Carolina: Cruising Past 70: Our Lifestyle Adventures: Taking a Break from the Book, a Steamboat Cruise!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Our Lifestyle Adventures: Taking a Break from the Book, a Steamboat Cruise!

Welcome, Aboard the Dolly Steamboat on Canyon Lake!
On May 5, 2015 I should have been ecstatic!  I found my book, Carolina: Cruising to an American Dream, already available online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the iUniverse Bookstore since May 1, 2015! It was just five days before, on April 30, when I sent my DocuSign approval of my publisher iUniverse’s latest cover and interior proofs of my book. Their production timelines indicated that there would be a QA period of 1-2 days, and then a printer set-up of 1-2 weeks, after which a printed copy would be sent for my approval. They also said retail and digital distribution was supposed to be 4-6 weeks. Well, how about one day for all of those?
the yellow hills on the way to the lake
I had to rush marketing activities and for the past two weeks, I have been scrambling to make social media buzz. Fortunately, Bill did not forget about May 10, that special day for mature women, Mother’s Day! First he wanted to take me to the Desert Botanical Garden to catch the last breath of spring when the desert is ablaze with color, especially my favorite yellow. But then he heard about the Dolly Steamboat which, since 1925, has been cruising Canyon Lake, nestled in the heart of the Superstition Mountains.
our first view of the Lake!
The lake is the third and smallest of four reservoirs formed by the damming of the Salt River in Arizona. It is approximately thirty miles up the Apache Trail from our home in Viewpoint RV and Golf Resort in Mesa, east of Phoenix. Within the Tonto National Forest, it is a scenic area for hiking, camping, and boating, managed by the US Forest Service. It passes the trail along Tortilla Flat, Arizona, before reaching Apache Lake and Roosevelt Lake behind Theodore Roosevelt Dam upstream. The fourth, Saguaro Lake, is downstream.
ready for boarding!
It was a favorite destination of President Theodore Roosevelt. He once declared, “the Apache Trail and surrounding area combines the grandeur of the Alps, the glory of the Rockies, the magnificence of the Grand Canyon and then adds an indefinable something that none of the others have.” True enough, the two and a half-hour dinner cruise provided some of the most beautiful panoramas we had ever seen. And you all know that five years of RVing have given us so many great scenes. But they compared to those we saw from the Arctic Circle in the north to the Tropic of Cancer in the south and from the Atlantic in the east to the Pacific in the west.
Dolly about to enter the canyon
Once aboard the Dolly, the captain pointed out desert big horn sheep, bald eagles and a host of wildlife, waterfowl, and other birds. Bill and I were at a table on the upper deck giving us plenty of camera opportunities for magnificent scenery.  As we incessantly clicked our cameras, the captain recounted the legends and the lore of the mysterious Superstition Mountains. 
sumptuous dinner with scenic surroundings
Then dinner was finally served buffet-style on the bottom deck.  And what a dinner it was! We had a whole barbecued chicken breast PLUS excellent top sirloin steak to boot! Throw in as much fresh salad and twice baked potatoes as you want and it was dinner whose quantity and quality we had not had for some time! We had a lot of time to relish it, with a stunning backdrop! When we turned around to return to the dock, it was nearing night time. The lights of Dolly began to glow; the scenes shifted to stellar dusk, and the mood turned very romantic. 
romance, at dusk
With outstanding service and personal attention, the voyage was one we would like to repeat, not on Mother’s Day, but Valentine’s Day next year! The promotion slogan rang true: it is the Junior Grand Canyon! And, may I add, from up close on a comfortable steamboat called Dolly. I had a most timely break on Mother's Day from the sudden birth of my book, Carolina: Cruising to an American Dream, even as my three daughters just greeted me from three different countries. Bill always make sure!
back at the dock, at night

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