At a recent meeting with friends, John and Wanda Hofstetter, John mentioned he had seen the pictures of our accident in the Canyon De Chelly on May 27th. He wanted details of our injuries and so on. Then he looked at his wife and said, “Wow! I guess that beats our Canyon De Chelly story. We thought we had the ultimate vacation nightmare at Canyon De Chelly.”
Of course, I asked for an explanation and here is what they told me:
“We went on a tour, like you, inside the canyon and got caught by a flash flood,” said John. ” The water swept through the canyon and caught us where we couldn’t go forward nor back. Our tour driver drove up onto a high spot near the canyon wall as the water rose higher and higher. We had no cell phones, nor way to communicate. We voted among ourselves whether to stay in the van or to climb out of the canyon.”
John, who is in a wheelchair, and Wanda, decided to stay as did a couple of others, while the rest of the group opted to climb out of the canyon before it got dark.
“We made them give us everything they had to eat,” said Wanda. So, for our dinner that night, we had candy bars, some fruit, and some chips,” she laughed. “We eventually felt comfortable enough to fall asleep, but the people on top of the ridge were so worried about us, they kept calling down to see if we were okay and kept us awake.”
They spent the whole night in the canyon. Now, that has to be a scary experience. I marveled that they could sleep at all.
Travel agents will tell you that memorable vacations are those where something went wrong for better or worse. Hopefully not as serious as our accident, but it was definitely memorable.