Desert Adventure part 2

  So, the last time I was writing, I was here, hanging off a 130 foot ledge.  
 The following day you could find me here, sitting by the edge of a pool reading a good book, while the boys are out mountain biking. When they started regaling about the times they flew over the handlebars the last time they were here, I said “Nope. Momma ain’t goin.” 

 That didn’t mean my adventure was over. Oh no! We had a guided Jeep Tour with Santa Clause to go on. 

 You might be thinking, “Ahhh a little tour of the scenic area in a jeep. How nice.”  

 Honey! This wasn’t that type of tour!  

 Dan Mick, aka Santa Clause, gave us one heck of a tour. The guys were totally hanging out the side of the jeep taking pictures and ouuuing and ahhhing about the abilities of the jeep. 

 While I, on the other hand, was just holding on! There were some parts on this tour called “Hell’s Revenge”, where we climbed up boulders that had us facing straight up, straight down and sideways. Again, I just held on. 

 Mick gave us a detailed education about the land and showed us dinosaur tracks. But the highlight of the evening was watching the sunset. Everywhere we turned the mountains reflected absolute beauty.  Old Mick even set out some brownies, strawberries and whipped cream. He’s such a romantic.

 Now the jeep tour was great and such, but I had to get back to pack for our three day…yes! 3 DAY backpacking trip! Last year, I went on my first backpacking trip.   

 After finishing last year’s trip, I kinda vowed to have that checked off my list of things to do. Yet, in typical Mary fashion, I didn’t quite hear all the details about this year’s trip. Superman had mentioned climbing to the top of Kings Peak, the highest point in Utah. We would all hike 8 miles to base camp, spend the night then the guys would climb to the top and come back the next day.

Uh…notice what is missing? ME! “So, like what do I do? Am I hanging out at the tent by MYSELF?!?” 

Superman responds encouragingly, “We’ll be by a lake and you can bring a book!” 

“Well then. If I can bring a book.” What part of being by myself does he not get?!?

Again. “I have to stay by myself all night in a tent?” 

“Yea, but you can bring a book!” 

A book.

Conferring with all of my wise friends, they ALL said, every single last one of them, that this was a CRAZY idea! And that I needed to have my husband’s head checked, get a room at a nice hotel and reservations at a spa. (I love my friends!)

Superman came to his half senses and agreed to go up and back in the same day. He even used his status as a super hero in my eyes, because he gave me my very own emergency whistle! If anything were to happen, I could just blow away. He and the boys would be there in hours to help me!….great. 

 After a five hour drive from Moab, we started our hike to base camp. 

 The terrain was relatively flat, but made just a little bit challenging with the rocky areas. The scenery and temperatures were out of this world. 

 So the next morning, the guys left at 6 am and I was left to be my own wilderness girl. I successfully boiled my own water for coffee and oatmeal. 

 Later, I ingeniously figured out a way to hook the water filter to a branch by the lake, so I could pump clean water into several water containers. 

 As it turned out, Superman was right….as usual. The scenery was breath taking. There was no creeper hanging around to assault me, in fact there wasn’t anyone around. There were no scary bears out to eat me. Just a million and one mosquitoes and black flies to annoy the living hang out me! Ugh. (I know that God don’t make junk, but what is the purpose of mosquitoes? Just askin.) 

 After my camp chores, I found a spot by a rock that I could lean against, see the pretty lake and mountains, had a cup of hot tea and my book. 

Again Superman was right. (Ugh, it really gets annoying how right he is most of the time….most of the time.) All I needed was the lake and a good book.

The guys got back around 2:00 in the afternoon, completely worn out. Although for a few moments I agonized about what a whimp I was for not going to the top, I realized that if I looked around, there weren’t any 49 year old women hanging around. In fact, I think I saw maybe two, young, under 25 year old girls make their way up. I was good.


Vacation: vey-kay-shun, noun- a period of suspension of work, study, or other activity, usually used for rest, recreation, or travel; recess or holiday

 Ok. So Superman doesn’t quite understand the part of the definition that says “usually used for rest”, but I have to give it to him…our vacations are awesome! We go places that most folks don’t go. We go off the beaten path. He challenges me and makes me realize I can do more than I think I can. He creates memories for our family. Thank you Superman!

Thanks for dropping by! 


My First Backpacking Trip- Day 3 and the 10 Life Lessons I learned

20140610-194557-71157449.jpgFor the past few days I’ve talked about my first backing trip, here and here.Our second night was spent at the Big Red Barn at the Overmountain Shelter. Cool, huh?20140610-195002-71402534.jpgLuckily, we arrived early enough to nab a bottom floor platform. For the hikers who may arrive later, they had to sleep upstairs or outside.

20140610-195209-71529237.jpgThomas even found a way to hang his hammock.

20140610-195953-71993438.jpgSitting there, looking out at this beautiful view I got to thinking….

20140610-200709-72429576.jpg*Say YES! Go! When I asked Superman what he wanted to do for Father’s Day, I never thought he would say to go backpacking with them! I usually stay at home and do my craft thang. Superman totally would’ve understood if I had said no. It would’ve been easier for me to stay home, but this adventure would’ve passed me by. Life does not stand still. It moves. It changes. We can stay at home where it’s safe and easy, but I think about what I could be missing. Trust me….Go.

