Monday, October 25, 2010

Dead Sea and Desert

This trip is not your typical trip to Israel, Before the trip is over we will have covered Israel border to border, North, South, East and West! Of course, this was not a typical trip anyway because we had a archeologist with us to better understand Creation and the evidence of the flood.
It has been unusually hot this month. Temperatures have been over 100 and walking in the desert you can feel every degree!
So, here are the highlights.
At the Jordan River, one pastor baptized several from his church and a few more from our group. Did I mention there are 90 people on the trip and Texans have the largest group?
A note about the borders. Israel is about the size of New Jersey. Now picture New Jersey as a country and the surrounding states as other countries where there is always tension and sometimes a threat of war. How would you like to live in New Jersey with unfriendly people living just across your borders? How would you like to live on the state line? Put a new perspective on things to me!
Stopped at Beth Shean. In our Bible Study this fall on David, this is the city where Saul’s and Jonathan’s bodies were hung on the city wall. Cities built then w ere built on huge mounds of dirt - Defense system. Called the City Mount. Some of our group climbed to the top but it was many steps and it was VERY hot. This is a huge excavation!
Today was an “easy” day because it was very hot. We got to the hotel about 4:00 and went directly to the Dead Sea. It gets dark about 5:00 - sun sets early. In the desert there is no moisture, no clouds and no rain to wash the dust out of the air. Doesn’t affect breathing but the horizon is hazy.
The Dead Sea was terrific even if I only stayed in a little while. Ben did not go in but took pictures. Hotel had a private beach. I walked into the water up to my thighs then sat down in the water, spread my arms, leaned back and up popped my legs! I would push my legs down but the minute I relaxed, they popped back up like corks. Funny! I paddled around awhile. There is no way to explain it, you have to experience it. When you want to get up, you really have to force your legs under and get your upper body directly over your legs before you can stand up. I wondered how many people might have to have help doing that! Skin did feel quite oily afterwards. It was quite a walk from the hotel to the beach and I was wearing my crocs and my feet were oily and kept slipping around in the crocs!
Wednesday was our Wilderness Day. We had a lot of driving to do and a lot of walking in the desert to several sites.
Began at Timna Park in South Israel about 60 miles from Egypt. It was here that creation layer granite with no marine fossils can be seen with sandstone with fossils (flood layer) on top. Of course there is a whole long explanation by Dr. Snelling both on the buses (he switches so we all get the same information and at the sites themselves. And by the way, this exact formation is found at the bottom of the Grand Canyon - half a world away!
We then visited a exact replica of the tabernacle. This was an amazing experience. It was much smaller than I had imagined (of course it did have to be portable!) The lady gave a marvelous talk. We were able t0 go all though the tabernacle and I must admit to a moment of hesitation when I got to the Holy of Holies!
Then we drove to an area where copper had been mined hundreds of years ago. Had the opportunity to crawl, yes, crawl through a mine. Mostly it was a duck walk but for a few yards I was on my knees. I got some pics at my level and Ben got me going in and coming out! Neat experience!
Then to the Ammonite Wall where they have discovered a place where a huge mass of large marine animals were rapidly buried during the flood.
Then drove to a Maktesh - you’ll have to ask me for an explanation of that. Think Grand Canyon but it’s not a canyon.

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