The middle of nowhere...

LM's class had a field trip today. We were literally in the middle of nowhere. We drove through wild, wild west towns on Route 66 like Hackberry, Valentine (you may have actually sent your Valentine's here for postmarks at some point) and Peach Springs. The little towns lead you to Grand Canyon Caverns. The caverns are not actually in the Grand Canyon but about 40 miles away. The opening that brings air into the caverns is at the Grand Canyon.

The Caverns are the largest dry caverns in the United States. It is a beautiful sight once you reach the bottom. It is always 56 degrees F down there. 'Down there' is just over 200 feet. You get down there via elevator.

The three third grade classes in LM's school went to the caverns today via school bus (always fun for the adults, right?) I chaperoned along with some other parents and got to ride on the bus. When we arrived the 3 classes split up and went down to the caverns one at a time. While we waited we ate lunch and spent some time in the gift shop. At 11:30 it was our turn for the tour.
It's beautiful down there. We were guided around by a neat tour guide who was really good at explaining things so a third grader would understand. It was a hike moving around the caverns - up and down hills and stairs. The walk is a total of about a 3/4 mile. I was really interested in finding out that the caverns holds enough food and water for 2000 people to survive for 2 weeks.

So I wasn't terribly concerned when the elevator broke. At first I thought the tour guide was joking but come to find out he was dead serious. After about 20 minutes it was determined that we would need to go up the stairs to get out of the caverns. I use the term stairs loosely. These are not the stairs in the stairwell of the Marriott (I wish!) but more like the steep stairs on a Navy ship. The 'railing' was a 3" round tube that overlooked the elevator shaft.

We were able to successfully get about 23 kids and 5 adults out of the caverns rather quickly - just over an hour I think. Remember, we were 210 feet down. The kids were great - only one was a total basket case and really scared me. He was in between LM and me. She did a great job encouraging him, telling him to hold on and only look up.

The boy sitting next to me on the bus said he was really scared and wanted to cry but knew if he did he would upset the other kids so he didn't cry. I told him that I felt the same way and was really proud of him leading his group out. It really was very scary and I was so happy when LM got to the top safely.

Some of the kids have said they will not go on a field trip again. Some are never going on an elevator again (although we were not stuck in the elevator, thankfully). I am thinking that I don't want to go on ship stairs again!

I am in the middle of a few crazy weeks. No fun projects going on right now. No painting. No fun things to share. But school is out on the 19th and I plan to start working again. I have bathroom pictures to share. If I get a chance I may share before the 19th. I put the 'fresh towels' sign up and it looks great. I hope you will stop back by to see it...


Patti said…
OH MY... several of my biggest 'fears' in one blog... heights, elevators and climbing little stairs. But you did see some amazing sights! Glad you all survived and can't wait to see you up and coming projects! = )

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