My friend Andrew told me the story of Hite, Utah, left high and dry as Lake Powell’s levels dropped. Lissa and I went through there on our recent vacation, and I was so struck by the place that I scraped together the details of Hite’s abandonement and turned it into a newspaper story:
HITE, UTAH – The ghostly silence at what used to be Hite Marina, on the shore of Lake Powell, must be what permanent drought sounds like.
Today, a single boat sits behind a fence in a storage lot against the hot red cliffs. A few ramshackle remnants of the marina’s old floating docks sit stranded far above the current water line.
The National Park Service, which runs Glen Canyon Recreation Area, abandoned Hite Marina in 2003 as Lake Powell’s levels dropped. The floating store and gas station that used to sit at the center of a bustling little community were towed down the lake to Bullfrog Marina, leaving behind a boat ramp that, in dry years, is stranded above the water line.
Any more, “dry” seems to be the new normal here where the Colorado River slips past Moab and through the canyon country that leads to Glen Canyon Dam. Flow on the Colorado River system, which supplies water to New Mexico and six other Western states, has been below average seven of the last 10 years.