The Lottery

Trip Start May 15, 2009
Trip End May 23, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Arizona
Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our next stop was to hopefully secure two spots to visit "The Wave". The Wave is a wonderful series of rock formations just 45 minutes west of Page.  The Bureau of Land Management only allows 20 people a day to access the area.  They give 10 permits through an online lottery several months ahead of time, which we were unsuccessful at winning. The remaining 10 are given away during an in person lottery the day before you intend to hike. I am thinking on a Wednesday at 8:00 am, how many people are going to try and secure one of these spots?  72. That's right 72 people in 47 groups. That meant 47 balls in one of those spinning wheels like the ones hamsters play in.  The caveat is that if the first ball picked is for a group of 6, only 4 spots remain. 

Needless to say we were not feeling very good about our chances.  But then we remembered our friends Kori and Chad who had spent several months in New York and repeatedly won a similar type lottery to secure front row tickets to Broadway Shows at a large discount.  We had drawn ball # 4, and it was time to pick.  We siphoned all the luck from Kori and Chad as they announced the first number... "Four  -   ty,"  the man said as our hearts raced and then quickly were put back into check.  It was a 2-some so there were 8 slots left.  The next number picked was barely heard because of the immediate screams of 5 boisterous Italians who celebrated their victory after trying unsuccessfully for 3 previous days straight.  7 slots gone, and 3 left.  It was now or never for us.  The next number was pulled and we were not selected.  But wait, this ball belonged to a single hiker, so there were still 2 spots left.  The 4th and final ball of the lottery came out of the hamster cage and they read FOUR!   We celebrated, but felt bad.   In a way, our success coincided with the crushed dreams of 62 other people.  But we soon got over it, knowing we would have something cool to do the following day.
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