I'd just picked up two new propane tanks and had headed down the dock when I heard the Volkswagen. You know the sound, distinctive and always the same regardless of whether it is a bug or a van. Reaching the boat slip I turned in headed for the back of the houseboat ,with a glance over my shoulder at the VW van. It had just come to a stop, its passage revealed by the drifting dust cloud of powdered Utah sandstone. As my eyes focused, I saw a blonde step back from the driver's door and push it shut. I registered a bare belly and green bikini bra and had just caught a glimpse of the passenger getting out when I stepped beyond the houseboat window and they were out of sight. I was already setting the tanks down and stepping back to the window before I had a chance to think why. My titty radar had gone off, I'd realized the passenger had been topless. One step back and I could see a t-shirt going over the brunette's head; I was too late to confirm what I thought I'd seen. I watched them headed down the dock momentarily, then decided to finish the propane tanks before I distracted myself.
By the time I had the two tanks wrenched in place it was break time. Break time was anytime a good looking girl needed to be ogled. In this case, two good looking girls. Maybe I'd have to double my break time.
I walked up to the store and stepped inside, eyes getting accustomed to the darkness after the bright outside light. I stepped over to the cooler and selected a drink, while my eyes surveyed the small store for the girls. I spotted the fluorescent green bikini bra first, and noted positively that it covered two medium sized breasts located below a set of green eyes and a blonde pony tail. She looked over, our eyes meeting. I nodded and smiled and was rewarded with a smile in return. The T-shirt was on a brunette, short hair, I couldn't see her eyes, but the face was just as cute as the first. "Wow," I thought, "this is the best thing that's happened in a couple of days."
Not that I didn't see lots of good looking girls, actually just the opposite. But house boating is a family affair; mom and dad buy the houseboat, kids of all ages come along. I saw cutie after cutie, got to speak and flirt with all kinds of young ladies; got to get glares from all kinds of protective fathers, sometimes smiles from mothers that appreciated a hard bodied male; and then half an hour later they were off for seven days. A week later, they'd show up again, sunburned, suntanned, and ready to go back to their boyfriends back home. Sometimes I'd get a phone number and an invitation to call them if I ever got to Timbuktu -- but I never did. Sometimes during the checkout I'd get an invitation to join them that evening for water skiing or dinner, which would only be a one time thing because the next day they'd be twenty or thirty miles away and I've have no idea how to find them. Most of the time that's all I got, lots of flirting, but not much action.
On that day, I was dressed as usual -- cut-off jeans and not much more. Working on the docks and boats, it was just too hot to not get wet whenever possible. Officially we weren't supposed to "swim" in the harbor area, but if there wasn't a prop that needed changing or a control cable that needed inspection there was always the "slip" and fall into the water. Sometimes we'd need to fetch a boat from a mooring. The excuse was that it was so much faster to just swim out, climb on and bring it back in, but we learned not to do that when the Rangers were around. I fell a lot during the summer.
I didn't think anything about my physical shape at the time. Two years out of high school where I'd been a running star, I'd kept up the running, five miles before work and before the heat every morning. Then working shirtless everyday, I was bronzed and buff. I never thought about it at the time, but looking back I realize now that often the girls were checking me out as much as I was checking them out.
I glanced back into the store as I went back out. We weren't supposed to hang out in the store, or fraternize with the house boaters. Non-house boaters were supposed to be the same, but they were often times not quite as intent on coming or going and I was never one to pass up the opportunity to say hi to a pretty girl. I went back out to the houseboat I was working on and pulled up a chair on the front deck. The girls, whenever they came out, would have to walk right by me.
As they walked down the dock towards me I saw the bikini say something to the t-shirt, and the t-shirt glanced up my way. "How's it going?" I said as they walked up. They had a bag of ice and two six packs of beer.
"Good. How you doing?" T-shirt answered.
"Real good -- as long as I keep wet and get a cold drink every now and again." I answered. "You been swimming?"
"Not yet. We just got here," bikini said.
"Best thing is to get wet and keep that way. Air conditioning at Lake Powell is neck deep and keep your hat wet."
They both laughed. "Where can you go to go swimming around here? We really haven't seen anyplace to get to the waters edge."
