They say when you see a mirage in the desert, it looks unmistakably real, but you can never get any closer to it. I'm here to tell you that sometimes you can indeed get closer and eventually jump in. There are only a few places on earth that the line between mirage and reality is truly blurred and deep in the Arizona desert lives one of those places: Lake Powell.
We rolled in a bit after sundown and got strict instructions from the park ranger: "Just don't drive into the lake." Our caravan managed to find its way to a little nook in the shoreline that seemed to have been made for us. Remembering another remark from the ranger that night; "The water is rising about 6 inches a day," we made sure to make camp a bit farther away from the shore than usual. Wind howling, sand blowing and the moon shining we hit the hay for the night with dreams about what lay in store lulling us into a deep sleep.
A wag of the tail from our furry friend Rupert was our alarm clock the next morning. We unzipped the tent just in time to see the moon setting over the Sandstone horizon. Soon after, the sun was up, and before I knew it, the coffee was on, and the paddleboards had hit the water. We set our sights on the massive stone cliffs across the lake, and began to paddle out into the blue, with Rupert in tow of course.
You wouldn't know it at first glance, but Lake Powell stretches on for about two hundred miles and reaches hundreds of feet down at its deepest points. The bright red walls that shoot straight out of the lake caught my eye, and I couldn't help imagining scaling them just to look down on the azure blue below.
As we got farther and farther out on the lake's waters the prospect of a swim became more and more enticing. Soon everyone was diving deep into the lake, exploring the depths as far as their breath would take them. We all wiggled our way back onto our boards and started the paddle back to camp with childish grins across our faces.
It's places like this I can't help but be amazed by, a desert oasis miles and miles from anything, where people come from all over to simply exist. There aren't too many places you can find these days with no cell service, cold crisp water, and all the sun you can handle.
Though we were mostly on a break from technology, there was still time to grab a few irresistible selfies with the pooch. Luckily, I remembered to keep our NOMAD Battery Cable and Power Pack fully charged, so that even though we were in the middle of nowhere, we could still capture all the fun for later.
At the end of each day, our sunburned noses and sandy feet gathered around the fire and we reminisced about how we spent our time in this Arizona oasis.
If there's anything we could all agree on it was that any day that ends with a ten-second walk from the shoreline to your sleeping bag is a good day. There are countless incredible places like Lake Powell in every corner of this beautiful country. The hardest part is just picking which one to head to next.