Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Road Trip - Indiana Jones and the Illinois Farmer

You cannot know how much I am anticipating the release of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull.

Our friend's son worked on the movie. In fact he's worked on several projects with Spielberg and Harrison Ford.

NOTE: Don't forget to turn off the music if you're going to watch the trailer.

The Farmer and I envision ourselves as Illinois Jones and his sidekick Marion. In our quest we have flown all over the Yucatan and Central America in Cessna Caravans, some with instrumentation duct taped to the dashboard! We've ridden an ancient schoolbus on the old Pan American highway. We taken boats, all kinds of boats, including traveling at night off the coast of Belize in a tiny motorboat without any running lights. That was scary!

We've visited almost all the major Mayan temple sites in North America. There are a few more to tick off our list, but the Farmer has proclaimed that he's discovered once you've climbed one Mayan temple, you've climbed them all.

Not exactly. The Mayan temple complex at Tikal in Guatemala can only be described in my book as one of the Wonders of the World. There are no words to describe the scale or the beauty.

Tikal was the site of our most "Indiana" adventure. The flight from Belize was an adventure in itself. The plane flew very low, we never understood why. It got a little frightening as mountains loomed at the border with Guatemala. If we'd looked through the windshield we would have noticed the mountain pass that the pilot was aiming to pass through.

Upon landing we walked to the small terminal and were immediately surrounded by military types with bandoliers, machine guns and German Shepherds on short leashes. It's inconceivable to me that anyone would attempt to smuggle drugs into Guatemala, but you never know.

The complex at Tikal is huge and if we'd spent a week it still wouldn't have been enough time to take it all in. The Visitor's Center was a sad commentary on a endemic problem in Central America. I was a fairly new and modern looking building but as we approached it became apparent that nothing had ever been done since the day it was built. Omigosh! This was absolutely the dirtiest bathroom I've ever encountered anywhere. The outhouse at tiny Bomba Village was freshly painted and sparkling clean. I'd take that over this place any day.

Here's a scene from Bomba Village, home of the sparkling clean outhouse.


Things were better once we were on the trail back to Temple Four, which is unexcavated and the only temple you're allowed to climb. Along the way we were entertained by Cotamundi's, which are their version of the raccoon. Ceiba trees towered over us and since we were in a rained constantly. My camera was double bagged and we slipped along the trail. The Farmer charged ahead. Honestly, he was like a LITTLE KID. He was grinning and I swear he was pretending to be Indie, hoping for some bad guy to jump out of the jungle.

Soon we found ourselves at the base of Temple Four. Our guide pointed out the entrance tucked in the deep jungle vegetation. Fortunately you cannot see what you're in for, because if you could see the set up, you'd probably back off. There were no steps, since the temple is covered with dirt and jungle the trip to the top is on ladders. Lots of ladders, more like narrow steps but wet and slimy in the constant gentle rain. Up and up we went. Once you start there's no going back. One way up. One way down. Quite the adventure in itself.

At the top you're rewarded with perhaps the most breathtaking view you'll ever see.


You're high above the canopy. Stop and think about how high that is. Very high. The main twin temples rise in distance, shrowded by the mist rising off the jungle. It is perhaps one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. Some European back-packers assured us that there was something more beautiful. To see this at sunrise. I believed them but HELL NO, I wouldn't climb those ladder/steps in the dark. No way.

You can get an idea of the scale from this photo. The wooden lintels at the top of the temple are 1,600 years old!


It was the adventure of a lifetime and we felt so lucky to have been able to have that experience. We've worked hard to make some dreams come true. Even if we are just pretending to be Indie and Marion.

Indie is my kind of guy, ruggedly handsome, resourceful, a smart aleck, intelligent, an ARCHAEOLOGIST! But since I can't have Indie, I'll stick with my Illinois Jones, the Farmer.

BTW, I want Karen Allen to play me in the movie version of Illinois Jones and his sidekick Marion. Karen is from Carrollton, a small town in Illinois.


Vee ~ A Haven for Vee said...

*Chuckle* You're so darned cute, I can't take it. How many folks can say that they have pals who pretend to be Indiana Jones and Marion? I love it! Since I am not an adventurous sort, I'll have to enjoy these thrills via you and Illinois Jones.

