Amazing Race Episode 8 “Where Eagles soar over mountain splendor”
We are down to four family teams and the sweet dreams of a million
dollars are within the grasp of reality.
Leaving the cold deep blue waters of Lake Powell, the teams drove
into Monument Valley. This is parched desert land where the red Navajo
sandstone mountains seem to have movement and life of their own. Film
director John Ford made this incredibly beautiful portion of the west
famous. And it was so very appropriate that the teams took helicopters
from John Ford Point to the flat top of Elephant Butte.
Yet within the peacefulness of the mountains, conspiracies are
percolating. It seems that the Weavers are the odd team out and the others
have decided to hamper their every move.
From the Butte, the teams drove to Moab, Utah. Moab is the gateway
to Arches National Park. And Arches is my favorite western sojourn with
Delicate Arch being the granddaddy of all arches. Standing like a lone
sentry, Delicate is a singular destination in itself. If there is one park
that you must explore and experience, Arches cannot be missed.
Okay, back to the race. The teams found a detour at Gemini
Bridges—either rappel down a two-stage 270 foot drop, or bike 6 miles
across the dessert. Only the Weavers did the pedaling while the others did
the drop. Papa Wally Bransen overcame his fear of the descent while the
Weavers exhaustingly finished the grueling bike ride. From that point
forward, they continued to make poor decisions.
Eventually, all the teams spent the night at Green River State Park
with only 45 minutes separating them. Under an illuminated half moon, the
Godlewski sisters four, along with the Linz siblings and the Bransen
family seemed to be enjoying themselves, as the Weavers secluded
themselves in their travel trailer.
The next morning, all four teams found Bart the Bear in Heber City.
Bart the Bear starred in many westerns dating back to the 1980 film “Windwalker.”
He died in 2000 at age 23 and perhaps this current Bart is his namesake or
an off spring? Personally, I think Bart should be roaming the mountains
instead of entertaining humans.
Then it was off to Park
City Olympic Park. For some foolish reason, the Weaver family decided to
take a scenic route. In Utah, scenic routes are seasoned with great
vistas, staggeringly rugged mountains, fast flowing rivers and thick
forests, but speedways they are not. Every team beat them to the Park and
the first to arrive Linz family decided to make them yield. With the full
support of the sisters four and the Bransen family, they all rejoiced in
this significant Weaver set-back.
The pit stop for this episode was on the top viewing deck of the
Salt Lake Library. The Linz siblings earned a well deserved first place
finish with a surprise prize trip to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, the gateway to
the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. The Bransen family was second with the
Godlewski sisters third.
Eventually the Weavers arrived with full expectation of
elimination. In fact, they had resigned themselves to being purged from
the race. Even after Phil told them this was not elimination round, they
showed no visible relief. It was if they had already accepted defeat and
could not accept what he told them. Phil then stepped up with a little pep
talk that they were still in the race, that they were a strong family and
that they needed to re-evaluate their desire to win.
Later, after thinking about his suggestions, the Weaver family
appeared to have regrouped for further competition.
But this is competition. The stakes are high. The end is near. And
a team that cannot psychologically prepare itself for victory is defeat
waiting to happen.
A Close Finish Footrace to the Mat Marks the Next Episode of The Amazing Race
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"Blast Off to the Stars" - The Amazing Race Episode 3 Summary
The smell of gunpowder and the dripping of sweat - TAR Episode 2 Summary
"Annnnnnd They're Off...." - Amazing Race Episode 1 Summary