The last couple of days of the trip sure arrived quickly. One of the main reasons that I was invited to go on this trip as a guide was because my dad and his wife wanted to go and see The Wave (something that everyone should place on their bucket list).
The problem is that getting the permit to see The Wave is quite difficult, especially when the summer season arrives. The national park service only gives out 20 permits to go per day. 10 of those are given away online months in advance with usually hundreds of people vying for the 10 spots. The other 10 are given away at a lottery at the park service building in Kanab, UT each morning for the next day. The chances of winning depend on how many people show up each day, but there are usually quite a few this time of year. We knew that our chances were slim, but we decided to give it a try each morning and keep our fingers crossed.
The first day there were over 120 people who showed up and we were not picked. Day two there were over 100 and we were not picked again. Day three there were once again over 100 and again we failed to get picked again. Our final chance was day four and we were all surprised when only 68 people showed up (as were the national park staff wh said there hadn’t been less than 100 people for about a month). These were still not great odds, but much better than the previous days.
Eight spots were given away without our number coming up and then on the very last pick, our number was called. The only problem was that there were three of us and there were only 2 permit spots open, so one of us would not get a permit to go. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. I’ve taken friends to go and see The Wave in the past, and on two previous occasions the exact same thing happened. Our number was picked, but it was the last number of the day so one person had to sit out — and guess who that person ended up being? So for the third time, I would be sending people off to see one of the most beautiful places in the US while I wasn’t able to go.
While disappointing (I’m not sure if I’m the “luckiest” unlucky person, or the “unluckiest” lucky person, but one of those sure seem to fit when it comes to taking people to see this spot), there really wasn’t a question about who would sit out. Since I had already been before and they hadn’t, it made sense for them to go and since getting the permits is so difficult theses days, I wasn’t going to let them go to waste by not having any of us go. I also know that it’s much more likely that I will get a chance to see The Wave again in the future than most people because I love that area of the country and will be back to that area many times in the future. it was disappointing in that it would have been fun to go there with them, but then getting a chance to see it was a pretty amazing stroke of luck. So while the two of them headed off to The Wave, I decided to hike Wire Pass and Buckskin Gulch again which is in the same general area.
Because the hike to The Wave is in the open and it can get hot, we decided to make an early go of it and were at the trailhead by 7:00 am. This made the hiking a lot cooler (at least on the way there), and it also meant that they returned from The Wave by early afternoon. From there we had to make our way back to Las Vegas since we had to leave the next day. We did, however, get going early enough that we had the chance to stop at Pipe Springs national monument, a place I had not been before.
Pipe Springs isn’t like most national monuments in the west. It’s really more like a historical park than a wide open hiking parks of Bryce and Zion. The main focus is on the history of the springs and how a fort was built over it to retain control of the only water in the area.
With the water source secure, building a settlement was possible:
Along with the history of the settlement, there is also a short 1.5 mile loop hike that was worth doing.
While Pipe Springs was definitely worth stopping to see since it was on our route, I’m not sure if I would go out of my way to see it again (I’m definitely more into the nature and wilderness national parks than the history of the parks system)
Spending was limited to the usual expenses on this trip. I left another $2 tip for the free breakfast our last morning in Kanab (there was no free breakfast at our hotel in Las Vegas) and left $5 tips for the maids at the hotel in both locations. I sent out another set of postcards to my nieces that which cost $1.99 (1.00 for three postcards and $0.33 for each of the stamps), so the total spending for the three days came to $13.99.
It was a great trip and I’m glad I had the opportunity to go on it, especially for as little as it ended up costing me toward the minimum wage challenge. Although I could have spent even less if I had decided to, I feel comfortable in leaving the tips that I did and I think I am still ahead of the game when it comes to the challenge. I now have a couple of days to rest before I have my next house sitting gig lined up.
Yesterday’s & Today’s Spending