I'm not sure if it is Spring or the fact that we start reminiscing about be young and getting married, but we seem to become more adventurous this time of year. Remember a couple of years ago when we fell on top of each other trying to climb into a window in La Jolla. Not sure that I ever publicly told that story. It was pretty embarrassing but involved locking ourselves out of a house which had been graciously lent to us for an anniversary weekend.
This new adventure has a fall as well but not the bruising, bone jarring kind I suffered early this year while delivering hot chicken taco soup to someone recovering from surgery. Landing on red sand is almost comfortable compared to concrete topped with tile. This I know from experience.
This adventure was hatched in the mind of this man who has long had "hike through a slot canyon" on his bucket list. It has now been checked off, but not without a bit of daring which for a time seemed daunting. He felt enabled to try this because of a new Tahoe with 4 wheel drive.
The Tahoe has just traveled through a stream bed to the entrance of Red Canyon Slot also know as Peek-A-Boo. The journey to this point has not been easy. It involved 5 + miles of travel on deep sand roads. The hiking guide stated, "Load your 4WD vehicle with refreshments and gasoline. Bring an air compressor so that if the need arises you can refill tires; you may need to release air pressure in order to 'float' over the deep sandy road."
That short paragraph sent us off to buy said air compressor from Costco. The guide book directed us to leave Highway 89 a few miles north of Kanab on our drive back to Arizona. We found said sandy road after mistakenly exploring the animal rescue center also just east of Highway 89. We ambled along fairly well for a couple of miles until deep sand become deeper at which point the Tahoe embedded its self into deep sand and became stationary.
We exchanged looks of dismay. Would we now be old people without good sense who would use their satellite phone to plea for help from people in Kanab who would mock us from behind our backs?
The man who talks about getting old and feeling older, but who still gets guesses that he is about 50, exited the vehicle and proceeded to let air out of his tires, one after the other. Tahoe still wouldn't budge. Man asks woman to exit the vehicle and tell him which tires were spinning. Woman views back tire making slight turn, no movement otherwise. Man decides to read carefully new car instruction manual to make sure that he has indeed engaged the 4WD. That would be negative. Following said directions we are soon ascending deep sand hill on tires which "float." Whew!
A wrong turn, back track, and a few more miles and we are at the entrance to a slot canyon.
Man is gleeful and excited.
Woman follows snapping pictures happily.
It is lovely.
Just like pictures seen in magazines and hiking guides.
It is worth the tension.
The possiblity of embarrassment.
We are in a slot canyon without out having to walk miles through sand.
So worth every minute
of that sinking feeling
that perhaps you have been
stupid. And then you fall flat on your face because you were snapping away looking up at the beauty instead of checking for rocks poking out of the sand at your feet. Man returns to help you to your feet. Woman is fine. After all, it is a fine textured deep red sand. Camera, however, is now full of same sand and has gone AWOL. The following pictures are brought to you by man's camera phone.
Just know that AWOL camera was truer to actual colors.
See, rocks embedded in sand.
The sunlight falling into the canyon was magical.
And after about 0.35 miles, it came to an end.
No rock climbing for us.
Just a lovely, fall free walk back out. The camera was taken to Tempe Camera where it was determined to expensive to fix. The Tahoe "floated" back out to the paved road where the compressor worked as promised delivering about 2 pounds of pressure per minute, and there were no mocking rescuers needed after all. We were elated to have witnessed Peek-A-Boo.
This is the guide book that Glen purchased. It has good maps and detailed information. I just noticed that there are many more corners turned down to mark pages. Wish me luck!