The Travel Girls :)
Greetings! We are the Travel Girls. We love adventures! Within 6 weeks of meeting each other, Catherine McCormick and Sheila Steplar went on road trips. Our first road trip was to Indianapolis for the NCAA Final Four in 1991. Since then we have travelled all over the world and from sea to shining sea. We took mules to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and went to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We cruised down the Nile River and up on an elephant in Thailand! The granddaddy of all road trips so far was a four month long road trip to Alaska.
However, there is nothing more exciting to us than finding the gems throughout our wonderful country, The United States of America! It’s amazing what treasures you can find when you get off the beaten path of the super highways. Whenever possible we share our travel experiences with our dog Sweetie! She’s always up for an adventure!
We created this page to fulfill a dream of ours to show people it is possible to create a magnificent life that you love. We love travel, freedom, creativity and adventure and desire to travel the country full time, holding seminars about Finding Your JoyStream. We want to let people everywhere know it is possible to live joyful lives. But mostly we want to blog and video blog about how connected we really are. Stay tuned to see what amazing things, experiences and people The Travel Girls attract into their lives.
Our bags are packed and ready to go!
All joy, Catherine, Sheila and Sweetie.
Travel Girl goes to the Wave
I went into the visitor center in Page Arizona wanting to find details about visiting Antelope Canyon. I saw pictures of the canyon and that was it for me. I had to go...until I saw another picture in the visitor center. With childlike fervor, I stood pointing at the picture and told the employee I wanted to go see what was in the picture. She basically told me not to bother. She said I had to travel about 40 miles to go to a ranger station for 7:50 am in Utah, sign up for a lottery day after day until maybe my number was drawn. The Wave is very fragile and they allow 20 people a day to the site. 10 people win an online lottery and 10 win the lottery at the ranger station. Hundreds of people might show up on any given day. If a party of 10 wins, no other numbers are drawn.
Well if you know me at all, you know that by 7:50 am the next morning I was at the ranger station in Utah. Maybe 30-40 showed up that morning. I filled out the paper work and sat around looking at maps until the drawing started. The first two groups chosen were 3 Italians and 3 Germans. Then I heard the ranger say: Oh, this ball just jumped out. I knew in my heart it was my number 4. And it was :) Once the drawing was over, all those not selected filed out. When only 10 of us remained, we were given secret maps. The trail is purposely unmarked to preserve this awesome fragile sandstone masterpiece. The ranger went over the map with us. Our permits were good for the next day.
As soon as I left the ranger station, I drove the general launching point for the hike to the Wave. There are more hikes near by and I wanted to see the canyons called Wire Pass.
Wire Pass has its own beauty. It is free to hike. Antelope Canyon is beautiful but quite pricey. You have to pay admission to the venue itself, then purchase a ticket (it was 25 bucks when I went) for one hour in the canyon. At Wire Pass you hike through one canyon which gets quite narrow. There are some 3-4 foot drops you have to make your way down. (Serious point to consider...it is much easier to drop down than to get yourself back up. At one point I was amusing myself with how long it was going to take me to heave my butt up to the next level. There were many elderly people, but they all had younger folks to push them up.) The Canyon meets up with another canyon that goes left or right. Folks said the right turn was prettier, so I went right. The colors of the rocks are beautiful.
As usual when I hike somewhere new, I time how long it takes me on the way out, so I can gage time and energy for the trip home. I thought the hike down the right path got prettier as time went on, and when the going got too complicated, I headed back. And there really were tricky parts if one is hiking solo!
I made my way back to the tent at the Lake Powell Wahweap campground. It is a gorgeous place over looking the unbelievably blue Lake Powell.
I went to bed early, knowing I wanted to head out at day break. I'm not sure both eyes shut at the same time all night. I was ready to go way before the sun was. I got to the parking area and there were 3 cars in the lot. They all had passes for overnight camping. It seems like I was the first of the lottery hikers for the day. '
I got all my gear together. Besides water and food, I had my camera and a journal. I deeply desired to feel the energy of the wave as I wrote. I got my permit and secret map and headed towards the image emblazoned into my memory from the picture at the Visitor Center. The map is a series of pictures with directions. You follow the directions and hopefully you get to a point where you see the next picture on the horizon. I did fine until I got the picture of the twin buttes. There were lots of twin buttes. I headed towards the wrong one but it wasn't long until I found the right buttes.
The last step on the map is: continue up the sand hill. The sand hill is sheer punishment. Each step you take you slide at least half of the way back down. It is steep, getting hotter by the second and I have already been hiking a couple of hours. Of course I made it and the rewards are unlike any I have seen at the climax of a hike.
I am the type of person who can easily tear up in the midst of perfection. The Wave is perfection. I was so deeply thankful to not have to share the Wave with a single soul for an hour or two. It is majestic, magnificent and miraculous. If the gods wanted the ultimate skate park, this would be it.
I explored the whole area for about an hour before I settled down to write, contemplate, meditate. My heart was full to overflowing.
As it turns out, I was very thankful to have gotten to the Wave so early. When the winds started blowing, every loose piece of sandstone on the Wave was fair game as tiny stinging projectiles.
The first lottery people to make it to the Wave were 3 young gorgeous German guys. They were fun and silly and I took awesome pictures of them. The Japanese, who were chosen after me in the lottery were next. They took the pic of me :) It was fun to see everybody's reaction to the beauty of the The Wave. But the wind was picking up, it was getting crowded and it was time for me to make my way back.
There is an important point to know about the secret map. There are no pictures for the hike back home. Luckily I headed home before the crazy afternoon winds erased all the tracks in the sand that reminded me of my path. On my way out I took pictures of where I came from in case of emergency, but I didn't need them. I made it back to my car in great time, my eyes full of glory and wonder, my body fully alive, and ready for ice cream. All joy, Sheila Steplar
Stay tuned for more adventures of the Travel Girls!
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