Ric and I made good time driving to Glenwood springs and arrived ahead of schedule. Unsure about camping before registration opened, we went ahead and stayed at a privately run campground on the edge of town. The next morning we located the high school and checked in at registration. Coming out of registration we spotted several paragliders swooping down over the campus and remarked that would be cool to try. After setting up our tents in the quiet campground we walked over to check out the main campground and saw the paragliders landing upriver a little ways. We walked over and talked to them and found out they were offering a discount to convention attendees for that week so we decided to give it a try the next day. By afternoon several MLG members had checked in at registration and we’d said hi to Jim Patera, Marrianne and Jerry, Morley and Ernie. Most of them were going on the geology field trip so the next day Ric and I headed out by ourselves to meet our paragliding instructors. We signed forms agreeing to all manner of things as the truck bounced up the hill, then after a brief instruction we were ready for tandem jumps. A couple of steps and we were floating out over the canyon. I got some nice pics of the High School and campgrounds from above on the way down. We both agreed that while paragliding was fun, it wasn’t an adrenaline rush sort of activity and our rides were over much too soon.
Mondays big event was the Howdy party being held at Glenwood caverns. Since all of us were interested in trying the various rides we headed up on the tram early. First up was the alpine coaster, first time I rode a rollercoaster with manual brakes, not that we needed them, I spent the whole ride concentrating on keeping the brakes off so as to go as fast as possible. We also rode the zipline, and the swing. The swing was the most impressive as it litterally swung you up over the edge of the canyon so you could see all the way straight down to the bottom. As Marrianne commented. “the view’s great if you open your eyes!”. We took a break from the warm afternoon inside the 4d theatre, a simulation movie theatre with moving seats and short 3d films. I also tackled an interesting squeeze box that required some contortion to get through. We all enjoyed an evening tour of the caves which consist of two seperate sections, an upper mostly horizontal section that exits out on the opposite cliff face and a lower section that has a steep staircase installed leading down to the ‘fairy cave’ section that has wonderful formations, carefully lit with new led lighting. Dinner was fajitas and they had a good band for the party, before long though we decided to take the tram down and head back to our tents.
The rest of the convention was great fun, the vertical contests, the fine art salons, I thoroughly enjoyed it all. A couple of my favorite things were Wednesdays photography session were we returned to Glenwood Caverns to practice taking pictures and I got to go off trail to photograph some beautiful arragonite, and Thursdays 3D slide shows and video presentations were very impressive. Friday several of us signed up to go rafting on the roaring fork river. Sadly Ric couldn’t join us as the guide recommended against him coming due to his recent knee surgery.
All too soon it was over and we were packing up to head home. Jim Patera joined Ric and I for a stop on the way home to visit Rifle falls and the several small caves amidst the falls. It was a beautiful location and well worth a visit. Jim headed north from there to do some more hiking but Ric and I continued west towards Sacramento. We had one more stop to make though. We visited the only known location of a shark attack in Utah! At Bonneville Seabase the owners of the property have introduced several species of salt water fish to the naturally occurring pond formed from salt water hot springs. We got to swim with jacks, angel fish, numerous mollys and a couple of sharks. The sharks are harmless nurse sharks and apparently the ‘victim’ of the attack had her hand in its mouth when it bit her so it really wasn’t the sharks fault. We had a great time swimming around, then it was time to head for home.
- 40 years of caving (thecaptainnemo.wordpress.com)