We really caught up on our sleep last night and with the exercise we had hiking yesterday, all three of us slept until 8:30. We had a lazy morning doing some chores. Auggie got a much needed bath. We called him “Dusty Dog” because every time we pet him, a cloud of dust came off his body from all the rock climbs and dusty paths we walked on. Fresh from a bath, he also got a haircut/trim.
He looked and felt like a new dog. Our plan today was to visit a W.E.Rock Event by Trail Heroes (check it out online). Bob talked to a couple of the participants who were in the same campground in Vegas as we were and found out about the event. It is being held near the town of Hurricane just about 10 miles from here. This afternoon they have the All Pro Trail Breaker Event at 2:00. It is an event where highly modified and off-road jeep-type vehicles compete by crawling up impossible vertical climbs and house-sized boulders. This is not about speed, but testing your vehicle and your driving ability in seemingly impossible rock climbs. We’ll go and check it out, saving our strength for hiking the Narrows tomorrow. We had lunch and drove Highway 9 through Virgin. Virgin is not really a town, but a blip on the map. It doesn’t really have any services, but it does have this really cool tourist ghost town.
From there, we drove through the pass to Hurricane. We were told that it got its name because it’s always windy there, but not today. It’s a nice sized town with lots of services. It sits in the valley surrounded by mountains. On the south side of Hurricane in the “country” was Sand Hollow State Park.
Little did we know that the park encompassed this gorgeous lake in the middle of the desert.
All around the lake was fine orange sand from the sandstone rocks all around.
We weren’t sure where the event was being held near the park, so we checked around in the campground, at the store, and the concession area. Nobody knew where it was being held. Hmmm! Let’s watch to see where all the off-road jeeps go.
Sure enough! We could see where all the people and vehicles had gathered.
One guy told us we could never drive our truck in close without a 4 wheel drive, so we checked our GPS to find another road up to the nearby water tower and that’s as close as we could get. We drove up there, parked, and walked the short sandy road in. We got up really close to the action and stood among the other spectators.
When we walked up, one of the jeeps was stuck–wedged between the rocks.
They had to winch it down and out because he blew an engine.
The next guy didn’t get much farther and broke his front axle, so he backed down.
The third guy was a little more aggressive and did really well. He got farther than the last one, but ran out of time. (Each contestant gets 15 minutes.) He decided to get out of the crevice by going up and over the rocks to the side–right where we were standing.
Once they cleared the crowd away, he did it without a problem.
We were getting an education about the event from the young gear-heads standing around us. They were big sport enthusiasts. I asked if they had to go up this crevice and one guy told me, “They don’t have to, they want to.” We wondered if anyone was going to be able to do this climb. They told us that the very first contestant made the climb up without any problem. Too bad we missed that one. We watched the last guy do really well on his run up the ravine and almost fall over, before his transmission blew.
He was really aggressive and created a lot of dust with his attempt.
It was pretty comfortable out there in the desert with a temp of 77 degrees. We made the dusty walk back to the truck around 3:00. Bob’s feet were orange from the sand wearing his sandals and I had a cup or two of sand in my shoes. All in all, it was an interesting afternoon. On the ride back, we stopped for gas in Hurricane and made the beautiful drive back to the campground. We both had to shower off all of that sand and sunscreen. Then we relaxed with a drink outside. The campground is so quiet and all we could hear was the Virgin River behind our campsite. Most nights the park is pretty full and it seems that a lot of campers don’t leave to go anywhere during the day. The campground has lots of activities going on every day and it’s a “snowbird” haven for many people who winter here. The snowbirds seem to be on the move this time of year and we are seeing more and more of them in our travels. We ate a late dinner. Auggie and I took our walk after dark under a full moon. We relaxed with some TV before bed.