldiers. His nephew had mentioned a prototype littoral rescue project in development.


Kbass did as he heard on the radio. As he emerged from the steam he saw the myacht holding steady upstream. Before pulling up t the big boat he heard the roaring sound of a jet flying low over head.

The plane dropped a load. Quickly a parachute unfolded to slow it's decent. Compressed gas inflated floats as the package floated into the water. Gaffed and onboard the airforce crew set to task with the help of the little boat and the myacht crew.

"Let 'em flicker" Tanner orders. The new system includes a net below the boat with 4 points with inflated balloons attached to Steel cables.

Once the balloons reach altitude a radio beacon directed the rescue aircraft.

"Hang on to something everybody" Captain Tanner warned

The rescue craft honed in on the beacon. Visibility was nil.

The rescue crew's training came in handy. The Fulton grapple worked perfectly. Although in training they had only rescued unmanned PT boats and minesweepers. The loaded houseboat would be a bit more then they had trained for. As trained he punched it and pointed the nose up.

WHAM! The superstructure of the air craft shuddered as it seemed to stop in midflight. Struggling it continued on as engineered.

Without as much as a jerk the myacht swept straight up in the air.

"We're flying" Rimrock said.

The myacht floated above the flood towards Page. The passengers on the boat looked down at the canyon some of them had just floated down.

"Shut off the the generator" Rimrock says

Tanner is the first to realize. How do you land a houseboat going 170mph in the air?
In training, Captain Mondo thought, the boats had been mono hulled and unmanned. Practicing plopping them in the water after using the Skyhook didn't have any consequences.

Now there was 10+ living souls on board of the twin pontooned aluminum myacht!

Commander Mondo of the C-17with the Skyhook, had grown up with Tanner and Rimrock as well. His family's houseboat had also been part of the Wilson Creek crew back when. That's how Tanner's nephew ended up at the Airforce's test facility based out of McClennen. Using Lake Mead for practice.

Tanner and Mondo were calmly yet anxiously commandeering the radio. The myacht crew and Inn survivors looked out the windows in disbelief as they held on to anything, like they were on a crowded subway or trying to go to the bathroom when turbulence hits on a plane.

The Airmen looked anxiously at their commander ready to spring into action.

"Sandwiches?" Th Boat Queen thought. She had them prepared but she kept silent.

Captain Tanner put the microphone down and calmly gave orders to his men who scrambled into action.

"What's the plan and how can we help?" Rimrock asks. Shocked that they are flying through the air in a houseboat, the crew of the myacht takes their eyes off the scenery out the window to watch the conversation.

"We're going to try and land this thing safely." Tanner starts

"Where?" I foolishly interrupt

Tanner continues ignoring my question.

"Now when they cut us loose a plethora of parachutes will deploy to slow our descent. On the way down there will be momentum shifts. I'm going to need all of you to help create ballast against any over compensation the myacht might do. So be prepared to move north south east or west on my command. To start I want the lightest people aft with the bigger in front of them ready to run to the bow."

"Holy ship" I accidently say out loud.

"Yes Captain," Skip Tanner addresses me for the first time since he took command of my boat. Which was flying through the air, with what I'm sure is more weight than the manufacturers recommended occupancy limit.

"We can use a little help from above" Tanner said "Apparently the water is pooling behind the rubble of the dam so we're going to try and set down there."

"That was you" Rimrock asked. Referring to when they had watched a plane bomb the remains of the dam.

Captain Tanner's confidence from leading men into battle helped still the fear of the folks who had been on vacation until this morning.

"Ready, Steady" Captain Mondo called on the radio

"Roger" Tanner responds.

"10,9,8,7,6,5,4 ready,2,1, a go go" The myacht crew heard Mondo yell over the radio

The cable holding the houseboat to the airship was cut. For a moment the myacht whooshed forward with it's remaining momentum. The nose of the boat tried to point down.

"Every one aft" Tanner ordered. Then hand signaled his air crew.

Parachutes they had brought from the plane deployed aft to slow the boats forward momentum.

The nose dipped precariously more.

Another hand signal from Tanner and more parachutes deployed on the bow and along the gunnels.

Tanner authouritively ordered the passengers to the proper part of the boat to help steady the boat as the multiple parachutes slowed her descent.

