My Father’s Day gift was a five-day houseboat trip with my wife and two eldest daughters on Lake Powell. We camped there as a foursome when the kids were both under 5, in hundred degree days and never got out of the water. This time we went on a 46 -foot air-conditioned houseboat, with 4 bedrooms, 2 baths, showers, and 12 people (half of whom we didn’t know). We lived in community, cooked, talked, faced engine problems, swam, fished, hiked, kayaked into narrow canyons, and laughed for hours.
We had time alone time to drift away into the surreal isolation that gives you a chance to let your mind wander; a place where there is no clear distinction between consciousness and unconsciousness and you can see life more clearly. This place is a fantasyland, a float through Monument Valley with its sandstone monolith’s etched by wind and water into a landscape of arches, bridges, sand dunes, and slot canyons that leave you in wide-mouthed awe.
The lake was created when the controversial Glen Canyon dam was built almost 60 years ago, and flooded that the canyon lands on the upper Colorado River at the Arizona/Utah border. Lake Powell is almost 50 miles long and has 1900 miles of shoreline. Once you are on the lake there is no electronic connection and you get away from the customary information overload.
In a single day we generate more information than all of civilization created before 2003. That flood of data has provided us with far more useless information than new truths. What we desperately need are rest stops on the information highway, places to get away from our wireless devices that were intended to give us more free time, but have instead enslaved us by their incessant call for attention.
On the last day we rode for hours past the giant sandstone monolith’s that in my mind became a trip through the history of the world. I saw Zoroaster seated on a throne, the Great Sphinx, a Mayan Jaguar temple, and as I looked at these ancient civilizations pondered about what we would leave behind.
My daydreams were interrupted when I heard my eldest daughter scream with joy as she leapt off the houseboat. I remembered the little girl who once jumped from my lap with the same enthusiasm. Our stories are etched in stone and in the hearts of those we love. Someday, I hope my grandchildren and great grandchildren will take the time to float by and appreciate where they are, where they want to go and what they want to leave behind.
Remember to take some time and float away.