BLOGGED ALONG THE WAY: WILD WILD WEST EDITION #3
DAY 5 – Wednesday, June 27, 2007: Once I was fairly certain that there were no critters in our laundry, we got ready and headed out to hike some trails. They don't allow civilians to drive their own cars out through the parks, so we caught the shuttles that went out there. We started out going down to the narrows, but we really just walked the length of the paved trail. There were many fat squirrels that would come up to you and ask for food. We weren't supposed to feed them, but like the ravens, I think they benefit from people food. We actually saw one lady, who sat down on a bench along the trail, have a squirrel climb up beside her and get into her pocket where she was keeping her own snack. That was pretty funny. One fat squirrel followed me around. I guess I look like I keep food on me, I don't know. We walked, and walked, and walked, and walked. We walked so much that I decided I hated walking. In a bad moment of both being hot and utterly fatigued, I told Steve, who wanted to hike this particular trail, that I hated him and would divorce him so that I would never have to climb up another mountain again. I was kidding, but it felt mostly true at that moment. We finally made it to wherever the dang thing led, and I walked back while Steve and his dad stayed down for a while. I wasn't upset anymore, since that only lasted for a second, but I was also tired and I didn't want to stand at the bottom of a gorge anymore. We finally left the park and came back to our hotel. Don't ever, ever take air conditioning and running water for granted. We had dinner and did a little shopping and then came back for bed. At that point, I felt as if I had been flogged with a stick. I was sore, tired and pretty sure I was going to take my next vacation somewhere that I could sleep and be cold for the whole time I was there.
Day 6 – Thursday, June 28, 2007: I think Mr. Lee hates me. No, really, I think he does. I don't think there is any other reason for him to take me to the middle of a desert and ask me to climb rocks in heat that exceeds 100 degrees. I told him that if he wants to kill me, there are easier ways. Oy, vey. This was part of my day today. We left Zion after breakfast and went on towards our new destination. Poor Mr. Lee had a slight fender bender and bumped into a mini-van full of Japanese tourists, but luckily there was no damage to either car. All I know is that it scared the behoobies out of me when we hit them. He gave them his information, but since they were both rental cars, I don't think it will be an issue. So we drove on to Kanab, Utah and a little past that so that we could go to “Toadstool Valley” which is the place in the middle of the desert that we walked through where there are rocks balanced on other rocks. It is actually much more impressive than I make it sound, but I quickly got tired of them. Why? It was hot. Nay, it was damn hot. Please forgive me for saying that, but it was. It rivaled the heat in Valley of Fire, and that was horrible. After taking a few pictures, Steve and I just sat in the shade of one of the rock formations until Mr. Lee was ready to go. It was a mean kind of hot. We left there and were going to go to see a river, but because of the heat, we decided that it would be smarter to go on to our next place instead. We went on to Upper Antelope Canyon, which is an amazing sandstone cave that has been sculpted and molded by wind and sand that blow through it. It is owned and operated by a Navajo family and they make sure you PAY to see this cave. You pay to park, and then you pay again to be driven out to the cave in the bed of a 4x4 Bubba truck that they whip out across the sand of the desert with little to no thought to your safety. Well, that's probably not true, but the lady who drove our group out there certainly seemed to be trying her darnedest to throw us out of the back one by one. When we finally got there, we were led into one of the most amazing places I have ever seen. The Navajo believe that it is a sacred place, and they do a special ceremony there once a year to ask permission of the gods to allow tourists in there. O....K. Well, it is a beautiful place, where some really amazing pictures could be taken. Unfortunately, I don't think I was able to take any of those amazing pictures. If you focus on the sky, it washes out the picture. If you focus on the light coming into the cavern, it washes out your picture. You have to set the camera on some kind of unusually long aperture thing to get enough light, and unless you have a tripod, it gets all smeary. Who knows? By the time we got to the end of the cavern, I was freaking out due to claustrophobia. There were too many people inside that little place, so Steve took me back towards the front of the cave and we waited on Mr. Lee to get his 3D pics. I bet they are going to be unbelievable! On the way back, the truck started fishtailing as the tour guide rocketed over the sand dunes. I could easily see the bed of the truck snapping off and flipping us over the side of the dune. Fortunately, we made it back safely. In addition to the fear of God that the Navajo woman put into me, I also got a free microdermabrasion treatment as we drove over the dunes. Gotta love that silver lining. Now I just need to make sure to get all of the sand out of my ears. Yuck. I also ended up with enough sacred sand in my sneakers to create a small altar in my hotel room. I hope the gods don't get pissed that I took it out. I didn't have much of a choice, though.
We made one quick stop at Glen Canyon Dam, and one rather lengthy drive through a cow pasture that Mr. Lee wanted to check out before making it back to the hotel. We had dinner and now I'm about to go to sleep. Thank God.