"Boy I tell ya," I began. "The truth is, Powell is real hard to get to -- without a boat. The highway crosses it in two places, and both are across high bridges. There's the campground, just down the way there, but it's nothing to speak of. Most anyplace else in this area requires a four wheel drive. You can go down towards the other marinas, it's flatter down there and you'll find some beaches you can get to -- but it's another 70 miles and there's tons of people too."
"Oh." They both looked sort of disappointed. "We were kind of hoping maybe there was someplace without a lot of people..."
"Never been here before?"
"No, this is our first time. Some friends told us that we should come down here, that there were lots of secluded canyons and places where we could get away from everyone and be by ourselves; catch a little sun -- that kind of thing."
"That's true. I've talked to people coming back in that have told me they've gone several days in a row without seeing another boat. But that's up here at the North end. Down south -- that's where all the crowds are. But without a boat -- it's dang hard." I paused momentarily. "You don't have to stand there in the sun, pull up a seat." I indicated the other chairs on the front deck."
They didn't hesitate, once I told them it was OK, they climbed right on with me. "Want a beer?" the blond asked.
"Oh, you bet, thanks." I took one of the offered beers, they each opened one too. The gentle wiggle of the brunettes breasts when she popped her beer top confirmed to me what my radar had told me earlier -- she was braless.
"You ladies got names?" I asked.
"I'm Tracy," the bikini answered, "this is Linda," motioning to her friend in the T-shirt.
"Jim." I offered. "Thanks again for the beer."
"So there's no place we can go and camp near the water without going to that awful campground?" Linda asked.
"Looking for someplace a little more private?" I asked, suspecting from their description they were looking to sun themselves sans clothes.
"Yeah, that and a place to camp." I nodded in understanding. I thought about it for a moment before answering. I described the two or three places semi-accessible from the land, none of them fitting their desires, and ending with Farley Canyon. Just a few miles south it would be accessible, but depending on how many people were around, probably not private.
"If you had a boat I'd send you up north. There are a couple of pretty nice places up there." They asked about the cost of a boat, and as I suspected they couldn't afford a rental. I suggested they try out Farley Canyon and if it wasn't to their liking to come back in the morning. "If you're here at 8 tomorrow, I'll take the day off and we can go for a ride," I offered, throwing out a hook to see if they were interested.
"Really? You'd do that?" Tracy asked. "That would be cool."
"Hell yeah -- I pretty much work all the time anyway, as long as the houseboat load isn't too much I can pretty much take off whenever I want. I already know tomorrow is practically nothing happening. Believe me, around here it's not often that I might have the chance to hang out with a couple of pretty girls."
We finished our beers just as I spotted an obvious houseboat party showing up. "Hey listen, I gotta go, those people are here for this boat. But I'm serious, show up first thing in the morning and I'll take the day off."
"Ok, we'll hold you to it, if Farley doesn't work out." She looked thoughtful for a moment. "We really don't have money, if it costs much..."
"Ahh, don't worry about it. Gotcha covered." I glanced their way as they got in the vee dub. I hoped they'd come back, I hadn't gotten lucky in a while. I couldn't help but wonder which one I had the better chance with.
A couple of hours later I hear someone say "Hey Jimbo! How's it going?" I glanced over at the fuel dock where an old blue beat-up tri-hull fishing boat was tying up. I recognized the older couple, some of our regulars, Wayne and his wife.
"Pretty good, Wayne. How's fishing?" Wayne was an avid fisherman. He'd come down for a week at a time, two or three times a year, and a couple of long weekends also. Easily in their sixties, he was nothing to look at, just a good ol' boy fisherman. His wife was a dumpy little thing, also nothing to look at, but the two of them were never apart. This was about the end of the year for them, though, the fishing kind of slacked off when it got too hot.
"Not so good on the fishing, just a couple. One good one, that's all." I wandered over to the gas float, and pulled the hose over to him. "You know Jimbo. You wouldn't believe what we saw over in Farley Canyon just a while ago." He may have thought I didn't know, but no sooner had he started talking than I knew exactly what he was going to say. "We was fishing along up in the back of Farley when Margie said "Well, will you look at that. Well I never." So of course I looked to see what she was seeing." Lowering his voice, conspiratorially, he continued "They was these two gals up there laying in the sun -- without a stitch on either of 'em." He glanced at his wife who was walking over to the store. "Shoot, if Margie hadn't made me move I'd still be there looking. They was a couple of pretty good lookers too, mind ya."
