Tuesday, October 26, 2010

enough already. . .clampetts & lake powell, days 5, 6, and 7

Whew.  I had so many pictures of Lake Powell, I decided to break it up into different posts so I could just do a little each day. Like I've said before, the reason I go to the trouble of doing this is for our little family to remember.  Boring for anyone else who might possibly read it, I know.  Regardless, I hate to leave anything out.  But really?  This is taking way too long. . .even I am getting sick of it.  Lets get this wrapped up. . .

Day 5
Already packed and set to go, we got off to an early start to find a new campsite.  One thing we all wanted to do was to hike Hole In the Rock, where the early pioneers brought their animals, wagons, and families down a narrow crevice in the canyon as part of their journey to the Four Corners area of Utah.  We ended up settling on a site in the canyon directly across from where they crossed. 

Something funny about this day. . .when we knew we were getting close to the vicinity where we wanted to stay, a bunch of us adults loaded up in Ronnie's boat to go and scout out a campsite.  AJ and Jodi were already in their boat, skiing.  This left Grandpa, who was driving the houseboat, and a bunch of the older cousins who were engrossed in a game. 

They were slowly making their way down the channel when Grandpa got a little bored.  The main part of the river was pretty wide at this point, and he figured he had a little time to tinker around a bit and make a few minor repairs on the boat.  He left the wheel and thought he'd keep an eye out the window and adjust the steering wheel as needed. 

Well. . .you know how that sort of thing goes.

It wasn't long before he looked up just in time to see the boat heading straight into a wall.  "Brace yourselves!"  he yelled.

The kids all did as they were told, steadying themselves just in time for the big collision.  Later, they filled us in on the details.  Food went flying out of the cupboards, and provisions were strewn all about.  Luckily, Grandpa had noticed in time to avert the disaster somewhat, and the kids were there to help him clean it up (and tease him the rest of the trip!).

After all of his sailing escapades, let's just say he can't tease us girls about "crazy women drivers" anymore.

Once we found our spot, we headed off to hike Hole In The Rock.  Claire stayed in the boat with Grandma, but the rest of us made it the whole way up.  It was incredible.  I cannot believe the faith it must have taken to lead a wagon and team down that steep incline. 

 We saw this little fella on the way (except he wasn't too little. . .probably about 3 or 4 inches long.  Yikes!)

 David and Kye were troopers with Emmy, and helped her the whole way up.  She did inform us, however, that there were a few sticky situations in which she gave them a few pointers.  In other words, she pretty much saved their lives.

 We had to go through this tiny, dark opening.  Grandpa was sure he saw a snake and so he and Nan had to investigate. 
The entire investigation took about 5 minutes, and ended up with the two of them throwing a number of rocks into the opening to scare the snake away.  I wish I could have gotten a picture of them high-tailing it out of there when the so-called snake dropped from a ledge!  So funny.  Grandpa was shouting, "Ewww, I hate snakes!  I hate snakes!"  Turns out it they decided it was just a stick, but we hurried through there just the same.
We hiked most of the way down in the dark and had to make it back to camp guiding the boats by flashlight.  We were tired but glad we had done the hike.   All were in agreement - those pioneers had some true grit!

Day 6

Finally. . .sunshine!

We were all so happy to see the sun, we got going early and went out on the boats for another adventure.  The first stop was the Cathedral in the Desert, one of those places that made me wish I had better camera skills.

Next, we stopped to hike these ruins, way up on a cliff.  (If you look closely at the picture below, you can see a little square house perched up on the ledge, to the right.)
 You can't tell by this picture, but getting up there was pretty crazy.  There were little handholds dug into the side of the cliff, with not much to help with footing.  I admit I was pretty shaky and probably would have chickened out if the girls weren't there to help me be brave. 

 On our way back down, we celebrated by jumping off these cliffs.  Even though it wasn't much more than 20 feet or so, it took me about 15 minutes to actually get myself to take the leap. . .whew!  The whole time I was repeating to myself, "I can do hard things. . .I can do hard things."

From here, we sadly said our goodbyes to the Stosich family, who had to head for home. 

Then, as we were winding our way out of the canyon, we came upon this sad bunch, standing right on top of the water! 
Upon closer inspection, we found them to be fairly familiar. . .

 and just thumbing for a ride home.

We happily spent the remainder of the day enjoying the sunshine (although the air was still pretty brisk!), and playing in the water. . .our favorite kind of days!

Day 7
With our vacation drawing to a close, we set out for one last adventure.  My mom has a really old map, which marked several off-the-beaten-path ruins and a landmark called "Triple Arch" in the canyon we were staying in.  Because the water levels have changed so much, we were having a hard time figuring out where they might be.  Determined to find it, we left Claire, Grandma, and Grandpa behind and headed out with Ronnie's family in search of our treasure!

After quite a bit of hiking around, we finally spotted Triple Arch!  Once easily spotted from the water, it was now hidden because of the lower water conditions. 
After our exciting discovery, we were pondering on the location of some ruins that were supposed to be near the arches.  We couldn't figure out how we could get closer to the arch to see.  As we were trying to make a decision between calling it quits or continuing an exploration, a large boat came near.  Inside were two older couples, about 70 or 75 years of age.  They had spotted us looking around and wanted to tell us that they had figured out an access route to get to the arches.  In fact, they had been there 4 or 5 times and were heading up to see it again.  When they invited us to tag along, we couldn't resist.

Once we saw their chosen route, we knew we had just began our latest adventure.  This trip was full of them!  The two couples were so fit, fun and full of energy.  We watched in awe as one of them men scrambled up the moki steps (actually carved a gazillion years ago by real indians!) and threw down a rope for the rest of us.  Using him as our anchor, we each took turns scaling up the vertical wall.  So much fun!  It's amazing how much better you feel when you've got a rope!

 Ryenne. . .
 Emmy. . .
 and Kate!  Up she goes!

 Once we got to the top of the ledge, we saw that the adventure was just beginning.  We carefully guided the kids over next hurdle (now it makes me a little sick to see it, but we wouldn't have taken them if we didn't feel safe), and continued our exploring.
 Although we never made it to the arch (we ran out of time), we had a great time and felt completely inspired by our guides.  Heck, I'd like to be in that good of shape now, let alone when I'm a grandma!  Watching them scamper across the rocks made me determined to take care of myself so I can always do the things I enjoy.
Never finding our sought-after ruins, we reluctantly turned back. 

It was time to go home. 

I don't know as I've ever had a vacation filled with such adventure.  Each day was a new experience, complete with excitement and laughter.  The girls can't wait to go back and have said it was one of the best trips of their whole lives!  The common consensus among the kids seemed to be, "I'll never forget this as long as I live."  You can't beat that, eh?

And so it is. . .we accomplished our task.  All the memories of our childhood:  the adventure, fun-filled days, amazing scenery, and complete awe of an incredible place- now passed on to our own children.

The legend of Lake Powell lives on.


Heather W. said...

Looks like you had a fun time. Beautiful pics too!

dippyrooroo said...

Wow! You guys do some serious adventuring!