Bright and early Tuesday morning, we learned we've finally been drawn for The Wave!!!
I've put reminders on my calendar every fall and winter month for about nine years now to apply for one of 10 permits per day awarded three months in advance. Each applicant is allowed to apply only once per month, and so many potential hikers apply from about April to October, odds of being drawn are nearly non-existent. So I focused on the late fall, winter and early spring months.
Every month, July through December, for each of the last nine years, I went through the application process and tried to pick the dates when fewer people applied. The first day of every August through January for the last nine years, I'd receive an email informing us we had not been selected.
Two years ago, we decided to take our chances and drive to Kanab, Utah, to see if we could score one of the 10 walk-up permits available on next-day basis. Walk-up applicants are allowed to enter the next-day lottery only once each week. We had five days, so we decided we'd try to determine each morning if there were few enough competitors to make the trip worth all the miles and throw our hats in for what seemed like the best chance. We hoped we might luck into a day with 20 or fewer applicants so our chances might be a little better than the 4,000-to-1 online odds.
On our first day in Kanab, only three other people were waiting in line for the next day. It was snowing. The BLM had passes available for that very day, which just happened to be Valentine's Day.
The Lizard and I ventured through Kanab's snow to find the trailhead and The Wave in perfect condition, with no storm and no immediate threat of bad weather or roads. We spent our sweetest Valentine's Day ever exploring a section of the desert where very few people ever get to set foot.
With short daylight hours and the possibility of a storm moving in during the late afternoon, we did not have time to search out The Wave 2, another rock formation we've been told is equally as photogenic and remarkable as The Wave.
So even though we got our Valentine's Day wish on our first day in Kanab, we longed to return to seek out the second hidden gem.
Early next year, we get our chance to do exactly that. We have been drawn for the first time ever, and we are going to try to find The Wave 2. Who knows what other red rock treasures we may find during our adventure? We have three months to prepare! And wait with baited breath on pins and needles...