"You suppose they're still there?" I asked, not letting on that I'd been the one to send them there.
"Nah, we went around down around the bend and after a while I turned us around. When we got back up there, they was nowhere to be seen. They musta come in by the road, I didn't see no boats."
"Yeah, must have." I agreed.
I finished my run before the sun came over the hill, although even the cool of the morning wasn't very cool. I stopped at the weather station, the unmistakable white slatted box on four steel legs, and recorded the weather readings. The NOAA weather station at the marina was the only means of recording the weather within about 50 miles. Once a day I'd write down the reads, then reset the thermometers. Everyday I'd take the low temperature for the night before and add twenty two degrees, my prediction for today's high. I was more accurate than the Weather Service forecast, which the park service would show up with a few hours later. That morning was 82 -- it was going to be 104 later. A quick shower and a bite to eat, I was headed down to the docks at 7:30 when I heard a Volkswagen engine again. I glanced down the roadway and recognized the car approaching. I stepped over next to the roadway and waited.
"Good morning, Jim," Tracy said through the open window. She was driving again, only this time they both had t-shirts on.
"Hello, Ladies" I answered, leaning against the door. "Have a good night?"
"I've had better. It was pretty hot." I nodded in agreement. "Are you still willing to take us for a boat ride?" I confirmed that it was still in the cards, that all I had to do was a couple of things and that I'd be free until the following day. I asked how long they wanted to go for, whether it was until mid-day or all day, and then suggested that if they wanted we could take stuff along, camp over night, and come back the next day. I told them I'd supply dinner. They agreed that sounded fun, so I showed them where the boat was and left them to load their stuff while I finished what I had to do.
Lake Powell is peculiar in many respects. The longest shoreline of any lake in the United States, it has several rather large bays of water but is dominated by hundreds of narrow canyons that twist and turn, sometimes for miles. Except in some of the southern bays that may be 5 miles across, the lake is maybe only a mile wide at its very widest points. Most of the time the main channel is only a few hundred yards, or less. Many think that the lake extends from Page Arizona to Hite Marina at the north end, but in reality at high water the lake extends into Cataract Canyon for another 30 or more miles. Named for its now inundated many rapids, Cataract Canyon is still truly a canyon, with vertical cliffs stretching hundreds of feet into the air. Only a couple of hundred yards wide at the widest, it seldom gets the wind driven waves that can happen in the large bays down south.
The ladies and I headed up Cataract Canyon, leaving behind the crystal clear waters of the open bays and into the gray green waters of the Colorado River. Several miles up, I drifted to the left side of the canyon, which was only maybe 200 yards wide at that time. Searching for the narrow cleft, I slowed to wakeless speed and turned into the side canyon.
"Where are we going?" Tracy asked.
"Just watch," I answered. As the inlet apparently came to an end, I slowed to an idle, looking for submerged boulders waiting to devour our propeller. I eased around a large boulder, as big as a house, and turned hard left into a previously unseen channel. Now virtually no wider than our boat, I eased back toward a hidden cavern. Hidden from view by the light to dark contrast, it was little more than a gaping maw, the mouth of a dragon.
"HELLO," Linda shouted. "HELLOELLLOELLLOOO" the echo returned, bouncing back again and again. I shut the engine off, the sudden quiet deafening. Taking an oar, I pushed us back into the surprisingly large cave that opened up. Once out of the sun, the outside appeared bleached white in comparison, as our eyes became accustomed to the shadows. The coolness of the cavern was immediately apparent, probably 20 degrees cooler than in the merciless sun.
"How deep is it?" one of the girls asked. In response I took the paddle, shoved it down till it was nearly submerged then gave a shove and let go. The paddle disappeared, then moments later bobbed back to the surface.
"Maybe 15 to 20 feet or more," I answered. "It's really not very deep here; we're pretty close to the side. Two years ago, this place was high and dry. I climbed up here, but it was pretty tricky."
