Sunday, August 31, 2008
Wyoming Vacation (part 2)
Photos: of the Wyoming State flower - Indian Paint Brush and a purple "I don't know" at peace with a spent, common dandelion. I like that for some reason.
Ammon and his Dad looking out over the Top of the Big Horn Mountains)
Part of our trip to Wyoming always includes side trips to the Big Horn Mountains and to the Pryor Mountains.
We went to the Big Horn's first. The problem is, I still do not like the trip up the steep mountain side 'cause cliffs scare me to death. It used to be worse though. The switchbacks (long since done away with) used to scare me into apoplexy, and I believed each twist would send me flying to the bottom of the mountain. I would literally hide on the floorboards. Ugh! just thinking about it makes me want to close my eyes and hide. Yeah! It's better now, and I am slightly cured of my fear of cliffs - well, I did say slightly, right?
So what does Ammon to do me? You'll see. These next photos will tell the story of our adventure to Porcupine Falls. It is quite amazing really. If this were in Hawaii, swimming in the pool below the falls would be just wonderful, and I might have wandered in. But this water is ice cold even in the hottest part of summer. So what does my son Ammon do? Yes! Ammon got up the nerve to jump in the pool first - off a cliff. He had to coax Marnee, but she eventually also jumped into the icy waters. I didn't think much of their wisdom, but the cliff was not too drastic and I did take a video of it. Pretty funny.
All was going well until a group of kids from some kind of "Christian Camp" arrived. Their leader (who I believe now must be of the devil) led them up the side of the cliff where they all began to "cliff dive" and so Ammon could not resist joining them. He followed them right up the side of the mountain. (note the black arrow on the photo - that's the point of the dive). It is higher than it looks in this photo, trust me!
I was having my apoplexy fit watching the event unfold, and thus I missed photoing his actual dive.
I only got a picture of him swimming to shore (because by then I realized he had survived and I was much calmer). I didn't know whether to be mad or grateful. I guess I choose to be grateful he is such a winner of a kid, and talented, and adventurous. He did nearly freeze to death though, (serves him right) and I think he is still shivering.
Ammon teasing his Mom! "TOLD YA' NOT TO WORRY -
THE PRYOR Mountains (or actually the foothills to the Pryor Mountains) are actually my favorite place in all of Wyoming. If I could, I move there. Seriously! I build a home there. The foothills there are dryer, more desolate, less traveled, and my "at peace". It just feels like a special place to me - like I belong there. I love the tee-pee rings, and Native American carvings on the ravine walls, the mud canyon, the fossils, and the red dirt. I love the lizards and the other wildlife who eek and existence out there. The skies are usually sunny, and the juniper and cedar trees smell so good and often look so funny. The rock formations, I find particularly interesting. It's a good place.
This trip, Alex Ostler (my grandnephew) went with us. We didn't have any other takers but Alex is loads of fun and one of the kindenst young men I know. I was very happy he was going to go with us. We drove to a fun spot, and Ammon, Marnee, Alex and I climbed down into one of the many ravines to explore. The plan was, that Jim would drive the car back down to the end of the ravine and we were going to hike down to the bottom. Jim could then pick us up. However, we didn't think about Alex having been seriously ill over the past few months. Worse, we left all the water in our car - didn't take it with us on the hike! Duh!
First rule of the desert, always take the water.
It's just that I just didn't think the hike would be far, and we were hiking down hill, after all, (and I was well hydrated before I got out of the car so didn't think) but it was very hot and Alex, still being somewhat weak must have especially needed water. I actually began to be quite worried (without saying so), enough that I humbly hid myself behind a rock and prayed - hard - that we could find Jim quickly and get water for Alex.
Prayer done, action next - I thought that the best course of action was was to send Ammon and Marnee up and out of the ravine to see if they could see Jim - see where the car was - how far - and thus assess our best and closest source of water. I thought perhaps I'd have to send Ammon and Marnee for the water, and Alex and I would stay behind in some shade. Well, just as Ammon was scampering up to the top of the red cliffs, I heard the car horn blast! Amazing! (It is not really when prayer is involved, but it still seems amazing to me). Jim had suddenly decided to go on a different road and felt that he should honk the horn, letting us know his position. The noisy blare was the most wonderful noise I had heard all day - all week - and he was really very close by.
I told Alex that it would be tough, but our best way to water was to hike up (whew) and out! (he was smart too, finding our best way out when I was stuck). What a sport Alex! We then had our fill of the blessed clear water.
In this photo, you can see Alex, who had just recently been on a type of steroid, actually causes a rather round face for a short term. He had just finished his regimen of medicine which had definitely not been fun for him.
The trip home - we stopped at Red Canyon near Lander Wyoming. It is so gorgeous!
Ammon says this photo looks like it was taken with on of those fake backgrouds. It's not! It's the real thing!
Of course, Ice cream at Farson, and home again in Eagle Mountain.