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 still...my 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!

3 comments:

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!