Friday, August 28, 2009

Stuck in Zions

I know its now August, but this is a story that I haven't had the chance to tell you all yet. And I'm going to tell you now. Even though we're way closer to the coming Christmas than the one that that involved this story. It's my blog, and I can procrastinate if I want to!

Right... back to the story. Well, this past Christmas it was just Mom, Audrey, and I at home for some of the time. I think my mom felt a little bad that we weren't going to to have as much Christmas craziness as usual, so she planned a fun adventure for us. Saint George is right next to part of Zions National Park and we haven't really had the chance to see much of it, so mom arranged for a jeep tour of part of Zions.

Funny thing is, even though it rarely snows in Utah's Dixie, a huge storm system moved through and there was snow everywhere! We got in the jeep and took off up the mountain. We went a ways and it was beautiful. Not many people see the redrock cliffs of Zions covered in snow, and it was just amazing! As we got higher and higher, there were more and more trucks that had towed snowmobiles up the mountain, unloaded and pulled off to the side of the road. The traffic slowed down a bit and the jeep started slipping and sliding on the road, so we decided to turn around rather than risk getting stuck.

Turning around was a little bit nerve-racking, but we made it OK. We headed back down the mountain, with our guide driving carefully seeing as the road was pretty steep and snow-packed. Unfortunately, because our driver was such a nice guy, when another truck was coming up the road, we pulled to the right to make sure they had plenty of space on the road to get around us. Now, the road wasn't all that narrow, and they probably could have gotten around us in any case. As it was, we pulled right to what looked like road, but was actually just loose snow that the snow plow had leveled off to look like road. There wasn't any paved shoulder to the road, and the dirt shoulder dropped off pretty steeply.

The long and short of it is that we got stuck, and we got stuck good. Our front right wheel was completely buried, and the wheel was just spinning. We spend some time trying to get out. My cell phone didn't get reception, the driver's cell phone didn't get reception, but Mom and Audrey's phones got some reception, so we were able to call for help. Our guide called his Bishop and his strapping sons to come and help us. (Yes, they were all married. My mom made sure to ask.) It took some doing, because the truck that was trying to help pull us out kept slipping.

It was beautiful, but really cold. Especially for Audrey. She has less insulation than Mom and I, so she was really struggling. Her hands got to the point where they were starting to feel numb, so she found an interesting way to keep them warm. Turns out your armpits are one of the warmest spots on your body. Someone else's armpits are sometimes warmer than your own! It was really funny to watch :)

We did finally get out, and headed all the way down the mountain with an entourage. We passed some cowboys driving their cattle in the sunset. We got an additional little bit of tour, and then got dropped off at our car. We went and looked around the museum a bit, saw lots of stuffed animals native to the area, and then went and had a warm dinner at Olive Garden! It was a fun trip, and makes for a good story!

Calvin did drive up and surprise us for Christmas, and we got to spend some time with the Sowards. It was made for a great Holiday Season!!

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