by: Robin Gerblick
I used to obsess about climbing Mt. Everest in the worst way… I bought all the books, read all the stories, watched all the movies… yes… even the IMAX and as I matured in my thinking (thank God), I realized we live in a world obsessing over the next big EPIC Adventure. Who will be the oldest to climb Everest? Who will be the youngest, the fastest, with or without oxygen, assisted, not assisted, married, divorced, single, male, female, climbing for cause, climbing for self gratification… you get the picture!
And as my thinking matured, I realized that years ago, I had already achieved an EPIC adventure of my own… I spent 4 weeks on Lake Powell, a family vacation of EPIC proportion and lasting memories to pass on to the next generation… a life legacy (as my most amazing mom would say!)
It’s 1963 and I’m 10 years old. This is the first year that forever changed the course of the mighty Colorado River and created what we now know as Lake Powell. It was 7 years later when it would forever change the course of my life.
Our family “truckster”, fully loaded with camping gear, 3 kids + friends and our Reinell ski boat in tow, we head to a destination unknown… our mission? To see and explore as much of this newly formed landscape as we could before my dad needed to return to work and us kids, back to school… it’s summer… it’s hot. Fast forward and many years later, I find myself drawn to the landscape that won’t leave my soul and ask myself, “Why do I keep coming back to this place?” Is it the canyon walls echoing my name or the green sand bottom water welcoming me home?
I am not Navajo… I’m as white as white can be (although I tan dark as dark can be). Perhaps, it is something deeper calling me… Another life that beckons my presence in this landscape of my childhood.
I have been coming here since 1970, the lake starting to fill, seeing the evidence of life no longer seen. As a young woman, I hiked Antelope Canyon, Rainbow Bridge, Hole in the Rock… the sheer beauty of creation is hard to put into words, but I know, you too, will feel it calling. If you really let yourself go, just for a moment, you will hear the call of a distant civilization, a greatness larger than life itself! Sheer canyon walls disappear into dreams yet dreamed. Canyons narrow, as in life with age, the slots carving out segments of time… the times of our lives. Every time I return to this place, my childhood comes alive, bringing home the memories that breathed life into my soul. A very special place that has shaped family values, vacation times, a lifetime, to pass on to the next generation. This is why I keep coming back… to capture another sunset over Castle Rock and cherish the sunrise over Navajo Mountain. I want my children and grandchildren to ride the ebb and flow of the river and come full circle to a sacred place… a place of reverence, peace and indescribable beauty, a place to call home where memories are written on our hearts and lie in resting slumber, carved on the canyon walls. Anchor, tight in a cove, where only you and the night sky sleep together.
Breath deeply…smell the fresh water over hot rocks, simmering in the summer sun.
Look intently, as shear rock disappears into rays of green light beneath you.
Sleep outside and count a zillion stars… catch the fallen ones in your dreams.
Yell your name off the canyon walls and see if they answer.
Cherish conversation without background noise.
Stand in awe of creation without chaos.
Reflect your God given vision as you see it written on the water.
Gaze at campfires designed to inspire.
Bath in the warm night air as it soothes your sun burnt skin.
Ski the “evening glass off”… you deserve perfection!
Stay up all night and count your blessings!
“Whisper talk” at night and learn how sound travels over water.
Climb Sand King, just because you can!
Feel the squish of red mud between your toes… dig in, learn forward and see how far you can go.
Wake up to early morning mist rising… grab your board and venture deep into the narrow.
Grill Spam… yes, Spam! A camping culinary delight, over the open fire, topped with pineapple and brown sugar.
Watch wicked storms brew while lighting bounces off the high cliffs and as thunder shatters the night air.
Wake up to the early morning sunlight, warming your face and filling your soul… you’re ready for another day on the lake!
This year is an EPIC year for me… I turn 60 and married 20 years… it’s the 60/20 rule! Where will I celebrate? What great adventure will I accomplish? I think you already know!
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