#TryingStuffInJordan, Part 3

Be sure to check out Part 1 and Part 2 of my #TryingStuffInJordan adventure!

Day 7

After breakfast, we headed south from Petra and soon found ourselves in Wadi Rum loading into trucks for another 4×4 adventure. As we headed out into the desert, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities to the American Southwest. It all looked so familiar and so different all at the same time. After we looked at some awesome petroglyphs (seriously, they were petroglyphs with camels), we stopped at tent for some Bedouin tea. Before we sat down to tea, however, Mohammed told us that everything was harder in the desert and that we should run up a near by sand dune so that we’d understand. A handful of us lined up to run the dune. I certainly knew that running a dune wasn’t easy but I was going to give it a shot. Ow.

Photo Courtesy TheActiveExplorer.com
Photo Courtesy TheActiveExplorer.com

Wadi Rum

We stopped for lunch and were given two options for the afternoon: we could either go on a scramble to a rock arch or ride to a longer arch with less of a climb. I opted to join the scrambling group. Our guide lead us swiftly up the mountain to a gorgeous rock arch. After our hike we drove to a camp in the middle of the desert. We spent the remainder of the evening scrambling to the tops of rocks for sunset and bidding Heather adieu. (She was headed off to Bali for a friends wedding!) We capped off the night with a delicious dinner and some dancing with the Bedouins around the campfire. Some of us went for a moonlight walk and then slept under the stars.

Bedouin camp

Wadi Rum Sunset

Captains Camp Wadi Rum

Day 8

First thing in the morning, we loaded our stuff back into the trucks. The #omniten, however, hopped on to camels for a ride back to breakfast and the bus. I must admit that riding a camel wasn’t the most comfortable experience but it was one that I would not pass up when in Wadi Rum.

Camel

Wadi Rum camels

From Wadi Rum, we drove to Aqaba where we immediately boarded a boat for some water fun on the Red Sea. After jumping off the boat some of us did some snorkeling over the reef. It was really nice to be out on the salt water enjoying the sunshine! After dinner, it was time to say goodbye to Seth’s beard. Mohammed, our guide, took us to a barbershop where Seth (plus a few others) got their hair trimmed.

Boat time

Beth

Jordanian Flag

Day 9

After breakfast, we started our day with a drive from Aqaba up to the Dead Sea. After glimpsing it earlier in the trip, we finally got a chance to stand at the lowest point on earth: -1,400′ below sea level! We floated in the sea and basked in the sunshine.

Mariott Dead Sea pool

Photo courtesy Seth Yates
Photo courtesy Seth Yates
Photo @Calebfarro
Photo Caleb Farro

Day 10

After having floated in the Dead Sea I was out of ideas on what there was to do in Jordan! As we should have expected, Columbia and the Jordan Tourism Board had one more awesome adventure cooked up for us: canyoneering in Wadi Muijb. Although the water was just a little bit chilly it was a blast to float the water, scramble up waterfalls, and enjoy the big waterfall at the end.

Photo courtesy Seth Yates
Photo courtesy Seth Yates
Photo courtesy Seth Yates
Photo courtesy Seth Yates

Day 11

After all the fun of the previous ten days, it was time to head back to the airport in Amman. The thirteen hour flight to Chicago seemed longer than the flight to Jordan, mainly because I didn’t sleep on the flight. It was sad saying goodbye to everyone in Chicago: my favorite part of both of my Columbia trips has been getting to adventure with so many awesome people. I miss you all!

Photo courtesy Caleb Farro
Photo courtesy Caleb Farro

Thanks so much to Columbia Sportswear for another amazing #omniten opportunity. Thanks also to the Jordan Tourism Board for your hospitality!

Axle Deep in 2014

F and I closed out 2013 with a campfire and finger food buffet with friends in the Slabs as well as listening to the music at The Range.

We’d decided to head back out to Red Island for a couple of days. Instead of hanging out in the camp area, we drove out to a boat launch near the mouth of the Alamo River. As he gazed out towards the Sea, F asked, “I wonder how soft it is out there?” and gently guided the truck off the hardpacked road.

As luck would have it, the sand was soft. F looked at me and asked me to air down the rear tires to see if we could back out. I did but when we tried to move, they dug further into the sand burying the truck past the axle.

Truck and camper stuck in sand

…On the plus side, it was really easy to get in the camper…

Stuck truck

What we didn’t know was the sand is only a foot deep underlain with soft sticky mud! Fortunately, after taking turns digging we were able to drag some old carpet from the boat launch area. We also aired down the tires to 4 PSI and we were able to drive right out!

Tire ruts

Sitting nice and low with 4 psi in the tires!

5psi, aired down

Later, long after we were unstuck, we were treated to a pretty sunset over the Salton Sea:

Sunset on the Salton Sea

Sunset on the Chocolate Mountains

Sand Dune Workout

When we arrived at the sand dunes in Glamis on Thursday afternoon I knew I had to get in a workout so instead of choosing a nice leisurely run, I decided to tackle the sand dunes with a combination of running up the side and running along the crest of the dune.

Sand Dunes Running

Running on Sand

Running on sand

Running on sand

Running on sand

My quads were burning by the end of the workout: the last lap back to my “starting point” was tough. I leave Monday morning for the #omnigames. I’m ready.

Running on sand

Running on sand