20140610-202401-73441599.jpg*Get over yourself. Yup, this is the luxury crapper…it has a toilet seat! When you’re sitting there, with your head poking up over the wall, it can be a bit embarrassing, (especially when someone comes walking around the path). But you know what? They are walking on this particular path to do exactly the same thing you are doing! It beats squatting over by a tree and having to burn the toilet paper.

20140611-085335-32015210.jpg*Needs over Wants. All over the world, every human requires a few basic needs to survive. We need shelter, air, food and water. Some have to walk miles to fill their bucket with contaminated water, while others pull water from a well in the center of the village. Some turn on a faucet to receive fresh clean water. It isn’t from an artesian well or bottled in some fancy packaging, but it is cold, refreshing and absolutely essential to life. Would a cold refreshing Piña Colada taste good? Yes, but I thank God for this little trickle and providing me this basic need. I really shouldn’t want for any more.

20140612-073626-27386593.jpg*Plan Ahead. I give Superman a hard time about his OCD/Type A/Uber detail bent on planning, but let me tell you…I am soo thankful. How much would many lives differ if planning ahead was implemented? How many of us can only focus on what makes us happy today? Or how we can make it through today or this week? What if we had a map of what we would like our future to look like, looked at the obstacles, the places to rest and where to find strength and nourishment…then made a plan? Wow! Superman and I have had much success in making short term and long term goals, figuring out reasonable steps to reach those goals and following through. With Superman’s trip agenda, we knew how long each leg of the hike would take, where we could rest, where we could find nourishment and where the tough parts would be. Isn’t that kind of like life?

<20140612-074553-27953651.jpg*Be Prepared.Like every good Boy Scout knows- Be Prepared. Superman had food for meals and snacks, first aid for blisters and sore muscles, shelter for cold and rain. We don’t really know what exactly our future holds. Are we prepared? Mary Claire’s car needs some repair. Thank goodness she was taught to have an emergency fund. She can have her car fixed without stress.

a href=”;20140612-075156-28316471.jpg*Slow is OK.As I mentioned before, the guys walk much faster than I do. Sometimes I feel like they are just trying to get from point A to point B as fast as they can. Heads are down and feet are moving. I like to go a little bit slower sometimes with my head up and soak in what’s going on around me. Just to take the time to listen to the birds chattering away, see the salamander crawling into the leaves, and watching the flower unfold its petals. I know that on some level we are on a sort of time schedule, but taking the time to slow down, look, listen and be engaged in our surroundings is so powerful. Maybe it’s turning off the tv at night and watching the lightening bugs and listening to the frogs and crickets sing.

20140612-080017-28817646.jpg*Dogs are God’s happy therapy. When I’m tired, stressed, sad, sick or lonely, petting a dog makes me happy. It doesn’t have to be my dog. Any old dog will do. There was a six month old puppy that stayed the night at the barn, whose owners were training it to be a hunting dog. As usual, I ruined all six months of training in a bout 30 seconds or less. Sweet Maggie would roll over to have her belly rubbed whenever she saw me. And this black and white dog, Zoe, gave me much needed love as I scratched her behind her ears and massaged her back. I can’t live without a dog.

20140612-081046-29446416.jpg*Sometimes you need to look back to see how far you’ve come.At mile 7 or 8 of the uphill climb, my knees and feet were screaming to stop. My heart was beating in my head so loudly, I could barely hear myself think. But when I would look back and see how how far I had already come, I’d get a renewed sense of energy. I know people who will wallow in their present pain, forgetting the valleys of trouble they just got through. Much like the Israelites who complained about having to eat manna after being rescued from their enemies. Look back. Appreciate the work you’ve done to get through that passage and move on.

20140612-133201-48721832.jpg*The world is full of Characters.There was the guy wearing a kilt on his hike. And the Jersey boy who carried a gallon jug full of water and his white full-size pillow off his bed to sleep with. There were folks trail running the same route. (Yes, running!) The mom of the Zoe, the dog, was traveling by herself. All sorts of shapes, sizes and ages cross the paths of the journey. These two guys were thru hikers. The one on the left is from Israel and the other is from Texas. Everyone is different and for the most part…very, very nice.

20140612-143354-52434606.jpg*Make time for the ones you love. Life gets hectic, stressful and neglected. It’s so easy to take the ones we love most for granted. Every relationship requires time and effort. I truly believe that we have to get rid of the distractions, phones, Internet, tv and just focus on the ones we’re with. Solid relationships require talking, listening and being completely there. Trips like this three day backpacking trip are the building blocks of our family. We talked and listened. We laughed and cried. We shared our loads, shared our dreams. Most importantly, we have each other.

20140612-145331-53611889.jpgSo folks….I did it! Backpacking for 3 days over 34 miles of extreme terrain. I pushed myself and found that I might be stronger than I first thought.

20140612-145634-53794415.jpgFor the next Higgins adventure…Lawn Mower Racing anyone? (Sign in the window of the BBQ restaurant we ravaged when we got out of the woods.)

Thanks for dropping by!