I just need to take a moment to say, as the Captain of the myacht. In all the storms and good times I've had with this boat, I never thought I would be ordered to huddle under the helm to balance the boat as she parachutes from 10,000 feet.
Wayne looked around his office after the White House hung up.

"Are they really going to bomb the dam?" He thought out loud. Maybe head down there to watch? He kept thinking.

Then it hit him. There are going to be a lot of stranded boaters. Possible injuries. A massive rescue needs to start now.

Even though it was April there would still be a good amount of boaters on the lake this time of year. Mostly houseboats and fishermen. The wakeboarders don't usually come out until it warms up.

He imagined more than a few boats would be high and dry still anchored to where the shore had been. Many in box canyons with no egress up to the rim. The former lake bed will be a muck no one could trudge through very long.

He pulled out his rolodex and picked up the phone and called Weeds a copter pilot for the Forest Service. Then Weeds called 2 pilots and then they called 2 pilots which started a grapevine to every helicopter available to come to the rescue. The grapevine reached from L.A. to Denver and from Salt Lake to Phoenix. Farmington to Cedar City. Soon a fleet of copters were in the air heading to Lake Powell.

Wayne left his office and just closed the door to his truck when he watched a C-17 flying towards the dam. The plane flew by. From this far away he couldn't tell if they dropped anything. Then 2 plumes of smoke shot up into the air near where the dam had been.

"Wow, that's some ordinance" he said as the dust cloud grew. Then the shock wave hit his truck. He was still in park and the truck got pushed back a few feet. In his rear view he saw and heard the plate glass windows and door to his office shatter into the building. "Glad my windshield held he thought."



Weeds happened to be refueling in Flagstaff when he got Wayne's call. He was on his second call to another pilot when he glanced towards Page. A plume from the volcano shot up into the sky. "Oh MY!"

"What's that?" the pilot on the other end of the line asks.

"You'll see it when you get here! Hurry!" Weeds hung up and finished refueling.

He quickly fired up his copter as fast as he could. But made sure to follow the checklist before taking off.

Heading to Page first seemed a good move. He was torn between speed and conserving fuel. He decided conserving fuel for the unknown was the wiser decision.



Wayne decided to drive down to the marina to see if he could help. On the way he saw other cars heading the same way. Good. We're going to need all the help we can get. The smoke and dust from the bombs still lingered where the dam had been. "Is the bridge still there" He wondered. Out of his driver's window he saw the beginning of the volcano shoot hot ash into the air. "Oh My!"

A gust of wind blew down stream. He assumed the hot air heading into the sky was causing the wind on an otherwise perfectly still late April day. The new breeze pulled the dust and smoke obscuring the dam and bridge down canyon to reveal the bridge still stood!!

Crossing the bridge slowly, he looked to his right at where the dam had been. The C-17's efforts had paid off. The cliffs on both sides of the canyon had fallen into the riverbed. The flood hadn't completely stopped but it would help keep some water in the lake and maybe help downstream and prevent Hoover Dam's collapse. If it still stood? Did the earthquake hit there too?

He made it to Wahweep as other cars poured in to an unbelievable sight.(I've only been to Page and Wahweep once so it'll be a stretch for this part. Thanks for hanging in there!)

The first thing he noticed was the covered slips and docks were all lying on the ground in the muck. Boats where leaning in wrong directions still moored to the docks. It looked like some folks were trying to walk up through the muck while others were trying to walk down into the muck to check their boats or help anyone in need. Some fools had tried to drive their 4X4 trucks into the muck but didn't get far.

There seemed to be a trio shouting orders and giving commands. "Good" Wayne thought. As he got closer he saw the trio was his old friends Rick, Old No 7 and Cactus Juice. They all smile for a second as they see Wayne approaching.

"Are you the reinforcements?" Rick jokes.

"Don't laugh, I may have called in that airstrike." As he explained the phone call from the White House. "What can I do to help?"

"We need a chopper" Cactus Juice said

"We need a bunch of choppers" Old 97 adds.

"There on the way, I hope. I know Weeds will be here soon." Wayne said.

Beyond the marina he saw little boats and houseboats stranded further out in what use to be the lake. Some were upright but listing. Some weren't. Some with folks waving towards us. Some not. Wayne shuddered. Then they all got to work helping the rescue efforts.


