As recreational lakes go (Great Lakes excepted), Pyramid is huge. It's also spectacular. After driving along lonesome two-lane Highway 445, where wild mustangs are corralled in roadside pens and the terrain is windblown and barren, we popped over a rise. Pyramid lay far below, a vast expanse of light-blue water topped by rugged brown mountains and crowned with a sweeping desert sky. There wasn't a tree, a vacation home, or a fast-food outlet to be seen. The road doesn't even encircle the lake, and what pavement there is peters out after just a few miles, becoming a washboard dirt track. In short, it's Hummer country.
The question on our minds wasn't where the H2 could go, but where the H2 could go with an expensive motorboat in tow. We also wondered how the boat would perform in Pyramid's silky waters. There are a couple of official launch ramps here, but boaters are free to launch virtually anywhere at their own risk. This means backing into unknown conditions and the potential for becoming mired.
After registering in the local ranger office in tiny Sutcliff ($23 buys two days' worth of camping and boating privileges), we headed north seeking solitude and a workable launch site. We chose Warrior Point, far up the western shore, for its remote location and seemingly useable bank. After walking to the water to test the soil firmness, we backed the H2 down in increments, periodically testing for traction. Entering the water brought a surprise: It was really shallow. This meant the Wakesetter had to be backed far into the lake to float free. Envisioning a long walk for help, tow trucks, and large cash withdrawals, we gulped and went for it. Soon the H2 exhaust burbled underwater, an engine pulley slapped the surface, and the lake rose to the doors. The boat floated free.
Turning the key on the big Malibu brought an exciting reward. With the fuel-injected V-8 running quietly beneath its padded cover, we engaged Reverse and backed the big V-hull clear. Once everyone onboard settled in, we hit the throttle and headed to deep water for some wakeboarding and tubing. With its ready torque, rope tower, thumping Sony stereo, and Malibu Launch System (which pumps 1250 pounds of water into onboard tanks for bigger wakes), the Wakesetter was huge fun.
After an afternoon of wakeboarding, it was sunset--the moment of truth for the Hummer. But we needn't have worried, for it easily yanked the big Malibu up the muddy bank. We spent the rest of the trip exploring miles of inviting dirt tracks, making camp under a lonely grove of cottonwoods, watching the light fade, and then building a terrific campfire. Finally, nestled into the Malibu's cushy interior, we fell asleep under a blanket of stars to the sound of coyotes and night birds, and in the morning, awakened to do it all again--with nary a fence, nor a sheep, in sight.