Hope that you get your wish about casting.

Merisi said...

I read your comment on Corey's "Tongue in Cheek" blog, "Writing each day becomes a part of your routine" ... "When you have a self-imposed deadline of every day, you are forced to be constantly thinking, writing, creating".
So true! Thank you for expressing so eloquently what has been my expierence too: I would have stopped blogging long ago if it were not for the discipline of publishing a post each and every day, no matter what happens around me. Every now and then I ponder about the fact that I would like to have a more coherent blog, more writing, better pictures, published posts that would take more time than I can find on a daily basis, only to go back to my daily routine, full well aware that this is the only way I am able to keep publishing those post.

I much enjoyed reading about my beloved Indiana Jones here. I went with my kids to the Studios in Florida, all the while secretly looking forward to the Indiana Jones Ride, only to find out that it was being renovated at the time. How disappointing! ;-)

Greetings from Vienna,

jazzi said...

How exciting! Those are places I would also like to visit.
Now I'll probably think of you and 'Illinois Jones' when I go see the new Indiana Jones movie!

lifeinredshoes said...

I applaud your adventurous spirit. It is times like this that you truly feel ALIVE!

C.C. said...

Now, THAT is an adventure! I hope Karen Allen does play you in the movie. She is extremely likeable, just like you. Your Yard Butt post had me, once again, spraying my keyboard with coffee!

P.S. Pleeeaaase don't put me on your "Crappy Commenter" list!

BittersweetPunkin said...

How neat!! They had a special on the Crystal Skulls the other night and it was so cheesy...I kept expecting Geraldo Rivera to pop up...LOL...the experts were saying the skulls were modern and were made with modern machined tools but one guy just refused to accept it....when I saw people bowing to it in prayer and kissing it that's when I turned the channel......

I hope you are having a great day! Loved your yard butt post too!

patrick said...

it seems like the recipe of a good Indiana Jones film would be 1 part Nazis and 1 part biblical artifact... the Soviet army does a pretty good job of replacing the Nazis, but the other ingredient...

Jeanne said...

Boy, that was a great journey. I really enjoyed your talent for writing. I am an Indiana Jones as well. Movie time this weekend and I can't wait.

Keep writing, Jeanne

Rue said...

Rich just about jumps out of his chair everytime the trailer is on tv and everyone has to be dead silent until it's over. I want to see it too, but dang, he's nuts over it LOL I had better take him this weekend :)

Your trip looks amazing! I can't imagine going there, but it looks beautiful.

rue :)

Suzanne said...

Please, take adventures along with us. We love company!! As far as casting...I will get my way.

Merisi - I'm glad you have had the same experience with regards to the daily deadline. Could we produce more polished writings if we wrote multiple drafts? Perhaps, but my high school English teacher used to say, "Write, write and write more." Is Indiana Jones being released in Europe at the same time as the U.S.? I hope you get to see the movie soon.

Jazz - When my children were little and my life seemed an endless stream of boring and repetitive tasks, I lived through the adventure of others. I can't tell you how exciting it was when the farmer and I could finally create adventures of our own.

Red Shoes - Yes....we fly through life without a net.

C.C. - It was so cute to see the Farmer charging through the jungle. He was just like a kid. I just saw Karen Allen on the cover of a magazine yesterday. She's 56??? WOW, she looks great. My favorite Karen Allen movie was Starman. Wow, I loved that movie.

Robin - Some people are just looking for something to believe in or to be awed by . Glad you like my living yard butt.

Patrick - I'm excited to see the movie. I hope it lives up to my expectations.

Jeanne - It was a wonderful trip filled with all types of little adventures. We stayed on an island with no roads in a little thatched hut casita on the beach.

Rue - Men just love Indie. The problem with going to Belize (that was our jumping off point for a trip to Guatemala) is that the airfare is prohibitive. You can get really cheap airfares to Cancun and Belize is just a hop away. But the airfare to Belize is $1,000 each!!!! What the Belizeans do is they drive a car up to Cancun and fly to Miami from there. They shop in Miami because although they're making money from tourism, there's nothing to spend it on in Belize.

Thanks to everyone who visits and comments. I appreciate the fact that you take time out of your busy day to visit with me.