"This would be a great place to keep dry in a rainstorm," Linda said. "Just slide back in here and float in the boat nice and dry until it passes."
"Actually, it's not," I corrected. "This is a slot canyon, not a good place to be in a flash flood. The sandstone erodes really easily, when it rains up on top, it funnels into these canyons which erode very fast. Where there's a slightly harder layer of rock, the water breaks over the edge and creates an overhang and cavern. Now that the lake has risen, it's flooded this canyon leaving the access and discovery by boaters much easier than when someone had to climb cliffs to get here. Even then, not many people find it. But if it were raining, we could easily be buried under a torrent of mud and water."
"I don't think I would have found it," Tracy said.
"True, I've argued with people about this being here and they didn't believe me until I showed them." We floated in silence, listening to the waves lapping against the boat, and the echoes of our movements.
"Lets go out in the sun and go swimming" Tracy said, "I'm hot".
"Me too." Linda chimed in. I took the paddle and began moving us out into the canyon once again. Once out of the narrow slot we found our wake had dissipated, and in the windless morning, the lake was now just a reflecting glass. I shucked my shirt, stood on the edge of the boat and dove in. I surfaced, heard a splash behind me and rolled over. Clearing my eyes, I looked up at the boat just in time to see Linda dive off, topless. Tracy was already in, swimming toward me, and pulled up a few feet away. The water wasn't crystal clear, but I could see her bare shoulders. I wondered if she was topless too. Moments later she flung her hair backward out of her face and leaned back into a back float position, her bare breasts breaking the surface confirmed it. I felt my cock lurch in lust -- although I'd made no outward overtures, I was pretty sure I'd be getting lucky before the day was out.
We floated and talked, I made no comment about the girls state of dress - or rather, undress. After a while I went back to the boat and fetched three life jackets so we could float and talk. I told them all about how I'd come to be there and how long I'd been there, what I did, whether I had a girlfriend (no -- and it had been WAAAYYY too long since I'd gotten laid). They told me they'd come to Utah to work at a ski resort during the winter, and had held over for the summer season. They'd decided to take some time off and visit Powell on the advice of some friends that had been there a few weeks before. They were both currently unattached; their boyfriends had gone home after the ski season, much to my relief. The day was looking better and better. Finally I suggested we head on up, we could hike and swim when we got where we were going.
Climbing back into the boat first using the engine, I grabbed the swim ladder and hung it over the side for the girls. They both climbed on board, taking my proffered hand, and nonchalantly stepping on and aside as I saw them both topless for the first time. I swung the ladder back on board, and taking my hand stripped the excess water from my skin.
"Where's the towel?" Linda asked.
"Believe me, you won't need it. Thirty seconds after we get moving, you'll be dry." I tried not to ogle their luscious breasts, but as soon as I got my sunglasses back on, didn't hesitate to look sideways at their wonderful mounds of femininity. My cock had more than just lurched in lust; I was going to have to adjust it soon to get comfortable. Starting the engine, we moved in and out of the cliff morning shadows once again, until we got to the main channel which ran East-West and was in the direct sunlight. Easing the throttle up from idle, the evaporation practically instantaneously evaporated the water from our skins. Glancing sideways at first one and then the other, both girls had erect nipples from the rapid evaporation. I adjusted my cock, which upright practically stuck out the top of my cutoffs. I was glad I was facing the steering console, unusually situated in the center of the boat. Thirty seconds later, we were all dry, except for our clothes. Ten minutes later, they were dry too.
It was hard to hear quiet talk with the roar of the outboard and the whistling wind. Tracy leaned in closer, grabbed hold of my arm just inside the elbow. "We're ok like this? Do we need to put our shirts back on?"
I grinned back at her, trying not to laugh. "Not as far as I'm concerned. We aren't liable to see anyone else -- but if we do, that's up to you. I've seen river rafts coming downstream where everyone on board was naked, and not many others are ever up here."
"Good" was all she said. She didn't sit back, but continued to stand beside me, holding my arm. Occasionally the movement of the boat would cause her to lean into me, her breast coming in contact with my arm. I said nothing, but every touch got me more and more aroused.