Monday, February 20, 2012

Caving With Uncle Lyle

Uncle Lyle came back!  With the hopes of hunting a mountain lion with Tom, he made us his base camp as he attended an outfitter convention in Las Vegas.

Unfortunately the lion hunt didn't happen - apparently they needed 4-6" of snow to track the lion and we only got 2-3".

So we tried to come up with some other fun things to do.  We got all set to go explore the lava tubes - a 3/4 of a mile long underground tunnel formed from cooling lava.  Unfortunately the forest service road was closed.  Bummer...well bummer for Tom, Lyle and the kids.  I was like, "Ah, shucks.  We don't have to crawl down under the earth; walk in complete darkness,with only one way out.  Yippeee!!!  I mean, big bummer."  Of course I did not verbalize any of this.  I wanted to be a good sport for the kids, and look like a great adventurous wife for Tom and his good friend.

Then Tom and Lyle tried going caving in a different location, a "not-kid-friendly" cave, but also came upon closed roads (Flagstaff is so silly, closing down the forest during the winter).  Bigger bummer.

Fortunately, or unfortunately for me, a good friend of ours told us of another "kid-friendly" cave that you didn't need to drive down a forest service road to get there.  We headed East down I-40 to Diablo Canyon - sounds ominous doesn't it?

Out in the middle of nowhere, there's this crack in the earth:

We got the kids all geared up with jackets, gloves and headlights.  With Jon on my back, I put a smile on my face and followed the happy explorers.

We went down into the earth.  The walls closed in on us.  At one point, I had to scoot on my butt to get Jon and I through the narrow passageway.

Thankfully, the cave ended in a big room with no way to continue on for us adults.  "Ahh, rats.  Too bad.  Guess we'll have to turn around and get out of here."

 A little sleeping friend that shared the room with us...along with a couple of his buddies.

I was very happy to be back on top of the earth, under the clear-blue sky...ahhhh...

The kids, and their fearless father, decided that one cave wasn't enough.  They had to explore a literal hole in the ground.  Tom backed the van up to the hole and tied one end of a rope to the ball-hitch and the other to himself.  Down they went.  Check out the huge smiles on the boys - it's as if they were being given a huge bowl of ice cream!

While they disappeared back into the ground, I occupied my mind with taking pictures of the scenery...every mom need a good distraction when her beloved husband and children are willingly crawling into a deep, dark pit, where who knows what kind of danger lurked just steps in front of them.

OK, so I'm exaggerating just a bit.  It really wasn't dangerous.  But mind wanders and can be a bit melodramatic every now and then.

Anyway, we all survived and had a good time.  It was especially fun that we got to go with Lyle.
I was so proud of all the kids.  They had a terrific adventure!  I wish I could be just as fearless.

Oh, just a side note, Lyle helped the kids build a bunny trap in our backyard.  They haven't caught anything yet, but they check it everyday and are very excited about the possibility!  Here's to rabbit stew!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post Jen. Make sure the bait is fresh on the bunny trap. Lyle

Anonymous said...

What a marvelous adventure! You know that you'll be safe with Lyle no matter what the misgivings are seeded deep in a mother's heart :) Thanks for posting and getting to see all you Cutlips - oh, this is William King's mother. God bless you and keep you safe. Rabbit meat tastes just like chicken - ha, ha, ha!

algrundst said...

This post made me laugh and smile!