Weeds radio crackled. "Copy. Over"

Shoot. He thought. His boss ordered him to observe the volcano from safe distance and report back. Diverting him from Page. As much as he wanted to help there it was important to know the extent of the danger from the volcano as well. So he climbed and charted a path to circumnavigate the plume clockwise starting from the south. Making sure to keep a safe distance with an exit plan. As he approached he turn on the helicopter's cameras for his superior. Sending video in real time back to the office.

He was about a quarter of the way through his circuit when the second largest explosion belched from the earth. He swerved away for safety but he felt he was already a safe distance. He continued on course. For a second he thought he saw a plane out of the corner of his eye in the smoke.

After completing his circuit he was ordered to do it again. Weeds did as told but really wanted to get to Page. After an excruciating amount of time he was finally free to head to Page. He dropped altitude and made his way towards the dam.

On the phone with Wayne flying over Page on the way to the marina when he saw something. He blinked. He saw it again. He blinked again. It was still there.

"Weeds? Are you still there Wayne said.

"Wayne, look up! Do you see what I see?"

Wayne looked up. Rick, Cactus Juice and Old 97 followed Wayne's gaze.

"Is that what I think it is?" Old 97 says

"It can't be" Cactus juice adds.

"It is!" Rick shouts.

"Looks like a parachuting houseboat to me Weeds." Wayne says calmly, still looking up.

"Incredible." Weeds says astonished.

"Looks like they're trying to land in what's left of the lake. Weeds they might need your help when they land"

"Copy" That's when it occurred to Weeds his cameras were still rolling. He'll have proof when people call him crazy when he tells them he saw a houseboat fly.




"9000"

"8000"

One of the airmen was shouting out the altitude as the houseboat plunged. He had to shout over the noise of a "houseboat" falling from the sky.

"7000"

Tanner had everyone in perfect ballast. He stood in the middle of the roof, looking at the chutes, then the lake, fine tuning their descent by moving back and forth.

"6000"

"5000"


"They're coming down way too fast" Weeds said out loud forgetting he was still on the line with Wayne.

"Absolutely" Wayne agreed

"I'm not sure they're going to hit the water" Rick said

"This isn't going to be pretty." Cactus Juice muttered.


"4000"

"3000"

"NOW,NOW,NOW" Tanner shouted "HANG ON!!"

The airmen deployed the parachutes that came with the Littoral Sky Hook System. Anchored on the four corners of the canvas below the craft and tethered to the houseboats corners as well.

The boat gave a mighty shudder as the chutes caught. Something made a loud metallic snap. Silently the passengers looked at one another. Not knowing if they were safe. Seconds passed. No one said a thing. Then Tanner hopped into the room.

"Every on O.K.?' He asked with a smile. "Y'all did great. I mean it."

"2000"

Relief spread across the boat.

"I just need you to be ballast for just a bit more so if you don't mind staying put. But feel free to enjoy the view on the way down. See you in a bit." with that he went back up top.



"Woah, would you look at that" Old 97 hollered

"Wooo Hooo!" RIck and Cactus Juice hollered

"Looks like a moon capsule landing with all those parachutes" Weeds says

"Yup" Wayne remains calm


"1000"

"Look at Wahweep" Rimrock says enjoying the view on the descent.

"What a mess Gold Cup says"

"It'll take years to clean that up." Kbass adds.

"Think of the insurance claims" I wonder.


"500"

"BRACE YOURSELVES!" Tanner shouts.

"400"

"300"

"200"

"100"

"50"

"25"


Swooosh. There wasn't much impact at all. The forward momentum across the pontoon hulls glided in for a stop. SAFE!

"Cut them loose" Tanner ordered his airmen to release the parachutes so the didn't cover the boat on their descent.

"Get the motors ready, but make sure no lines get caught in the prop" That order was meant for the houseboat crew. Who sprung into action.
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.


The End
 

Canyon Glen

Well-Known Member
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.

Tight Lines,

CG
 

Bill Sampson

Well-Known Member
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.

Tight Lines,

CG
Thanks. I appreciate your efforts.
 

Powelldreamer

Well-Known Member
Thank you so much for a wonderful Lake Powell Adventure Story. I intend to tell this story to my family, with your permission, on our next Lake Powell Adventure, which is the second week in August.
It was an enjoyable read. thank you for sharing yor talent.
 

Canyon Glen

Well-Known Member
Folks that got to experience it, look back fondly at those few seasons when the docks in Moab were walking distance to downtown. It made Gas/Beer/Food and fishing gear runs a bit easier. For a bit.....
 
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