Good Morning, Day 11!

Yesterday was truly an adventure. It began with a complete mixup of time. We’re bouncing between two time zones and so the time our guide said he would pick us up was an hour sooner than we’d thought. He was knocking on the door as I was just about to shower. Oops!

Today we ate LOTS of sand. We hiked about 5 miles of Paria Canyon. We walked the dry riverbed with a guide who is a geologist. Billy was extremely knowledgeable and loves what he does. He loves rocks! We learned so much today, much more than I ever thought I would care to know about rock formation, but I’m so glad we did. It was fascinating.

The kids were great with minimal complaining considering the tough conditions, thank goodness! Steve forgot the backpack for Hill, so he carried him most of the way. Thankfully it was mostly flat terrain.

Sandy. Did I mention sandy? The temperature was actually favorable for this time of year thanks to the gusty winds. While the mild temperatures were very appreciated, the harsh, whipping sand at times was not. Several times we had to completely cover our faces which made for a comical hike. The funniest quote of the day came from Bobby when he told the guide, “I like school better than this. No offense, Mother Nature.” Bobby was way out of his comfort zone (especially with rocks and sand in his shoes), but that’s when we know our kids grow stronger as people—when they push themselves. I was so proud of him.

The shoe shake. They got a kick out of the amount of sand they could carry in those open shoes.
This is, by far, my toughest kid. Maria is game for anything.
Thank goodness I bought these for everyone in the event we needed to cover due to Covid. They’ve turned out to be multi-purpose.
Sweet Ruth always has her Rosary. She recommended we say one on our hike. To be honest, I was not in the mood. I reflected right then about how incredible it was that my 14 year old was leading our family spiritually while, internally, I was acting like the child.
This photo will always bring back worry. Stephen is very adventurous. He also likes to keep moving. Well, one of the times he kept moving, we had stopped. By the time we realized he wasn’t just exploring nearby, Steve began to yell (very loudly) in order to find him. When we heard nothing in return, Steve and Billy moved quickly. This riverbed is winding. You can’t see around the next bend. While Steve was yelling and little Steve finally heard him, he heard the echo and thought it was coming from the opposite direction but he knew there was one way in and one way out and that we hadn’t passed him, so he hurried back toward our direction. Needless to say it was a valuable lesson for him to not get too far ahead.

We felt pretty grimy by the time we returned and we couldn’t wait to clean up. We decided to head down to gorgeous Lake Powell. The water had an initial chill, but it felt incredible. But that wind from the canyon? Well, it followed us to the lake and you can imagine that the whipping sand felt much more uncomfortable on bare skin.

We all looked forward to our showers. I must say that today’s shower rivaled a post-Indy 500 shower, and that’s saying something!

We worked to scour this place from the dirt and sand. We had to clean the backpacks, shoes and then the whole RV because none of us can stand disorder, especially with so many of us in this small space. Here’s a before and after of our cleanup.

I had realized in the morning that I forgot to take meat out of the freezer for dinner so I was hoping it’d thaw by evening. By dinner prep time, it was still frozen. Then I remembered that I brought my pressure cooker! That thing works magic! Frozen chicken, fresh garlic and onion and a bottle of lemon flavored marinade and within 50 minutes, it was falling off the bone and very flavorful. That thing has saved me many a time. Thank you, Sittoo! Full bellies, clean (but sore) bodies and jammies called for card games and movies. The girls watched outside and the little kids watched a different movie inside. All in all, it was a very full and beautiful day. We’ll be off to Kanab shortly where we have another adventure awaiting this evening.

Watch out for this card shark!