The Phantom Boyfriend Returns


I’ve mentioned before my phantom boyfriend, Joe the Railroad Man. We try and call or text every so often but rarely see each other. We do have a strong bond, though I don’t spend time analyzing it. I haven’t dated anyone else, or even looked on Plenty of Fish. He just works a lot with an erratic and busy schedule.

He called on Sunday and asked if I wanted to go to Lake Powell and spend the night on his boat. Lake Powell is about two hours north of Flagstaff. I changed my one appointment and agreed to be at his house in an hour. I hadn’t seen Joe for almost two months!

Joe lives outside of Flagstaff with his youngest son and four big dogs. We loaded my sleeping bag, pillow, clothes, and box wine into his pickup truck. Two of the dogs came with us. Zeus is a six year-old boxer and Hayden is a one year-old hound. Here’s picture of Zeus and I bonding.

We made good time to Page. There we went to a Walmart so I could grab some lunch and he could buy a battery in case the one on the boat was dead. He hadn’t taken the boat out since he bought it in early June. Next we went to the storage area where he kept his boat. We transferred our gear into the boat and headed to the lake. We used the Navajo Nation’s Antelope Point launch ramp. It wasn’t busy at all. Joe took the boat, with the dogs, into the water while I parked the truck and trailer. It was about 2:30 and ninety-seven degrees.

Problem:  The boat wouldn’t start even with the new battery. Joe was frustrated but not angry. He said if he couldn’t get it started we could stop at Cameroon for a Navajo Taco and then listen to a band he liked in Flag. I like that Joe doesn’t complain and is flexible.

A young man noticed we were having trouble and offered to help. He was a mechanic. He helped Joe take off the top of the carburetor. They surmised that the engine wasn’t getting the fuel. Joe went to town to get something to fix the boat. I stayed with the dogs. It was so hot I took off my shoes and waded in the water with the dogs.

A while later Joe came back, used the fuel starter, and the boat roared to life. He was much relieved and we were off!

Joe beached the boat on an island. I got into my bathing suit and swam in the delicious lake water while he put up the tarp on the boat for shade. The dogs went exploring, and then rested on the sandy beach. Every so often they would wade in the water to cool down.

The Lake Powell setting is stark and awe inspiring. It’s impossible to take a bad picture of the scenery there, all rock formations, sky, and lake.

We lazed away the afternoon drinking wine and beer and conversing. When the sun started to set Joe made a fire with the logs he’d brought from home. Romantic through not necessary for heat. The low that night was seventy degrees. We and the dogs slept on the boat.

We got up just before sunrise. What a glorious sight! I took a quick dip in the lake before we packed up the boat and headed back.

It was a magical twenty-four hours.

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