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Monday, August 21, 2017

Amazing Race Part 14

I am slowly but surely getting every bit of our fabulous vacation documented but the start of school has slowed me down. Today was the eclipse and we enjoyed a full half hour out on our school football field staring up at the sun in our protective goggles. It was great to see the whole community come out- lots of parents too!

So as I said in the last post we didn't even have clean towels for a shower so we used paper towels to dry off...therefore at 4:30 the next morning I was up and in line for the laundry mat at the campsite. It was coin operated and the night before was packed. As I expected there was not a soul alive except for me and the jackelopes. However, I soaked up every minute of those 2 hours, watching the sunrise and walking down to the beach and was a nice piece of God and me time.
4:30 inside the tent.

5:00 walking down to water

5:30 at Lake Powell

6:00 at the LaundroMat

When I got back to the site there were some hungry folk and Goober had already taken down the tent all by himself!! We headed straight to War-Mart to get lunch for the day. The clue had told us that we had a 10:30 appt to hike down into Antelope Canyon and we knew when we got out we would STARVING. From Wal-mart we went to the Visitor Center at the dam in Page, AZ and learned all about electricity  and bought some prickly pear cactus candy so snack on.....and thank goodness we did!
He was loving finding license plates from every state!

The dam in Page, AZ

The line to get into Lower Antelope Canyon was a solid 2 hours...its just the most beautiful place and we were butting up to the Fourth of July weekend so it was jam packed. Fortunately they had shade tents set up everywhere, were handing out water and candy and asked us every 15 minutes if we were feeling ok, were getting dizzy, etc. Our kiddos were champs....they loved listening to our tour guide talk about the Indians in Arizona, how the canyon was formed (which of course made Adam raise his eyebrows), people watch, listen to people play flutes and eat as much candy as they could get!! I felt sorry for many parents with screaming toddlers who didn't want to be held because it was soooo hot but couldn't be put down because it was just that slippery and steep.

We made friends with another couple in line who were from Dallas and spent time getting to know them. I was super psyched because all of the distractions were great for my claustrophobic
fears......I couldn't even begin to think about getting down there and letting my mind carry into a panic attack because I didn't want to deal with all the angry mob behind me who would be ticked if they had to wait for me to clear out. I also didn't want to disappoint my kids after standing in line for 2 hours. I also kept hearing about just how remarkable it was down in the canyon and therefore I was resolved to walk through the whole thing and never once let my mind take me somewhere that would cause worry.

The kids called this "the outie"

After we waited on slick, steep sandstone for 2 hours we descended down 5 flights into stairs into the smallest crack in the earth ever. It was breathtaking and looked like sand dunes that were hidden from the rest of the world. You could see everywhere due to the larger crack at the top of the canyon. BUT, there were several instances where you couldn't see the person in front of you since they had just turned through a corkscrew curve. It was like being in a whole different world. There were swirls of color and light everywhere and Ribbit kept pointing at the beautiful swirls...The boys loved treating it like another Ninja Warrior course and scaled all of the sides...since they could touch both sides with their feet spread. We also had to hold up our group for one second while the boys peed and buring it in sand...who can blame them...a 2 hour wait?...We just distracted others by taking pictures and no one ever knew! After 30 minutes of walking through tunnels we climbled up a couple of ladders and just like prairie dogs, popped up out of a crack in the earth....we had just walked passed that crack 2.5 hours earlier and never even noticed it...God is so stinkin creative and I am so glad that someone took the time to explore that canyon!
Soaking it all in

The lighting was can't capture it.

Sand dunes from another planet!

So many places to hide!

Look at those ripples

Colors from orange to purple!

They refer to that formation as "the Donald"

One of their most favorite things!

Have you ever seen anything like it?

Ninja Warrior

Coming out!

We want to go back!

The crack you pop out of...see the guy coming up?

Our next clue was to head to the Navajo Code Talker Display which interestingly enough is in a Burger King. The display was awesome, well done and very educational. We walked through the exhibits several times reading about these men who worked with our gov't to help break codes and keep our mission a secret. The people there and the workers were less than thrilled that we actually came to look at it and treated us very poorly...if looks could kill...if someone can act as if you are the biggest burden to them...we felt it.
Code Talker display

After we decoded our clue it led us to TIPI Village in Utah, just a short drive away. This was the BEST campsite. We had an awesome elevated campsite with a fence, fire pit, covered table, bathrooms, common fridge, microwave and its in the middle of MONUMENT VALLEY. The views from every angle were phenomonal and the staff were very helpful !! We actually all got baths that night, played some Uno (Little man quit and went to bed ..he was soo tired). Adam took advantage of the bright sky and showed Ribbit how to find the big and little dipper. She then came in and fell asleep on my idea how but I had to wake her up later in the night and move her off :).

Uno under the stars with my kids....yes, this is the good life.

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