Desert Adventure part 2

  So, the last time I was writing, I was here, hanging off a 130 foot ledge.  
 The following day you could find me here, sitting by the edge of a pool reading a good book, while the boys are out mountain biking. When they started regaling about the times they flew over the handlebars the last time they were here, I said “Nope. Momma ain’t goin.” 

 That didn’t mean my adventure was over. Oh no! We had a guided Jeep Tour with Santa Clause to go on. 

 You might be thinking, “Ahhh a little tour of the scenic area in a jeep. How nice.”  

 Honey! This wasn’t that type of tour!  

 Dan Mick, aka Santa Clause, gave us one heck of a tour. The guys were totally hanging out the side of the jeep taking pictures and ouuuing and ahhhing about the abilities of the jeep. 

 While I, on the other hand, was just holding on! There were some parts on this tour called “Hell’s Revenge”, where we climbed up boulders that had us facing straight up, straight down and sideways. Again, I just held on. 

 Mick gave us a detailed education about the land and showed us dinosaur tracks. But the highlight of the evening was watching the sunset. Everywhere we turned the mountains reflected absolute beauty.  Old Mick even set out some brownies, strawberries and whipped cream. He’s such a romantic.

 Now the jeep tour was great and such, but I had to get back to pack for our three day…yes! 3 DAY backpacking trip! Last year, I went on my first backpacking trip.   

 After finishing last year’s trip, I kinda vowed to have that checked off my list of things to do. Yet, in typical Mary fashion, I didn’t quite hear all the details about this year’s trip. Superman had mentioned climbing to the top of Kings Peak, the highest point in Utah. We would all hike 8 miles to base camp, spend the night then the guys would climb to the top and come back the next day.

Uh…notice what is missing? ME! “So, like what do I do? Am I hanging out at the tent by MYSELF?!?” 

Superman responds encouragingly, “We’ll be by a lake and you can bring a book!” 

“Well then. If I can bring a book.” What part of being by myself does he not get?!?

Again. “I have to stay by myself all night in a tent?” 

“Yea, but you can bring a book!” 

A book.

Conferring with all of my wise friends, they ALL said, every single last one of them, that this was a CRAZY idea! And that I needed to have my husband’s head checked, get a room at a nice hotel and reservations at a spa. (I love my friends!)

Superman came to his half senses and agreed to go up and back in the same day. He even used his status as a super hero in my eyes, because he gave me my very own emergency whistle! If anything were to happen, I could just blow away. He and the boys would be there in hours to help me!….great. 

 After a five hour drive from Moab, we started our hike to base camp. 

 The terrain was relatively flat, but made just a little bit challenging with the rocky areas. The scenery and temperatures were out of this world. 

 So the next morning, the guys left at 6 am and I was left to be my own wilderness girl. I successfully boiled my own water for coffee and oatmeal. 

 Later, I ingeniously figured out a way to hook the water filter to a branch by the lake, so I could pump clean water into several water containers. 

 As it turned out, Superman was right….as usual. The scenery was breath taking. There was no creeper hanging around to assault me, in fact there wasn’t anyone around. There were no scary bears out to eat me. Just a million and one mosquitoes and black flies to annoy the living hang out me! Ugh. (I know that God don’t make junk, but what is the purpose of mosquitoes? Just askin.) 

 After my camp chores, I found a spot by a rock that I could lean against, see the pretty lake and mountains, had a cup of hot tea and my book. 

Again Superman was right. (Ugh, it really gets annoying how right he is most of the time….most of the time.) All I needed was the lake and a good book.

The guys got back around 2:00 in the afternoon, completely worn out. Although for a few moments I agonized about what a whimp I was for not going to the top, I realized that if I looked around, there weren’t any 49 year old women hanging around. In fact, I think I saw maybe two, young, under 25 year old girls make their way up. I was good.

 

Vacation: vey-kay-shun, noun- a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday

 Ok. So Superman doesn’t quite understand the part of the definition that says “usually used for rest”, but I have to give it to him…our vacations are awesome! We go places that most folks don’t go. We go off the beaten path. He challenges me and makes me realize I can do more than I think I can. He creates memories for our family. Thank you Superman!

Thanks for dropping by! 

 

A Desert Adventure

  Superman, the boys and I are here in Moab, Utah.  
Our first day here, we checked out Arches National Park. 

 Millions of years ago, ocean waves covered this area. 

 Doesn’t this look like something from Star Wars?  The ground here looks like sand in this picture, but it is actually something they call “slick rock”. When it rains they say the water will come through so fast, causing extreme flooding, due to the ground not being able to absorb the rain.

 This is Balancing Rock. I hope the people in the foreground help give you some perspective of how huge this is. Mind boggling, really. 

 Surprisingly, not many people out. 

 Delicate Arch. Doesn’t seem like that big a deal…

  Until you throw some people under there!  

 Trying to create a typical tourist photo, but not quite capturing the right effect. 

 Double Arches. Imagine million of years ago, when the ocean began to dry up, leaving behind miles thick layers of salty sediment.  

 Then as years pass, with wind, fault shifts and rain, the unstable salt layers begin to erode away. 

 The erosion leaves us these amazing arches. I think this landscape reminds me of the roadrunner cartoons. Beep Beep!

 And she conquers the world! Ok. So I really didn’t conquer the world, but I did scramble up this here rock face. Going up wasn’t the problem. It’s the coming down that provided much humor for Superman.

 Petroglyph drawings from the Ute Indians thousands of years ago.  

 The next day, we take “The Land Before Time” Canyoneering trip. Canyoneering is the process of traveling through steep canyons by hiking, scrambling, climbing, swimming, and  rappelling.  

 Ok so this isn’t the exact trail we took, but it is close. 

 There were many very narrow slots that we had to shimmy through or use what they call bridging. Bridging is your hands are on the opposite wall of your feet. You form a bridge over the water and “walk” your hands and feet to the other side.

  This was a very narrow slot we had to get through. On the left is the canyon wall and to the right, there is a petrified tree. We had to climb to the top of the tree, turn around, carefully place feet on wall,  then jump into the chest deep water. Hitting your chin on the tree as you jumped down would have caused great pain. 

 This is one of three rappelling we had to do. This particular one was 130 feet down. Yup 130 Feet!

 Do you see the rope? Old Mar shimmied on down that thing…No Problem! Actually, rappelling is not scary. I feel perfectly safe. I’m all harnessed up, safely secure with all sorts of ropes, carabiners, special knots and guys paying attention to all the details. We rappelled down a 75 ft drop and a 125ft drop. 

 As soon as we got to the bottom of this 130 ft canyon, we had to squeeze through a small crevice into waist high stinky water.  

 One of the many fascinating things I learned on this adventure was the durability of Mother Nature through thousands, even millions of years. This juniper tree (although not photographed well) is said to be thousands of years old. Thousands! That BLOWS MY MIND!  

 We saw a small pool of water, which our guide said is fed by a natural spring, so it has always had water in it. In this pool were tiny little critters that he said are same as they were in the prehistoric age. This area has not been ruined by developers, roads, railways….people.  

 It is always changing, but yet thankfully stays the same. My hope is that my fellow humans will continue to revere this land we live in. As for here in Moab, every day brings something new. Maybe it is 110 degrees outside today and the next day 90 degrees. On Monday a dry riverbed, and yet on Tuesday a roaring flood. To think that at one time a long, long time ago, this was somewhat flat land with an ocean covering it. And here it is today. Wow. 

Friends we are so blessed to have this at our disposal. Take care of it. Enjoy it.

Thanks for dropping by!