Monday, July 7 - An Incredible Day in a Wadi

Awesome! I could stop there. During the first part of the program each summer, the Institute offers options for tiyulim (field trips) for the rabbis. This summer there were a number of very good choices, but in the end, the choice was easy – a day of hiking.

Riddled throughout the Dead Sea region, there are wadis (river valleys, dry most of the year) that are set up to be hiked. It was amazing!

It was about a 5-6 mile hike but it including hiking up the wadi floor, climbing the canyon walls, and returning along a path that snakes its way along the northern canyon wall.

There were places where we climbed over boulders and jumped from rock to rock. There were parts where we had to ascend over large rock faces by climbing up metal rungs sunk into the cliffs. It is not often that I have to climb 20-30 feet in the air using nothing but oversized staples.

This is the sort of thing that couldn’t be done in the United States without signing waivers!

In Israel, it is at the end of a long driveway off the main road on the west bank of the Dead Sea. Drive, park, and hike this scary canyon! Did I mention it was amazing?!?

Also amazing was, that in spite of the Institutes forewarning that this was going to be an arduous hike in the heat, there were a number of people on the hike that probably were not really up to a 5-6 mile walk, let alone a strenuous 5-6 mile hike. And it was hot! Probably topped 100 degree while we were hiking.

Because we had a number of non-hikers with us, what should have been a 3-4 hour hike took over 6 hours in the hear.

There were people who I did not believe would make it over some of the climbs. There were people who I did not think would make it all. There were people who barely did.

Having said that, when can we do it again? I miss running 3-4 times a week in Mission Trails Park. I miss hiking with our kids about once per month. But it sure felt good being out there today!

I wonder when we will get to do it again?!?

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